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.


  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.

  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!

    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.

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