Ok. So I'm handicapped and have had oh ... five surgeries and three ER visits w/in the last two months. I'm tired, it's true. And when I'm tired I am one cranky girl.
Went to Meijers to get some chicken stock and shallots to make my own chicken soup (no energy to boil a chicken right now, thank you very much) and ran into the poorest excuse for a man I've seen all year. And I'm divorced ... KWIM?
This MORON has done a "create-a-space" parking job next to my where I was parked in a handicapped parking space. Vito was w/me so I knew I wouldn't get TOO lippy because:
1. Vito, despite his rockin' Vito looks, is a very gentle soul. He is very concerned about things not getting "out of hand." Me? I like an occasional out of hand every now and then. This may be one of the things that draws us to each other. I know he won't let me get hurt. He knows I won't let him get bored.
2. I try not to pop off just because I physically hurt.
Well, I slid sideways between the cars to try to open my door, turned and stared down the man in the passenger side of the vehicle next to me. He finally looked at me and I just shrugged. It was a meaningful shrug but not a "I want to hurt you" shrug. More of a, "COME ON, Dude. REALLY?" Vito insisted on standing and staring him down while I backed out. In truth? I think he knew I was hurting a lot and was probably on the edge of a meltdown ... and when I get like that it doesn't take a lot of throw me under the bus.
So. I back out, whip out my iPhone and take a picture of the guy's license plate. I mean, really, if you're going to be willing to go out on the inconsiderate AND illegal limb, one must consider the possible consequences.
WHAM. He hops out of the car and yells at me, "YOU' RE TAKING A PICTURE OF MY LICENSE PLATE?"
Me: "Yes, I am."
Him:" My wife went into the store because she forgot some stuff. You took a picture of my ((^(#^^$&%#% LICENSE PLATE?"
Me: "Yes, I did."
Him: "She's gonna be in there for like five $&#*^*@%^ minutes and you're giving me THIS $(*&#($^#?"
Me: "Guess so."
Vito steps in. Literally. I am still in my car but this guy is now reaching for my door handle. Vito says, "Sir, the problem isn't that your wife forgot something. The problem is that you are parking illegally to begin with NEXT to parking for the handicapped. This is rude. You could have chosen a lot of options besides this."
Me? I'm still pretty ticked. My stomach hurts, I have a fever, the whole kidney debacle has not gone well the past two months. I feel it rising inside. What the movie "Mean Girls" calls "word vomit."
The pasty faced young man looks at me again, "You really going to call the cops because of something my WIFE did?" That did it. Crossed all lines. Really. He's' going to blame HIS behavior on his WIFE? Nice. Really, really nice. Top notch hubster and human being. And then it comes out. I realize I'm sitting in the parking lot of a grocery store in the hinterlands of the midwest yet every second spent being raising in NJ and NY is rising to the surface. Out comes,
"OH PLEASE. MAN UP!"
I stop. I cannot BELIEVE I have yelled this at a complete stranger. Even Vito is silent. He knows this, um ... urge to strongly voice my opinion comes out when say, watching the news, but he's never seen me raise children and he's never sat in any of my classrooms. He's never see me hold anyone responsible for their behavior before and I could tell he was stunned. So stunned, that he began to laugh.
Laughing was not a good choice. Not now. So he hops in the car, slams his door and says, "WOW, I so wish I had that on voice recording. I'd send it to your KIDS!" I have to explain my kids have heard me hold them accountable before. I ask, "have you never heard me 'do' this? IN FIVE YEARS?" Apparently, I've been on my very, VERY best behavior!
A drive to my little slice of heaven is in order. Where the birds and horses and I will become one with the wind. Where I can see the tops of the dunes of Lake MI. Where I can HAVE my LLBean buoy and no one will care. Where the air smells FRESH and I can hang out my sheets. Where there are no condo or apartment police. Where I can be as looney as a jay bird and as long as I'm not hurting anyone or anything no one cares. Where I can live my imaginary fantasy life undisturbed, grow herbs, make soup, and KNIT (while wearing T4 clothes, yes, yes, yes.)
We drive on to a lovely small town where I can get what I loving refer to as "my ginger water." They just take a hunk of ginger root and shoot it through a Vitamix w/a lemon before they dump in the hot water, but it's nectar of the Gods to me. Vito gets coffee. But before we can go sit at the beach we have to wait for our order. And that's when it ALL turned around. Apparently the store's credit card machine was broken and the woman behind me didn't have any cash. "Never mind" she says politely to the coffee chick. And then, in that moment where we all wonder "do we buy her hot chocolate?" the gentleman behind her says, "Oh please, put her hot chocolate on my tab." The place goes silent. A holy hush. We exchange a glance this young woman and I. She's blinking wildly and I realize she's close to tears. Like I said ... when I don't feel good? Under the bus? In an nanosecond. Now I well up. Pretty soon the two of us are crying and Vito is thanking the man for BEING a decent human behind. The guy was perplexed and asked, "Isn't that what a person SHOULD do?"
"YES" we all respond in chorus. My faith in humanity has been restored. My resolve to never shop at Meijers again confirmed and I am at peace. Slowly Vito and I work our way out of the coffee shop and onto the sidewalk where I continue to expand on my fantasy life. I'm never going in a big store again. I'll go to the fish market and buy veggies from local farmers. If it's not in season I'm not eating it. So on and so on. Finally he suggests maybe I'd prefer Europe to the United States ... maybe Belgium where I can both get jacked up about their lack of government AND shop locally. Until they split the country in two. And rusty as it is, I do speak French. No Flemish.
We go sit at the lake where I can remind myself how much BIGGER Lake MI is than the Meijer's parking lot. Where dogs run gleefully up and down the beach so HAPPY to be released from there cages/houses. Where people are leaning against their cars breathing deeply and sighing to each other, "who'd have thought we'd have lived until March." Everything in me relaxes and I realize I haven't been out of the house since two surgeries and an ER visit ago. I take other pictures w/my iPhone. Happy pictures. Almost-time-to-take-down-the-snow-fences pictures. Dogs Gone Wild pictures.
We drive home, unload the groceries and Vito heads for home. I'm in bed again ... but, for you DYT fashionistas, wearing a black night shirt. It's the best I can do and that's good w/me.