In our family when one jumps to a conclusion and that conclusion turns out to be wrong, we call it 'eating a hamster.' When the kids were little one of their hamsters disappeared. One of the remaining hamsters looked bigger and fatter than normal. Having heard that hamsters can be cannibalistic I concluded that big, fat hamster had eaten the missing one. The thought made me so mad that I shook the cage. Yep, I don't do road rage, I do hamster rage. A few days later the missing hamster ran out from under the stove and well, I had amends to make to big, fat hamster. So that's the tale behind why we call jumping to conclusions 'eating a hamster.'
Yesterday I just about ate a big one.
All I had left to do was swallow.
After I braved some After Christmas Bargain Shopping I was meandering back to my car, pleased as all get out at the sale price wedding gifts in my hand, when I noticed there was something hanging down underneath my car. You need to know that this car is the first car I've ever bought and paid for with my own money in the 30 years I've had a driver's licence. Vehicles don't mean a whole lot more to me than if it gets me from point A to B, I'm happy.
Or so I thought.
When I bent down to look, I could see this piece was broken and seemingly hanging on by a thread. Harrumph-adumph-dumph!! I start imagining the car breaking to bits on the way home and wouldn't you know it but the last person to drive my car was dearest one. And not only did he drive it but when he did, he took great pleasure in showing one of his brothers how it could go through deep snow and not get stuck. Brother was properly impressed. I conclude that it's ALL dearest one's fault. If he'd stuck to the path my car would still be in one piece. From point A to B indeed.
Immediately I start planning how I will tear a strip off of dearest one when I get home. Oh, my imagination starts running wild and I was having a grand old time fuming. And fuming I would have done all the way home except for the AA meeting I was chairing between my parking lot discovery and home.
I was just starting to get the meeting room set up when my sponsor showed up. I took great delight in telling her what dearest one did to my car. She listened and nodded in all the right places. She doesn't say much other than to tell me she'd have her husband take a look at it before I leave, making sure nothing will get wrecked beyond repair between town and home.
The meeting had barely started when there was a reading about anger and how our response is our responsibility. "Oh crap" I thought to myself. That interrupts my fuming. I now had an hour to calm down and rephrase my whole tirade so I'm not ripping dearest one a new one when I confront him about wrecking my car. Kind of took the (hot) air out of my sails. Okay, I can talk to him calmly. And I can stick up for car. I can do it sane as you please, too, if I try. The other part of me was still plotting a self righteous little tirade, even if only for my own sick enjoyment in the confines between my ears.
The meeting was really good. We were not the usual bunch yesterday. There were just as many new faces as old. Good sharing. Honest sharing. The kind that makes me a grateful alcoholic. One of our members walked in near the end, having travelled across a time zone earlier in the day to be there. He realized he hadn't changed his watch after he arrived nearly an hour late to the meeting. He sits down and apologizes. He's a sweet man whose honesty always touches me. Unbeknownst to me his mom has passed away over Christmas. I sat there listening to the last person to speak within the allotted time and pray about what to do next. Should I wrap up the meeting on time or should I give this member a chance to share? I can't shake the feeling that I need to give him some time to share even if we should be passing around the cup already and getting to the announcements.
I announced that the meeting time was over so if anyone needed to leave, feel free to do so, and that I was going to ask this member if he'd like to share anyway. We were only a handful present. No one was in a hurry and we all listen as this member shared. He relived the past week and all that has transpired. It was touching and I was so thankful I sat there and prayed about which direction to take. I can get so hung up on rules and following them that sometimes I panic if I don't follow them to a "T". By nature I'm a letter of the law kind of person and it's good for me to not let that tendency rule my life. Even so, I still sometimes worry that I'm doing it all wrong and that people are going to walk away from the meeting pissed off that I didn't end it right on the dot. When I heard this member share though, how thankful I was that I didn't let those worries trump my gut instinct. He shared after the meeting how he hadn't had a lot of emotion about his mom's passing so far and how when he walked into the meeting he instantly felt teary. Then he said, "That's the power of a home group."
So the meeting ended. We stood around visiting. My sponsor went out and asked her husband if he'd check my car. She came back in and told me he was out there if I wanted to talk to him. I went outside and he graciously explained to me what was broken and how simple a fix it was. I was relieved and I still wanted to have a little hissy fit at dearest one. My sponsor came out and said her husband thought it looked like my car must have seen a bit of snow for it to be broken in that place. I looked at her with that sick triumphant little gleam in my eye. She smiled back at me.
I think we're sharing a moment.
Her husband waits just a split second before he tells me that by the way, he noticed that piece hanging down under my car when I drove up at the last meeting. You know, the one that was 3 days ago. That would be before dearest one drove my car through all that snow. OMG. I could tell by my sponsor's face that her husband had told her that before she'd come back in to tell me he was looking my car over. Well, we all burst out laughing at the same time. We stood there and laughed and laughed. I thanked him profusely for telling me that little piece of information and how it just saved me from having a little tirade at dearest one's expense.
Believe you me, humble pie tastes a might better than eating a hamster.