Quite a while ago, I received a gift card with the amount listed on the card as “$42.00.” I thought that this was an odd amount, but hey, a gift card is a gift card, and I was grateful for it. (Note: let me say right here that I do not understand people who think that gift cards are a crappy gift ‘that requires no thought.’ Are you kidding?! It’s free money! That’s the best kind of money there is!!)
So I went into one of my favorite stores (favorite because they have lots of jewelry), and checked out the rings. I found a lovely one in my size; a faceted morganite-colored crystal set in an intricate sterling filigree setting. It was reasonable, too; only $29.99. Happily I presented my $42.00 gift card, and the woman behind the counter smiled and said, “Thanks–now all you owe is $5.99.”
HUH?!? Why did I owe $5.99? The gift card was for $42.00! But it seems that the “$42.00” was actually “$24.00.” Looking back on it, I don’t know if this was meant to be a joke or simply an honest mistake. Which then of course made me think of many of the dumb and senseless things I have done over the years….sometimes you just don’t think of the effect your action has on others. I thought briefly of doing the same thing to the person who gave me the gift card–briefly. But if it truly was an honest mistake, that would be an awful thing to do.
So I decided to just let it go. It is so much easier to overlook things like that these days. I spent way too many years of my life feeling resentful or hurt or upset or put upon–and probably many of those feelings came simply from the old “poor me” syndrome. Carrying those feelings around with me was a ginormous waste of time and energy. These days it is SO much easier to just move on and not sweat the small stuff–and take the high road. For me this means to just let go of any anger or resentment or hurt–I’m willing to bet that most of what we perceive as hurtful to us personally is not that way at all.
It’s a whole lot easier to take the high road and not add one more thing to our “*gripe bag.” Bottom line: if that gift card was meant as a joke, then hardy-har-har. If a mistake, so what? In the words of someone who shall not be named, “At this point in time, what difference does it possibly make?”
*Gripe bag: an unseen (but very real to the holder) bag of ancient-to-recent hurts, slights, dirty deeds and so on. This bag grows heavier each day, and the weight of it makes us sour and cranky, much like poor Jacob Marley (from “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens) lugging his yards of chains around.