I was tired: Parking Handicap vs. Social Grace

I was tired. I pulled awkwardly into a parking spot in front of my bank's ATM; when I realised it was a handicap spot I weighed whether to do my business instead of taking the time to re-park squarely and in a non-designated spot. Yeah, I was that guy. What's 3 feet, right? As I approached the machine, I got called out on it.

"You have a handicapped parking tag?" I do not, I said. I weighed again, considering whether I should just get my business done, or do the right thing.

"Why are you parking there, then?" the lady demanded.

Have you met me?  Of course I was going to do the right thing, but my tired self took a bit too long to respond. Also apparently I shrugged, because the lady yelling at me mimicked my shrug, and demanded again to know why I was parked there. I told the truth.

"Well, because I'm lazy and rude,"I said sincerely. "Would you like to go first while I park properly?"

So I got back in my car and parked along the curb like the lady had done, not because she yelled at me but because I was wrong. Because I, too, will be old one day and need that spot. Because it wasn't my business how much she looked like she needed that spot - she never said she did. She just said I was wrong and continued to mock me after I moved my car.

"Have another drink," she challenged. Sorry, lady. I'm just coming from 9 consecutive work days laden with overtime. She didn't want to hear about it.

She doesn't know how my life is; it doesn't matter. All I wish is that when she catches herself taking a short-cut in life she will remember me.

Here's a list of things to avoid when you're out in the world:
  • Don't deny another person the grace to back out of a poor decision.
  • Don't ask a question if you don't plan to evaluate the answer.
Never weigh another person's struggles for them.
I feel like that lobster - trapped, soggy, bound, waiting to be eaten, or not. Just a half hour before that lady yelled at me, I'd allowed myself to say I am tired of living. I tell you this because I assume you know that moment; it passes. After leaving the scene of the faux pas, I wandered through the grocery store wishing that just one happy thing would fall into my path.

When I got home I found these books at my doorstep. Does it count as a wish granted if I ordered it, even though I forgot it was coming today?  Yeah, I really think it does. I'm pouring a glass of Valpolicella into something that'll break when I drop it on the patio, and I'm going to sit outside in my rocking chair and read. Cheers.

Comments

  1. Thanks, Deb. Another good one. I really enjoy these posts and your pithy insights. In response to this one, I would say keep plodding, if plodding feels like what you're doing. You'll get there, with "there" being "who you really are." IMHO, that's all that life's about anyway.
    Margie

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  2. Glad you re-parked. It was the right thing to do. BUT, and there is always a "But," what was the reason for continuing to mock you? Let she who has never sinned cast the first stone. Especially if it seems to be a shower of rocks!

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    Replies
    1. Like I said, you can't weigh someone else's struggle for them. Clearly she was upset by something and it was my turn to be the scapegoat. No blood was shed; we're good. Also like I said, I just hope she happens to remember the next time she tries to take a shortcut.

      Delete

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