Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Play nice or else!

Yesterday the planets were misaligned. I can usually sense this phenomenon when I repeatedly drop things, step on my own shoelaces, forget my daughters' names, and so on. I should have known better to even get in the car.

So oblivious to the warnings, off I drove to find the perfect pots at a nearby thrift store. Driving through a parking lot I noticed a woman walking behind my car yelling something at me and glaring at me as I passed. Now I hate confrontation probably more than the next person but I really hate not being able to defend myself, not being heard. I went to the aisle where she was shopping and asked her, using my best assertive voice, if anything was wrong. "Yes, you were speeding!" She informed me of the speed limit in a parking lot and that she knew this because she lived in a trailer park that has the same speed limit. Louder she said she could have called the police on me and warned me to slow down next time. I managed to thank her for her concern and wished her a good day but it was obvious she wasn't through. When I was leaving she yelled across the entire store from the checkout line that I better remember to slow down next time. I couldn't help myself when I asked her if I should remember her name (what?) but she fired back with, "I don't have a name but I'll remember your face!"
I was pretty rattled when I got back to my car. Shortly came the tears of embarrassment, shame, anger, criticism for even following her into the store and best of all, heart palpitations. No way was I going to let such a relatively mundane -- and no-win -- situation give me a heart attack.
What I know for sure is: I wasn't speeding, I didn't deserve the to be yelled at but I chose to confront her which always brings consequences, it did reduce me to a fearful, abused 7-year old and her my anger hurt my heart. But the most cogent message for me was that I wear my emotions (pain, fear, guilt, anger) very near to the top of my skin.

Driving away, I went another two miles when the right front tire blew out. Providentially my little car was only three blocks from a Sinclair station. An hour later I had a new tire, $82 less in my pocketbook and this advice from the motorcycle dude with a big tattoo on his forearm of a Harley Panhead who works the front desk : "Life's just too short to let these little things get to you!"


Leslie Shelor said...

Yes, sounds like one of those days to crawl back into bed. But the biker guy had good advice!

nonizamboni said...

Thanks. . .and you're both right!

Granny Smith said...

I'll bet that woman is really popular in her trailer park if she has self-appointed herself to monitor conduct!

Rainy said...

Your caption Peacock Blue was interesting to me. I like how you handled your day.

I had been searching for
Claude Monet's water lilies and the blue colours he uses.



Rainy said...

I had been searching for the coulrs in Claude Monet's blue water lily pictures and your caption interested me.