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November 24, 2008

Parking Lot Rage

9 Road rage has gotten plenty of attention over the years. You hear of those insane people whose minds and bodies are taken over by some satanic force that causes them to plead temporary insanity after they ram a car on the highway or pull out a gun and hunt down another driver for cutting them off. I have read those stories and wondered what could possibly drive these people to behave this way?

You always hear the commentary in the news reports where the neighbor says, 'he was a quiet man...' Something snaps and there is a sort of synapse disconnect and the next thing you know the quiet little shoemaker from down the street is being fingerprinted and tried for a violent crime.

Wow, lots of visuals there, right? What, you might ask, would drive me to write about this topic on a 50-something mom blog? Could it be, perhaps, my less than stellar behavior in the supermarket parking lot the Sunday before Thanksgiving?

Ok, I admit it. I snapped. Just a little bit, but I did snap. Can I blame it on my age? Could that old vixen menopause have reared her ugly head whilst I was 'patiently' waiting for a parking spot? Maybe. But I will still hold to the idea that my behavior was justified.

The story begins on a busy Sunday before Thanksgiving. I woke happy and ready to start a productive day preparing for one of my favorite holidays. My daughter, who we have not seen since August, is coming home from college. My brother and his family will all be here. Everyone is miraculously healthy, which is a feat in our family since many a health emergency has struck us this time of year in the past. It is the one holiday when my whole family is together and I love the preparations. So far I sound kind of Norman Rockwell meets Martha Stewart, correct? Wait, it turns ugly soon.

In my OCD Virgoesque fashion, I typed out my shopping list with the little drop shadow check-off boxes next to each item and was on my way to hit every food purveyor in the zip code. The picture of domestic bliss.

Wouldn't you know my visit to the first market was the scene of the above mentioned case of parking lot rage. To begin with, picture a lot that was designed by a drunk. No one ever seems to know who has the right of way and this very crowded Sunday had everyone in a snit. I decided to be patient and wait for a spot where a woman was unloading her groceries at a snail's pace. My daughter called, so I passed the time chatting with her.  As I watched this woman almost hit a pedestrian pulling out I thought better than to stay on the phone and told her I would call back.

This is when it happened. Just as she vacated the spot some lunatic flew into it from the other direction. Usually I would shrug it off and move on but this guy really got to me. When he got out of his car I rolled down my window and said, "Hey, that wasn't cool. I was waiting for this spot for 5 minutes and you just pulled right in".

At which point he lost his mind shouting about me driving and talking on the phone and how he was waiting for a spot for 20 minutes (scary) and someone took his and I should stay off the phone and pay attention and something to the effect of this being his spot as much as mine... and other assorted lunacies.

Did I mention he looked a little like tweedledee with suspenders, high pants and a plaid shirt?

And that is when it happened. The blood behind my eyes boiled over and I saw red. Never, I repeat NEVER, diss a menopausal woman in the throws of food shopping for a holiday.

So, I called him a dick.

That's right. I stooped right down to his insane behavior level and called him a dick. Why?

Because he was one.

Ok, so probably not a good idea. Which he proved by grabbing his 'package' and said, "A dick, you wanna see MY dick? I'll show you dick."

Ummm, no thanks, pal. I don't want to see your dick, or anyone's else's for that matter. Surely not in this parking lot.

That is when the boiling in my brain subsided and my senses returned. Leaving me with the good sense to pull out of the lot and do my shopping at another market first, lest I fall under the wrath of this guy in the produce aisle.

Does this experience mean I condone road rage in anyway? Surely not. But I definitely can relate to what sets it off.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. And please, be careful out there. It is surely a crazy world (myself included).

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