Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Subway Challenge

I often torture myself with nagging little thoughts in the back of my mind.

The other day, my dad offered to buy the family sandwiches at Subway. He asked me what I wanted. Okay, simple enough right? As I contemplated my options and carefully weighed them against each other, I decided that I wanted a seafood and crab sandwich. Then as always, I began to second-guess myself and thought I might want a "Subway Club" instead. Conundrum.

After a few more minutes of this indecisive shit sloshing around in my brain, I decided to go with my first instinct (which is usually the best choice) and told Dad to just get me a seafood and crab. It sounded great, and since I hadn't had one in quite a while, it would be a nice change.

Here's what happened:

Dad went to the local Subway store, and ordered the first two sandwiches. As those two were being prepared, he ordered my sandwich - the seafood and crab. The teenagers behind the counter then informed him that they didn't actually have the seafood and crab anymore. My dad said "Shit!", blew up on them and stormed out of the store. After struggling through traffic, he made it to another Subway. This time, he asked the employees right away if they had the seafood and crab. They didn't. So he told them off as well, and left. Eventually, he decided to just stop at Safeway and get a couple of sandwiches there.

This is my inner conflict:

I believe that emotion is most often contagious. Positive or negative, it tends to have a pay-it-forward effect on those around you. By working around medical patients - many of whom are sick and forgoing medical frustrations - I know this well. I also recognize the validity of the Butterfly Effect theory. One seemingly insignificant action may possibly snowball into chaos. Lastly, I am well aware of my father's temper and deep seeded anger and frustration - especially when dealing with food, for some odd reason. I am also well aware that he never ceases to go out of his way to try and make me happy.

Because of these things, I should have known better. I should have been smarter. And looking back now, ordering the Club (or any other common sandwich for that matter) would have been the better way to go. This is why:

1) Dad would have saved himself the stress, frustration, time, and least of all, gas money, of going to multiple places.

2) Those poor teenagers would have been spared of having to endure his frustration, which in turn wouldn't have worsened their own days.

3) Dian wouldn't have witnessed the story of what happened, and therefore come to realize that her new father-in-law has that hidden potential to blow up on people; secretly wondering if I am, or will be, the same way.

4) I wouldn't feel so guilty for putting this upon everyone, even for making such a minor decision in the first place.

The fact remains: The choice of sandwich was never that big of a deal to me. I would have enjoyed a Club just as much as the seafood and crab. I made a choice. And because of that choice, more than four people (five including myself) were hurt in some way or another. I never wanted that to happen. So now I'll try to be more aware of how my actions can really affect other people.

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