life is a highway

I know better. When someone is having a tempter tantrum, I know to stay out of it. But this guy was blocking my way. He needed to tantrum elsewhere. If looks could kill, I’d be a goner. And this guy would be getting rammed where the sun don’t shine in prison.

So, my little story goes like this: in our downtown there is one lane of traffic going each way. On each side of the street there is angled parking for easy entry when traveling in that direction. Let’s call angry-pants “Joe.”

Joe had his blinker on to snag a parking spot on the opposite side of the street. In essence, he’d need to do a U-turn into that spot. I’m not sure the legality of it- it might be ticket worthy, especially because it crosses a double yellow line. I don’t have a problem with this, I’ve done it myself- WHEN NO ONE IS AROUND. This was 4:45 pm on a Monday, in front of the City Building, and taxes are due. So, there was a lot of traffic.

Dude driving in front of me slips into the spot Joe was coveting, as was his right of way. There is now gesturing coming from the inside of Joe’s vehicle. He rolls down his window to articulate his ire to the now parked car. But he’s in my way. I need to turn left into my parking lot. I roll down my window and say, “You’re in my way, you need to move.”

He was so surprised, I think. He wasn’t expecting any flack from anyone, because he had the right to be angry in this situation. He moved, I got into my parking lot because the car behind him, mercifully did not inch forward.

I saw from the corner of my eye that Joe got a parking spot in front of my building, on the correct side of the street. He marched into the city building like he was on a mission. That’s where I was headed also. Gulp.

I’m a happy-go-lucky kind of gal. I’m not into confrontations. It was quite ballsy of me to have told Joe to move it. I was standing in line at the city treasurer’s office and I could feel Joe’s gaze. He was up at the counter, dealing with a clerk, but he was completely turned away from her and facing me. Staring. With burning anger shooting out like laser beams my way.

I was sporting my blank-city-don’t-eff-with-me face, so when I looked at him to confirm he was indeed glaring at me, I showed no sign of recognition. While he handled his business, he kept turning to stare at me. I found a plug on the wall to analyze. It seemed to be in good form.

Joe stalked out of the city building with no further incident. I paid my taxes and went about my afternoon. Run-ins with the likes of angry-pants Joe are becoming more and more frequent. There’s an entire population of “innocent” people, who go about this life as victims of the circumstances they’ve created. Then, terrorize the people who get in the way of their situation.

I’ve met people like this in my personal life, then quickly added a safety bumper of space to protect myself. When your actions will directly affect the people around you, you should deeply consider them. Perhaps taking a parking spot on the other side of the street when there is traffic isn’t the best course of action. And to be angry when someone who has the right of way takes that spot? Your anger about it is ridiculous.

I can get through most days without incident. But the more I go out out in public, the more I feel bullied by such people. I remember once when I was in a busy grocery store parking lot, I was trying to back out of a space. There wasn’t a car in front of me, but I didn’t have an open view of the next lane over. I’m not one to drive through a parking lot diagonally or pop out in unexpected places. I think that’s how accidents happen.

So, I was trying to back out, and a woman blocked me with her car. I didn’t move. I waited. She didn’t move. I got out of the car and said, “You need to move.” And in great annoyance she gesticulated that I needed to pull forward. I said “No, I won’t.” She was so aggrieved to have to back her car so that I could pull out. Here she was, trying to force a situation upon me, and then was put out when I refused to accept her view of how this should work out.

I recognize I’m not always right. I don’t know each law or traffic code. But I do know that if I’m forcing my agenda or mistake onto someone else, then that’s my bad. Like when someone realizes they’re in the wrong lane. Rather than follow through with what the lane dictates, and then correcting the mistake by driving around the block or to the next exit, they slam on their brakes and block traffic until they can correct themselves. What? No! You messed up- you need to fix it on your own time. Not everyone around you. Am I right?

To ease my mind, my family gave me ideas of how I should have responded to angry-pants Joe in the city office. Like, when I looked up at him, rather than looking blank, I should have looked at him in shock. Turned the tables. Made him think he was the freak, rather than the other way around.

I love words. Words swirl and dance around in my head. I have many deep thoughts. Some thoughts plague me. In order to release them, I have to assign the words. Once the words are strung together, I feel free again.

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