Sometimes people are ... strange

meldy_nva(z6b VA)June 2, 2012

A couple days ago, I went to the big sox store for milk and eggs. As usual, I chose a parking slot not very near the store and was starting to back in when a man approached the car in the next slot. Never trust a pedestrian... so I stopped (partway into the space) and sure enough, he glared at me and stomped between my car and the next, went to that car's door and opened it, got in and sat, with one leg on the pavement and door wide open. And sat, and sat, and sat. Finally he pulled his leg in and closed his door. I finished backing into place. He rolled his window down and (here's where it gets strange) began to berate me for backing in. Among his comments were rather detailed phrases indicating that anyone who knew anything would pull into the parking places because this was a store where you had to access your trunk to put the all the groceries in. He continued for several minutes while I just looked at him. Finally muttering about stupid women drivers, he backed out (not checking for oncoming people, carts, or cars) and went his way.

Okay, not everyone is able to back into a parking space in one go, and fewer still are aware that *backing* in is safer than pulling in to park, but... Even if he had known 'all' my groceries would be in one bag and placed on the seat beside me, I wonder why he felt entitled to make a condescending lecture.

Some people are just strange.

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Meldy, you kept your cool, I most likely would have laughed and thanked him for his instructions. When people get behind the steering wheel they do the oddest things, I got berated for walking along a street without sidewalks. That street was for cars only.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Did you console him for being so frustrated and offer to get him some depends and Pepto so he would feel like he was in control of something?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Of course you did the right thing by not responding to him. He obviously wasn't interested in hearing anything you had to say. He just wanted you to know that he was right, right, right about how you SHOULD have pulled into that space; and about being deferential to him -- I caught that comment he made about stupid women drivers. Nice finishing touch -- sitting half-in/half-out of the car making you wait until HE decided to get out of your way.

It strikes me that this person is likely from a certain generation and perhaps even a certain region of the country (yeah, I said it; so sue me) where old-fashioned values are frequently confused with keeping women in a box, and anything you said would have just exacerbated the tension he created.

I had a similar experience recently, meldy. I dealt with it by doing exactly what you have done. I saved myself the grief of trying to deal directly with the crazy person in front of me. I sought out a SANE, supportive audience and shared my experience with them. I hope sharing here has helped you to feel better about what happened.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 7:41PM
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This incident could probably be called "Parking rage at a box store". It sounds like the guy was ready to pick a fight and certainly trying to intimitate you. Glad you kept your cool.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 8:13PM
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Just projective thinking, cranky today. Become friends with the biker down the street and offer to take him to the store with you.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 8:18PM
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"Strange" isnt a work i would apply to his behavior...rude,ass^%$#,etc might work better.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 12:54PM
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He may have been carrying an unseen burden. U did the right thing.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 1:04PM
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jazmynsmom(Z5 Madison-ish)

You are a better woman than I, Meldy. It would have been difficult for me to resist the urge to smile broadly, call him "Buttercup" and blow him a kiss, before walking away in the middle of one of his sentences. He was wrong. And for what it's worth, I back into parking spaces and into my garage stall all the time. He had no right to criticise you. He was both aggressively rude and wrong.

You did the right thing, and Oscar's comment is dead on.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 4:40PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Mostly I thought it was a bit funny and a bit weird. Just weird enough that I was afraid to get out of the car... it occurred to me that he might be one of those drivers who felt it okay to sideswipe someone and I didn't want to be the one.

But he wasn't as weird as the guy who walked in front of my car as I was driving down a nearby street (which connects highway A to highway B and is a shortcut used by all locals because it saves going through 2 traffic signals and is shorter by a couple miles). It's a sidewalked residential neighborhood, speed limit 25 mph, which was higher than my speed at the time of the incident. I think I literally stood on the brake pedal, and stopped a couple feet before hitting him. He walks around to my window and begins to shout at me for driving down his street. Then he began to punctuate his shouts by slapping the roof of my car. Seriously! After several minutes I slowly, very very slowly pulled away from his tirade. That's been a few years ago, but to this day I look for him as I pass his house.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 1:57PM
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It's pretty bizarre, isn't it. No, not the territory of 'good ole boys' exclusively. It's an equal opportunity arena and I've seen the distaff gender spread this type of venom equally well.

I once had a little foreign convertible onto which I had mounted a nice header system with extractors on it intead of the typical muffler and pipes. If one downshifted just right, and revved it a bit, it let out some of the ungodliest belches like automotive flatus. Had I been backing into a spot and somebody did this to me, I'd have been pointed in just the right direction to have ripped off a few and as I pulled out and found another spot. No......words are wasted on people like this and you wonder if they aren't baiting for a brawl in the first place.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 8:46PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Isn't it creepy when you encounter such a disturbed person? Ewww! But your story reminded me of Kathy Bates' character in Fried Green Tomatoes beating the crap out of the young girls' little car with her big ol' boat. Glad nothing like that happened, tho, since it wasn't a movie!

I'm also kind of glad the timing wasn't such that I would encounter the driver of this parked car:

As you can see, it's parked, nobody in it. It's barely partway into the spot where the cart corral lives, most of the car is in the aisle. There were maybe 25 cars in the whole big lot at the time, plenty of choices. That's my cart on the side, I couldn't get it into the corral with the car parked like that. Probably good they hadn't tried backing in to this spot!

I don't think gender has anything to do with the ability to drive a car, but statistics show that males cause the most accidents and a higher average repair cost per accident.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 2:40PM
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Yes, very strange. Makes me think he was hurting. So much anger! Poor guy. I hope he finds some peace. Glad you kept yours! Although I probably would've picked somewhere else to park and ignored him. You stood up to him. Your way was better. And patient.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 3:18PM
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Meldy, the next time you go to that box store, how about parking in a different place? Just in case he's watching.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 7:46PM
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OR...make sure you're parked in full view of the parking lot security camera???

That's what I always do when I visit a particular grocery store where I know there's a slight possibility I could be targeted. (Long story, don't ask.)


    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:57AM
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c'mon Karen, we got nothing but time. Sounds like an interesting story. Glad you're still here!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 11:21AM
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It must have something to do with parking lots in general. Two weeks ago I got the wild, raving riot-act (she was literally screaming) from a woman my own age for not putting my shopping cart in the receptacle that was 25 cars away. After she got done flailing her arms and yelling into my passenger window she took the cart and put it away herself (opposite direction of the store). A sane person would have just used it themselves instead of wildly berating a perfect stranger. I was so stunned by the whole incident that I couldn't have said anything if I had wanted to!! But yes, best just to back away slowly from the crazies!! No eye-contact or sudden movements..

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 9:24PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

...slowly back away. LOL! No doubt.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 10:00AM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

WestG ~ I usually park at the far end of either of 2 aisles because they are level all the way to the door. Not a popular location, but it was pretty busy that day.

MJ ~ no parking lot security cameras.

pinkvinca ~ I always blame the moon, but you may be right about parking lots: neighbor stopped by yesterday, just to say hi. Her car was hit as she pulled out of a parking space. It laid down about 50 feet of rubber trying to stop... how fast was that car doing, anyway?!!!

Well, I'd rather be yelled at than crunched, but I think I'm going to avoid going to the store for a while...

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 4:01PM
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Meldy---I don't know how you kept a straight face!
Life is so short----too bad precious time had to be spent listening to that tirade----maybe it was a sign---it'll click in at the right moment and you'll say, "Oh, NOW I get it!"

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 9:21PM
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