Second Chances



It is always interesting when you know you’re the last person someone wants to see.  This afternoon after a visit to the doctor I went to the local market to pick up some frozen yogurt, which I have been CRAVING and that is when I saw her.  For my readers I am sure you remember the blog I wrote on the 10th titled, “Whose Child Is It Anyway?”  If not, for my new readers you can catch up at  To brief you I had an issue with a woman regarding her rude child at the Dollar Store on Tuesday and had the pleasure of seeing her at the market today.  Initially I walked past her but I knew I recognized her.  A few more clanks of my heels and it was just enough time for my mind to formulate that she was the woman I encountered at the Dollar Store.  While I was shopping for birthday gifts for my 1 year old Doberman and a few miscellaneous items her son made a VERY rude comment to me in which I politely informed him of his “not nice” behavior where his mother chimed in (possibly rightfully so) and informed me of my RUDE behavior in a way that provided insight to why her son was the way he was!  They say that apples don’t fall far from the tree.  I did not agree with the way she responded.  I felt that I had not been rude at all but she clearly felt so and it gave me something to think about.

“Every person has a dark side. What defines a person with good character is not a spotless life of constant kindness, smiles and even temperament. But rather, it’s the yearning to learn from your mistakes, applying it, making amends for them and choosing not to repeat them that defines good character. These are the friends to keep in your life because they have stared adversity in the face and became a better person because of it.” – Shannon L. Alder

Her reaction had me lying in the bed next to my husband at 5:30am the next morning asking him how he would have handled the situation.  I wondered, “What could I have done differently?”  I concluded that even though the expression of her emotions was beyond inappropriate via yelling across the store at me perhaps there was something valid to her point.  She felt I had been rude since I addressed her son instead of her.  I felt my comment to her son was in fact not rude at all.  Despite this when I saw her at the market today I initially walked past her.  Over the next few steps I pondered, “Was that her?  Perhaps I should go apologize.”  Then I walked back towards her and approached cautiously.  “Excuse me, were you at the Dollar Store the other day?”  She looked as though she did not want to speak with me.  I simply said, “ You were right, I should have talked to you first and I apologize.”

One cannot ask for much.  She did not apologize for her behavior and I did not expect it.  I simply wanted to let her know that I was sorry.  I walked away and who knows, perhaps that was the end of that.  For me it was not.  See I really do reflect on the things I say and the things I do.  When I am in the wrong I would rather have the opportunity to make it right.  I never thought I would see her again and surely not so soon.  Part of me thought that God was giving me a chance at redemption.  Regardless of who started it perhaps there was some truth to what she was accusing me of.  Perhaps I was rude because I did not approach her and instead used that as a teachable moment to inform her son directly that speaking like that was in fact “not nice.”  As the wise Max Ehrmann once said, “As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.”

I am glad I got a second chance to hear her story and let her know, “I heard you, and I am sorry.”


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2 thoughts on “Second Chances

  1. Thanks for sharing this Brittany! I had a VERY similar interaction to yours and felt blindsided by the Mom. This is really helpful to hear this perspective as it is not my cultural background to use this approach.

    However apparently I was insensitive to the parenting style and/or background of that Mom. Thanks for sharing the insights. 🙂

    1. You are very welcome. It is good to know I am not the only one out there who has encounter situations of the like. I am glad that I was able to reflect and have an opportunity to demonstrate my thoughts.

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