Most days, I try to take the bus back and forth to work. It saves me some money on gas, and I actually have the opportunity to read which rarely happens at home anymore. Well yesterday, the bus I was riding rear-ended a car. I was sitting in the back, so I didn’t see what happened, but I will say that this particular driver has always been very safe and professional. Thankfully, nobody appeared to be hurt in either vehicle, but people were understandably getting upset. Everyone was on their way home after a hard day at work, and now we had to sit in the middle of the highway for 30 minutes until another bus could pick us up. I started to get upset, but then I thought to myself, “It wouldn’t have been as good of a story if I would have just gotten home normally.” After that, I was able to just relax, open my book, and wait patiently.
This phrase came into being a few years ago when we took to a vacation to the UK with my wife’s parents. We spent 2 weeks driving through England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and Wales (my personal favorite). During that trip, there were a ton of mishaps and incidents. We made wrong turns and got lost on the regular basis (Does every intersection have to be a round-about? Seriously?). If I remember correctly, the first time we used the phrase was on our trip to the Culloden battlefield. We drove up from Edinburgh (it ends with a consonant but don’t tell the locals), and we managed to arrive just as the visitor center closed. This wasn’t horrible because we were still able to walk around the battlefield and see the graves, and it is still my favorite battlefield memorial. It is incredibly sobering and emotional. The problem was that we all had to pee so bad. As a result, we had to leave shortly after we arrived in order to find a place to relieve ourselves. At some point, someone said, “It’ll be a better story this way.”
Later in the trip, we were visiting the necropolis in Glasgow. We read that the oldest, still operating pub was just down the street, so we decided that would be a great place to eat lunch. Upon walking in, we received the “we don’t take kindly to your kind ‘round here” look, so we performed the “make no sudden movements” backpedal out the door. Once again someone (probably me) said, “That’ll make a great story.”
Over the past couple years it’s turned into a coping device of sorts for my wife and I. It helps us to not dwell on the small things. If we spend all day making an awesome dinner, and we get distracted by the kids long enough that the main dish goes up in smoke, I’ll turn to my wife and say, “It wouldn’t have made as good of a story…” She’ll usually turn to me and say, “You know what, we have enough stories.” We’ll both chuckle, I’ll call the pizza place, and we’ll move on with our evening. It’s our way of saying, “Yeah, that sucked, but everybody’s ok, and it’s not that big of a deal.” It really helps us to not sweat the small things.
Therefore, the next time you get lost or break a dish, just thing to yourself, “It wouldn’t have made as good of a story…” Maybe it’ll help you to move on as well.