It was starting to drizzle.
Bucket Head and I would need to run for it.
We counted to three and ran from the store to our car while I pressed the button for the automatic sliding door. He hopped into the back and we both buckled ourselves in while I checked my mirrors.
I put it in reverse and was starting to ease backward out of our angled parking spot when I noticed a gangly teenaged boy walking right behind my minivan. I braked and waited for him to pass. “Kids,” I muttered under my breath and made a mental note to remind my brood to be on the lookout for people reversing in parking lots who might not be able to see them.
Once he passed I checked my mirrors a second time and started to reverse again, slowly.
And again, there was something passing by the back of my van, seemingly inches away from my rear bumper.
It was the teenager’s father.
He wasn’t hustling at all, he wasn’t stopping to let me get out of my parking spot, he was simply glaring at me and shaking his head. I hit the brake as he slowly sauntered by giving me the stink eye.
Obviously he had the right of way. If I had noticed him I never would have tried to back out. But the blind spot on my minivan is huge, especially in the drizzle through the rain-spattered windows, reversing at an angle.
Oh—that look! What the hell, dude! Do you think I’m TRYING to mow you down? I’m just trying to get out of my parking spot. I totally would have waited for you to pass if I had seen you. It’s drizzling and I’m dry in my car—of course I want you to pass by safely and get into the store unscathed.
Ack. I hate that. Why did he have to glare and shake his head in judgment like that? Why couldn’t he just hustle by and wave like “Ooops, sorry—didn’t see your reverse lights.” I like to think that’s what I would have done. I probably would have smiled and waved and hustled by. I hope.
But his nasty face and pissy attitude set me off. Where is the common courtesy? Why couldn’t we have shared a pleasant exchange like an “I’m sorry, you go,” “No, that’s okay, you go,” kind of moment? Why can’t real life be more like that Liberty Mutual commercial that always makes me cry?
I know I shouldn’t have, but I exploded.
“I didn’t see you, JAGOFF!” I shouted at him (from behind the safety of my closed windows and locked doors.) You can take the girl out of Pittsburgh, but you can never take the Pittsburgh out of the girl, I guess.
That’s when 6-year-old Bucket Head, who I momentarily forgot was buckled in right behind me said, “How do you know his name, Mommy?”
And then my heart exploded from the cuteness and my road rage melted away.
I wish every vehicle came standard with a backseat Bucket Head. I think the world would be a better place.
Now I just need to teach him to stop calling people jagoffs.