Tuesday, July 9, 2013

WHERE Is the LOVE?!

First of all, I hope everyone had a fabulous Independence Day!!  We spent some time w/family & had a wonderful day, didn't get eaten alive by mosquitoes, no fireworks went off in anybody's hair (happened to me when I was a kid when someone let a child have a firework.. nothing illegal or anything like that, but still... NOT smart, eh??), no sunburn, etc... great time in my book.

So today I was out with my children (minding my own business) & getting everybody loaded into our vehicle after a quick run into a store.  I was busy unloading my cart, buckling kiddos in, helping one w/an owie get the seat belt to fit properly, etc.  I had to literally smoosh my head & upper body over an extended weight car seat (the kind of seat that is really tall for kiddos who are too young & /or too short for booster seats using just an adult seat belt... so there was NOT a lot of room for me to reach over it) to reach into the back seat so I could assist my one child... (talk about a bad hair day after that! LOL). 

I thought I heard someone honk their horn, but my head was smooshed against the ceiling there was all kinds of rustling in my ears from rubbing against the van ceiling & my long hair was in my face (I couldn't SEE anybody, so I just went on about my business because I needed to get the AC running STAT & be on my way).  Oh & add to that a toddler who was protesting about her shoes or something like that AND a baby who was MAD at the world to be in a car seat (hates the car seat!)... so it was quite a noisy vehicle!  I think I was also struggling to breathe because a human body just doesn't contort well like that... LOL.  Did I also mention it was near 90 degrees outside?!

Anyway, after I managed to free my wedged upper body & head that had previously been hanging over the car seat into the back seat with sweat dripping off of my forehead, some lady decided it was the perfect time to YELL at me!?!  WHAT?!  I was seriously taken back by her... what on earth was her problem?!  There I was just minding my own business trying to make sure everyone was buckled up properly... doing what I SHOULD have been doing... & she started yelling at me... she said something about me being rude.. yep, rude.  Know why?!  Apparently my cart was about 8-10 inches into the parking space right next to me and she wanted to park in THAT one space.... there were at least 6 other OPEN spaces CLOSER than that spot too, but she wanted THAT one for whatever reason.  If she REALLY wanted it she could have honestly gotten in the spot with no issue without ever having to say anything to me at all, as there was truly enough room to go around the cart. 

I had one of those carts with the double kiddie seat on the front of it where the push handle is, so it was quite long.  I was very careful to line it up parallel to the back of my vehicle to it wouldn't block drivers from driving down the row to find a parking space & had no idea it was sticking out into the parking space next to me.  I thought it was out of everyone's way, but I am guessing it must have rolled a bit when I grabbed the car seat, shopping bags, my diaper bag, etc. out of the cart... so THAT makes me a RUDE person?!  Eeeeks!!  How about a HUMAN being?!

I tried to apologize & explain to the irate lady that I was struggling to get everything in the vehicle, everybody buckled, etc.... I tried to appeal to her compassionate side & said that I had kids crying, again with sweat pouring off of my forehead... but she responded with, "Not MY problem!!"  Uhm, gee, did I say my children were a PROBLEM?!  Uhm, actually I did NOT!!  My children are NOT nor have they ever been, a problem... but RUDE people in parking lots ARE... no, I didn't say that to her because I knew I'd better just keep my mouth shut... not to mention I had several little eyes watching me & wanted to be the best example I could be for them... trying my best at showing them what TRUE compassion, mercy, & grace are all about.  It was just not worth it.

As I walked to return the cart to the cart return a guy who had heard the whole confrontation said to the lady,"There is a whole PARKING LOT of spaces lady; pick a SPOT & have some COMPASSION!!"  

I thanked the man for being so kind, not that I needed a cohort, but it was so nice to feel like someone ELSE thought she was off her rocker too.   

Apparently THAT didn't set so well with Mrs. Attitude though because as I was getting into my vehicle she rolled down her window yelling at me more from the parking space right next to me... she then decided that yelling at me wasn't enough so she flipped me the bird!!  Yes, right in front of my children she flipped me the bird!!

I responded with, "What a CLASS act!!" and her senior citizen (not being snide... she was probably in her 80s) mother retorted, "You KNOW it!!"   

WOW, seriously?!  If there was something that could make me want to give a tongue lashing back, THAT was it.  It is one thing to say things to me ALONE, but to just verbally & visually attack me in front of my kids?!  Uhm, that just doesn't go over so well.  I took a VERY deep breath, said a VERY quick prayer for strength, & oddly enough, I was able to maintain my composure & just pull out of my parking space.  Not that I don't believe God has the power to quell anger, but rather that I LISTENED to Him as fast as I needed to... LOL. 

I am far from perfect & that has sometimes been reflected in my responses to whatever is being thrown at me in the heat of the moment... I am trying SO hard to slow down & let my mouth catch up with my thoughts... AND to NOT let my thoughts be filled with vengeance to begin with.  It's a day by day process, but I passed the test today!!  I hope I am as wise tomorrow... & the next day.

Have YOU had any parking lot run-ins??  If so, what were they over??  Do you think you'd have yelled at someone or just found another spot??