February 24, 2014

SIDES

Let me tell you about an incident that happened to me at the beginning of the year...

We had just gotten home from vacation and I took Harrison out to Sam's Club to restock the cupboards. We entered the parking lot  and were stuck driving around  up and down the rows because the nearest parking spots were seriously like a mile from the door. After only a few minutes of surveying the lot we hit the jackpot because [BINGO!] there was a car getting ready to pull out and they were only one parking spot away from the door. Mind you I'm not typically so lazy that I wont park out in the boonies, but it's still cold here in Utah and with little one in tow it's easiest for us to be a) as near to the door as possible and b) close to a cart return so I don't have to leave him alone in the car while I walk very far away from him to do my civic duty that is properly returning the cart. [Yes, I judge you if you just leave your cart propped up on the planter box in between cars! So annoying.] 

I turned on my blinker and waited for 2 cars coming in the opposite direction to pass so the parked car could pull out. Now, I have to tell you that this Sam's Club has angled parking spots [but no directional arrows] and I was coming at it from the right, so I'd have to make a sharp left turn, but the spots are big and I knew I could make it without having to do an embarrassing three-point turn, so I waited. As the car was pulling out, a third car coming in the opposite direction swooped in and stole my spot! 

I had my blinker on! 
For several minutes. 

There is absolutely NO WAY this driver could not have seen that I was clearly waiting for the spot... 
So I did what anyone stuck in the wrong end of justice would do, laid on my horn and rolled down my window to confront him!

Now I had no intentions of attacking the old man driver, but wanted to call him out and let him know how rude he'd been. That I had been waiting for that spot specifically so my infant son would not have to be out in the cold any longer than necessary. I really wanted to know what his response was to my question, 
"Excuse me sir, did you really not see me there?"

This crotchety old man gets out of his car and I knew immediately that he had in fact seen me waiting there because; 1) He rushed to get out of the car, knowing he had pulled a jerk move and was hurrying to try to avoid confrontation. And 2) He was on the defense, HARD!

It was as though he had planned out what he was going to say to me as he was waiting to cut me off. 

This belligerent old man practically leaped out of his car and before my window was rolled all the way down, he SCREAMED me! 
"Get your own damn spot!! 
That's my F*%&ing spot! 
It's on MY F^<%ing SIDE! 
YOU STAY ON YOUR OWN GOD DAMNED SIDE!" 
And he huffed off. 

There had been only one person who witnessed my encounter-- a gentleman in his mid 40's, wearing a suit and standing to the right of my vehicle, looked up at me with shock in his eyes and gave me a look that said, "Wow, some people! Sorry."
I wish, I wish, so badly that he had said something to that old man.
I know people don't want to get involved. 
It wasn't his fight.

But I wanted someone other than myself to stand up for me to show that old man that it wasn't even what he did that was so wrong, but the way he acted was unacceptable and would not be tolerated. 

I will tell you right now, I desperately wanted to 'teach him a lesson' and go all "Fried Green Tomatoes" on his car! I had my son with me though, which would not be safe and doing so would not make me any better than him. Plus I'd take a ding on my drivers record and have explain to my husband that our insurance is now through the roof because I was not able to control my emotions.

I like to just imagine his shock though... 
Him walking away all fired up, surely thinking he is owed something in this world and that, I, the youth of America think myself to be so entitled that I have somehow "earned" the right to stake claim to a parking spot that is so clearly on "his side" of the lane -- and then CRASH!! He turns around to find me ramming his car and flipping him off. 

Instead of going all vigilante on his wrinkly old butt, I settled for leaving a note on his car windshield. Thankfully his van as still there after I had to drive halfway to Timbuktu to find a stinkin' parking spot. Ironically enough, I had "Thank You" notes in my car [that I had bought earlier for Harrison's Christmas presents], so I used one of those to tell him just how he'd made me feel. I left out the part where I had been in tears out of mere shock for the way he felt was necessary to verbally attack me. I wrote that I hoped that others out there would have treated his wife and children, or even daughter and grandchildren with more respect than he had given me that day. Lastly, I let him know that he was what was wrong with the world... His need to separate people and force them to choose a side.     

Black or White
Straight or Gay
Religious or Atheist
 Democrat or Republican

...pick your side. 


Perhaps you're reading this thinking I am making too much out of it, over analyzing the situation, the man. That he was just reacting defensively to my aggressive honking... but I promise you this-- that much anger and rage was not over a parking spot. 

There was a time when it was an honor to let a lady go ahead of you, 
when we knew our neighbors and their stories, 
when we let our kids play outside well after dusk, 
and we smiled at strangers instead of burying our faces in our phones... 

We need to get back to that.


1 comment:

Melissa said...

AGREED
The world has has become a selfish place.