A while ago, Roommate had a friend staying with her in our room.
I was not a huge fan of this arrangement because Roommate’s stuff is usually all over the floor and it was only harder to maneuver with a sleeping bag also taking up the limited walking space. The friend also kept Roommate awake extra late, keeping me awake extra late. I cannot function on fewer than eight hours of sleep. The friend was also always in the room even when Roommate was not. This seriously cut down on my precious time to myself. Time to do yoga, accomplish homework, take naps. I figured that it was only three days and I could just suck it up and be inconvenienced. Life is not all about me.
After this girl had been living in my room for two days it was my turn to clean the suite bathroom part of this chore involves vacuuming all four square feet of our hallway. It takes less than a minute. Obviously, it was too long for this girl to have to listen to the vacuum cleaner. She got off the bed and shut the door. All in all, this would not have been a bad thing except she managed to firmly clamp one of my fingers in the door. I yelled, but she didn’t hear me over the slight din of the vacuum cleaner. When I was finally released, my nail base was bleeding and it had already begun to bruise.
The girl apologized briefly and proceeded to shut and lock the door to my dorm room. I stood in the hallway completely dumbfounded with my finger burning and throbbing and bleeding and the door to my own room locked in front of me. Not even Roommate locks me out of my room.
I seethed. What right did she have to be in my room in the first place? She did not live there. She did not belong there. She was impatient. Why would she keep trying to shut the door when it obviously did not want to shut? Why couldn’t she have given me thirty seconds to vacuum the freakin’ hallway!? And here I was bleeding at her hands, and I could not even go into my room to get a band-aid because she had locked me out of my own room!
It’s been six or seven weeks since that happened. My nail was bruised but it wasn’t a big deal. I got over it, forgave the girl, she went home, it was over. It was silly.
Yesterday, I laughed. My fingernail fell off. Painful, raw nerve endings are now covered by a gauzy bandage over the end of my finger. I thought about renewing my anger, but what good would it do anyone? Being angry again will not put my fingernail back on. My nail will grow back whether I am angry or not. It will still hurt.
Anger doesn’t help us.
Life is defined by forgiveness.