When we arrived, it was as if Christmas had come early. There were people everywhere and parking was absolutely insane.
As we zigzagged in and out of rows, we finally came upon a fairly prime spot. I signaled and waited for the couple to get in their car and back out. As the couple got in their car, another woman appeared beside their car and waited.
For a moment, I wondered if this new woman was waiting to get in the car. But as it backed away and the woman remained, it became clear that she wasn’t getting in the car. Instead, she stood in front of the spot and waved her finger in the air, signaling that I wasn’t to pull into the spot.
I rolled down the window of my car, and asked her what she was doing. She indicated that she was saving the spot for her car, which was at the moment en route from another row.
Uncharacteristically, I lost it. I yelled, argued, and even pulled my car into the way so her husband couldn’t pull into the spot. I vehemently defended what I felt was morally and justifiably mine. After all, the one thing you need to park a car in a busy mall parking lot is, in fact, an automobile.
She eventually moved, we parked our car, and I felt comfortable having behaved as I did because I was in the right.
As I trolled the mall, I recalled the incident and something occurred to me – what if Pea had been in the car? What if I had lost it in front of her? How would I have justified my behaviour when she asked me why I was yelling? And how would I have told her to stop yelling the next time she didn’t get what she wanted?
Somehow, telling Pea “She was in Daddy’s parking spot” doesn’t seem to be a justifiable reason for yelling at someone, no matter how right it felt in the moment.
Fortunately, Pea wasn’t there. So I don’t have to pull out the “Do as I say and not as I do” line just yet.