Recently my husband and I were vacationing at a lovely resort we have visited regularly over the past several years. I had settled down in bed with my IPad to catch up on emails when my eye caught a furry brown thing scurrying across the edge of the room.
“Honey, there’s a mouse in our room!”, I announced to my TV watching husband. “Are you sure?”, came his doubtful reply. And then as if on cue our furry visitor made a mad dash from his hiding place for the balcony curtains.
I quickly came up with a plan for the mouse’s capture. Grabbing an empty box from the kitchen, I decided I would shake the curtains and when the mouse made a run for it my husband could quickly slam the box down over him and we could call housekeeping to deal with the rest. Well you know what they say about “the best laid plans of mice and men…..” Let’s just say the mouse ran faster than the man could place the box.
Because it was late at night I barricaded the bedroom door from the kitchen and living area to where the mouse had traveled and waited until the next morning to report to the front desk the resident rodent. The desk clerk seemed both shocked and skeptical at my news but promised to send someone to see about the problem. I detected in her tone a distinct note of disbelief when she asked, “Are you SURE that’s what you saw?”
“Yes. I am sure”, was my deadpan reply.
“Are you SURE that’s what you saw?”
True to her word, later that day not ONE but FOUR maintenance men and a pest control specialist knocked on our door. The leader of the group asked me to tell him about the “possible mouse”. As I recounted my story I saw two of the younger guys looking at each with smirky grins that said “Yep. She’s crazy”.
My husband must have read their minds because he chimed in light heartedly with, “Yeah, I’d think she was making it up if I hadn’t seen the mouse myself.”
Then in what seemed an effort to placate the hotel guest, the men moved furniture, looked under the beds and behind the stove. No mouse. They shrugged their shoulders and prepared to leave but not before I requested they place a mouse trap in the room. Something about going to bed knowing I was sharing my room with a mouse who might crawl over me in the night left me less than calm.
Dutifully, several traps were placed behind furnishings and even though I knew the staff doubted the existence of the mouse I was grateful for the precaution. The same group of men returned the next day to check (remove) the traps. Just as the maintenance foreman was telling me they had never had a mouse of any kind at this resort one worker pulled back a piece of furniture and motioned for his boss. He bent down and lifted up the sticky trap which held a nice fat, furry mouse.
The grin on my face said it all. My satisfaction was complete. I had been RIGHT! The snooty staff, the condescending workers, the doubters had all been put in their places. I felt satisfied, verified, rectified. I was right and it felt GOOD!
Thinking about it later I realized that maybe I enjoy being right a little more than I should. My husband and I have a standing joke that if one of us ever admits to the other “You were right and I was wrong” — about anything at all — the other person should probably grab a cell phone and record it because it happens so rarely in our home. We both like to be right and will usually go to great lengths to defend out “rightness”. So when one of us does say those words, it’s the signal for celebration causing one of us to do the happy dance. (Yes, it’s usually me doing the dancing!)
I have learned through the years that sometimes there are more important things than being right.
If I allow myself to go to a deeper level of seriousness I realize the pleasure of being R-I-G-H-T is probably based on another five letter word: P-R-I-D-E. It’s my pride that causes me to want to be right and to relish it so! It just feels so …..affirming. I love being right and I’ll readily admit it but I also love a humble spirit and mixing those two can be a bit like combining oil and water.
I have learned through the years that sometimes there are more important things than being right. Things like being aware of someone else’s feelings and being aware of my own attitude even when I am right.
The Urban Dictionary’s definition of “humble” is “An admirable quality that not many people possess. It means that a person may have accomplished a lot, or be a lot but doesn’t feel it is necessary to advertise or brag about it.” Yes! I want that to be me.
The simple definition of “right” is “morally good, justified or acceptable.” Also listed is “true, correct, accurate, exact and precise.” And yes, I want to be that as well.
The challenge, I suppose, is combining those two into a balance that can be lived out. But it is, in my mind, a challenge worth accepting. And for me it might begin by considering a mouse in a trap.