Monday, February 24, 2014

Teachable Moment

I hate driving. I hate driving in parking lots even more. One of my biggest, non-grammatical pet peeves is when a person drives against the arrows in a parking lot. When a parking lot has slanted parking spaces, there is an obvious direction for the flow of traffic. When someone goes against that obvious direction and forces me, a person who is driving WITH the flow of traffic, to move over in the lane so they can pass me, it makes me a little crazy.

So crazy, in fact, that these days I tend to mouth mean words at the people who are driving like idiots in hopes that these people can read lips and see what fools I think they are. Because, you know, people call about what I think of them.

After a long day in town on Saturday, the girls and I were in the car, pulling out of our parking space, going in the proper direction as indicated by the slants of the parking spaces. And as I started to drive away, another vehicle came at us, going in the WRONG direction. I said, aloud, “What’s your problem, asshole, can’t see the arrows? Or how about the direction of all the other cars?”

Alyssa gasped at my crude language. Olivia giggled.

I apologized. “I’m sorry, girls, I shouldn’t have said that word.”

Alyssa was forgiving. “It’s okay, I hear that work and worse at school all day long.”

This opened the topic for us to discuss what she hears and from whom she hears it. She insists that neither she nor her friends say those kinds of things but some of the other, less civilized kids in her class say things like that.

I reiterated, “I shouldn’t say things like that. Even being angry or frustrated is no excuse. I really am sorry you guys had to hear that from me.”

I am usually pretty careful with my language when the girls are with me. So this slip, while unfortunate, was a rare occasion. I am consoling myself with the fact that Olivia hasn’t chosen to wander around the house calling everyone and everything in her path an asshole. The bright side, people, there’s always a bright side.

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