I believe that everything is more or less appropriate at one time or another; it’s all situational. Baring your cleavage is acceptable at the beach, not at a house of worship. Sweating profusely is common to see at the gym- not while dining in a fancy air-conditioned restaurant.
So, it caught me off-guard when two days in a row, the same irate woman, with her Machiavellian approach, charged in front of me and blatantly cut me off- in the school carpool line. You got it right. I was relaxed and waiting to merge into the main queue from a side street when, from behind, this woman floored it, sped past me as if I didn’t exist, and pushed her way directly in front of me.
It wasn’t like she was going unnoticed or could hide behind her Smart Phone. Hundreds of us were present, waiting to inch closer to the finish line. We were all crawling along at about 2 mph and after exchanging some incredulous glances with other drivers, I found myself catching up to her to simply ask -why, of all places, here? And now? Very innocently I gestured to her as she furiously motioned to me to “get the heck in front of her already, if that was what I wanted, and don’t waste anymore of my time.” She was rushed. Was she really losing so much time talking to me while at a virtual standstill anyway? With this slick maneuver , how much time did she actually save? Thirty seconds? Was it really worth her efforts?
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There wasn’t much more she could progress; we were all surrendered to our fate- moving at a snail’s pace while the friendly local police officer smiled at us from his strategic position on the swale bordering the school property. Truthfully, I wasn’t angry. In fact, I was laughing hysterically. It’s cool and expected conduct if you are driving in Manhattan or downtown Miami during rush hour- people are notoriously rude. But, in our kids’ carpool line? Give me a break! I call poor judgement and bad timing on her part.
The truth is that we can remain anonymous all day and night “socializing” behind the computer screen. However, when we have to venture out and face the living, we must know how to interact- politely and with proper etiquette. God knows that I’m not flawless and have publicly demonstrated a lack of grace on many occasions.
However, it’s quite shocking to be the target of someone’s wrath- especially when it comes unprovoked. The good news is that this interaction caused me to be more mindful of the other parents in line. Just after the encounter, when I saw someone else edging forward in an effort to slip in, I instantly stopped and waved her ahead of me.
It felt good. There’s a certain power that comes from giving another the “right of way.” Perhaps I wouldn’t have appreciated the importance of consideration had I not been subjected to such insolence. So, thank you my dear Lady, for teaching me a good lesson today.