For various reasons, my husband and I swapped cars last week. When I got my car back, I discovered a bunch of crap in it — used tissues, a soda bottle, an empty bag of Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds, and one lonely almond rolling around on the floor. It was really irritating.
But here’s the thing. My own car is constantly filled with crap. Particularly when I used to take the car out on reporting assignments, it would end up looking like a colony of homeless rodents had set up camp in it — Luna Bar wrappers, Diet Coke cans, parking receipts, apple cores, Starbucks cups, you name it. Some days you’d think the entire car should simply be driven into a compost bin.
My own junk never bothers me. I don’t even see it; it’s just part of the automative upholstery. But Sam’s drives me nuts.
So I realized there was a metaphor lying there on the floor of the car waiting to be picked up with the almond.
This is what we all do. We see other people’s crap but not our own.
We Americans get angry at China for building coal factories that contribute to climate change, while we continue to own multiple cars and live in 2,000-square-foot houses. We parents get exercised at teens who are spending TOO MUCH TIME ON FACEBOOK,while we stay up past our own bedtimes to, um, play the online version of Boggle. We liberals are about to spend the next year in a lather over the Republicans in Congress, but how many of us spent time phone banking or precinct-walking in the midterm elections?
Note to self: Spend less time being irritated by other people’s crap and more time cleaning up my own.
Still, it would have been nice if he’d left me an almond.
Other than the one rolling around on the floor.