I have my BFF, Sasha, to thank for this blog. She always says, “When they go low, we go high.” Today I put that mantra to use and I gotta say, it felt pretty good. Let me tell you what happened.
Kurtie and I are at Coop’s lacrosse tournament. The poor kid is playing with a bruised and battered foot—compliments of last weekend’s tournament. But, he had an assist and his team won a hard-fought battle 7-6 in the first game. There’s a nice breeze and a good cloud cover. So we were off to a great start.
With a two-hour break before the next game, Kurt and I went to get some water and as we were walking back to the fields, we noticed all the handicapped parking spaces were filled, including one with an SUV with a bike rack on the back. I did a stealth walk around and noticed no handicapped license plate or placard. Normally I would just wish bad karma upon the space hog and move on. But, my parents are coming to watch Coop play and my mother does have a legitimate and much needed handicapped parking placard. And there are no spaces to be had. Not a one. Not even regular spaces.
So Kurt, being the nicest person on Earth, politely asked the woman to please move her car as we have handicapped guests coming. What did she say, you ask? Her exact words were, “Fuck off.”
Stunned, Kurt stared at her. She said something I couldn’t hear to which Kurt replied, “I’m very sorry to hear that.”
I came around the corner and asked her if she had a placard and she told me to fuck off. A word smith, she is not. She at least could have thought of something a bit more creative such as, “Eat me, hose wench.” But no. I got the generic “fuck off.”
An image of Sash flashed through my mind and I inhaled and paused. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a shoot first and ask questions later kind of girl. I don’t know what came over me. So many comebacks came to me. But still, I just stared. She snarled at Kurt, waved me off and said, “Be gone.”
“Be gone?” I asked. Was she vanquishing me like the witches on that old TV show Charmed?
“Peon!” she screamed at me. I couldn’t help myself and I laughed. Apparently that was not the reaction she was looking for because she screamed again at me to fuck off. Really lady, come up with something a bit more original.
Kurt and I started to walk away and she yelled out her window, “Nice ass!” Now, Kurtie does have an adorable little tush, but I’m pretty sure she was mocking me. Still channeling Sasha, I turned around and called, “Thank you!” Then I shook it for effect and flashed her my best smile.
Apparently she wasn’t enjoying this kill her with kindness approach and she growled, “Does it talk?”
Props to her for trying to continue the insult. But what? Really? Is that the best you got?
I laughed again and called in my most pleasant voice, “Sticks and stones, lady. Sticks and stones.” Kurt and I lazily walked away and although I can’t be sure, I think I heard her slam her hands on her steering wheel.
All this anger because we asked her to be considerate of someone who needed the space she was illegally parked in.
I get that the world is wonky and life as we knew it has gone sideways, but really? That seems like a lot of rage for a legitimate and fairly benign request. I have to tell you though, it felt pretty good to not sink to her level. I grew up with the mighty Dick Moroso and I know every swear word ever invented and a few that he made up. They’re good ones, by the way. But, nope. I was not even snotty with my responses. It was so not me, but I liked it.
Kurt and I wandered away with her still yelling and flipping us off and I asked him why he told her he was sorry for her. He told me that she said she’d just been diagnosed with cancer. I guess her extreme overreaction makes more sense. And it does make me feel even better about myself that I didn’t call her any of the not so nice names I briefly considered. As we got to the top of the hill I actually felt sorry for her. How unhappy she must be to rage at people the way she did. The world is sideways. And hers just got turned upside down, too.
So thank you Sash for inspiring me to not say something I might have regretted (but probably not). I stopped at the top of the hill and glanced back at her. I suppose she got the last laugh because she was still giving me the finger. But I gotta tell you, the view from the high road is pretty nice.