Monday, March 05, 2007

I think I lost my mind!

This was an interesting weekend - and not in a good way. So before anyone makes a crack about the need to have something first in order to lose it, let me explain the scenario. Trouble and I were going to meet a group of hospital coworkers at a bar. We don't usually go out on Saturday nights and I hadn't really thought about how crowded things were going to be. This particular bar is near a movie theater and a mall, so as you can imagine there were a lot of people trying to park and empty spots were hard to come by. We pulled into a spot in front of a restaurant, got out of our vehicle, and an employee of said restuarant came outside just to tell us that we had to move - that the spot was reserved for restaurant patrons only. That was the beginning of my anger.

I began walking to the bar to at least let our group of people know that we had arrived and that Trouble was looking for a place to park. While she got in the vehicle, I was walking past the restaurant that had just booted us and I looked in the window to see 2 tables out of the whole place that were occupied. It wasn't like they had a line if people waiting to get in either. UGH! As I got nearer to the bar, I saw a couple of people walking out to their cars, so I called Trouble on her cell phone and told her to come back over there (she had driven to a location farther off) and I would grab ond of the spots. I waited for an SUV to pull out of its spot and then went and stood in it looking for Trouble to come back around, but a white car tried to pull in with me standing there. Now, I know some people might see standing in a parking spot somewhat childish, but it was really cold, spots were at a premium and it was about to get a whole lot worse.

The driver of the car started right off telling me to "move out of the f-ing way" to which I replied that I was there and my friend was taking that spot - that we had been waiting. The driver clearly didn't like that answer, and at this point Trouble had arrived in her truck. The guy refused to move and kept telling me to get out of the way (not very nicely) - which just got me pissed off. I'll be the first to admit that I don't do well with anger and I can be stubborn - I was not going to let this guy just walk over me. I looked him straight in the eye and said, " What are you going to do run over me? Bring it on!" Oh, God. How stupid was I being?! He revved the engine and proceeded to move the car from feet away from me to inches away from me - and Trouble then got pissed and also move her truck from within feet away from his car to very close. It was getting ugly fast. At that point I started yelling at the guy that what he had just done was assault and called the cops. I used to work for 911 and I hated crap calls like this. I knew the whole thing was stupid but I was mad and didn't know what else to do. The operator tried to talk me down and get me to just move from the spot (after all I didn't know if this guy had a gun or something crazy) but I refused to back down.

I stood there for several minutes waiting for the cops - and it was VERY cold outside. I don't have any idea how many minutes I was standing there but while I was I had all kinds of crazy thoughts going through my head. At one point I had calmed down enough to think about how ridiculous this was - how annoyed the cops were going to be, and how UN-Christian I was behaving. I hoped that another car would pull out of the lot, even closer to the bar door and that Trouble would just go take that one and I could walk away with some feeling of righteousness but it didn't happen. The cops came, took our information and basically made me move out of the spot anyway. We parked a block or so away at another restaurant (that didn't kick us out) and walked back in to the restaurant/bar to meet our friends. The driver of the other car was also going in there and we thought we saw him writing down our tag number, but just left it alone. I was still just mad - both at that guy and at myself for getting so carried away. And I know I had made Trouble mad too, which isn't an easy thing to do.

Once we got inside and found our group of people, I just felt like I wanted to throw up. I didn't want to eat anything (although I had been starving before we got there) and just felt thirsty. I drank some water and a couple of people tried to ask us about what happened but I couldn't really talk about it. I had so much emotion and no outlet so I just started crying. And this only makes me feel worse - I HATE crying in front of people, and it clearly didn't make any of them feel very comfortable. Is this just a "whiny girl" thing? I definitely don't want to be one. I don't like to be angry and I don't really know what to do with it when I am, but I know this whole thing was inappropriate in a number of ways. What would you have done? Any suggestions for next time? Ideas for how to deal with anger in general? I wonder if I would have acted in the same way had the driver been a female or not cussed at me right off the bat. Hmmm....


Mary said...

Oh my Mandy :0 Gosh this wasn't what I was expecting when I checked in your blog ;) Let me say first- that sucks and I'm sorry. I came home early and was sitting on the front porch soaking up the sun when I was reading your post. I've thought about this for a while, wondering what could I possibly say that would be helpful. Nothing brilliant has come to me yet. All I keep thinking is you just need to forgive yourself. Honestly!! First let me completely validate everything you are feeling and at the same time reassure you- it's no big deal. We're human- we lose our tempers, act illogically, become emotional and yet are perfect as God created us- God only creates perfection :)

So all I can say is please stop beating yourself up over a silly parking spot and maybe next time, before you act, you will ask yourself, "is this really the hill I want to die on?" :))) Works for me everytime cause 99.99% of the time- the answer is uhhhmmmmm- NO! HELL NO!!

One of my favorite new age authors is Marianne Williamson. She has gotten me thru many a crisis- large and small. Anyway, I thought I would post a paragraph from her book 'The Gift of Change.' It's resonated w/ me and perhaps will here as well.

"In God, there are no good guys and bad guys. There are loving choices which will be met with happiness, and unloving choices which will be met with pain. And the miracle worker interprets all that is not love as a call for love. Regarded in this light, the closed heart of another cannot hurt us anymore. For it was not the closed heart of another that caused us to suffer but rather our instinct to close our heart in response........."

While I was looking for that the book kept opening to a prayer she has- since I'm being windy I thought I would post it as well, as it seems someone/something kept bringing it to my attention:))

"Dear God,
I lay this problem on your alter.
Please interpret this situation for me.
May I see only the love in other and in me.
Show me what I need to see,
Guide me to what I need to do.
Help me to forgive.
Raise me above the fear in my mind.
Thank you, God.

Wishing you a peaceful and grateful week :)

hipchickmamma said...

so this isn't really helpful and i hope you're at a place where you could laugh about it now.

i am sad that i missed it!

that said, i am also very sorry for how crazy it got and how awful it all ended up.

try not to beat yourself up. you are anything BUT whiny! i can't see you acting that way if the guy hadn't started out being such a major asshole.

for whatever reason it set you off. i can't imagine that it'll take you too long to figure out why it did.

i think it's safe to say that most of us have been there, done similiar things. i'm just glad you're still around!

Joel said...

I've got absolutly nothing even remotely productive, helpful, or even witty to say about this, so don't get upset with me but...

That story is a frickin' riot!!

Big Unit said...

Sometimes you've just got to take a stand and that takes a lot out of you - no matter what the cause. You go girl.

mandyc said...

Thanks for the general affirmation everyone - I don't really feel like I'm beating myself up over this. I just don't like the way I get so angry that all reason and "Christian" thinking blows away in the wind. I know I'm human and we all do it at times, but I really felt like I was out of control and that is not something I'm comfortable with. I know - I have control issues. :)

Joel - thanks. you're a lot of help. i'm glad I could at least bring a smile to your day.

unit - does taking a stand make YOU cry??

roberta said...

best real story i've read in years! oh how i thank you for your honesty. you've shared a part of yourself that all of us experience on a daily basis but most of us would never want to appear so "unchristian" in front of our friends and peers! and yet i'm sure God was completely enthralled with your gutsy response!!!! thanks again for being you!

Big Unit said...

ok i've freakin posted 2 responses here that haven't shown up.

Cindy H. said...

what always surpises me is how angry I can get about things like this and it is like I have a hangover from being angry for a long time. I wonder where the energy from that anger comes from.

Anonymous said...

OK, Mandy -- first let me say bravo for standing up -- you know my saying at the bottom of my e-mail "standing up for what you believe is right, even when you believe it is hopeless." I think it was a "creative" way to stand your ground.

Second, I wish there had been a video camera available, because it could have been a great "You're on Candid Camera". Can you imagine how stupid the other guy would have looked, making such a big deal over a parking place -- so, you had stupidity meeting stupidity (I only say that because since called yourself making the stand "stupid!)

Who would have looked MORE stupid?! would vote for the unchivalrous, cursing, demanding testosterone raving male. And how much harm did he did he do to the environment by letting his car idle so long!

My "counselor" question is: What did you learn from this event about listening -- to yourself, to someone in authority who ende up knowing) what she was talking about (i.e. the 911 dispatcher), and to the One whose priorities best guide us.

I leave you with one of my other favorite quotes to ponder about the use of your time and energy:
"You carry two books around with you that tell you who your gods are: your checkbook and your datebook -- how you use your time and your money."

At least you saved money on food that night! Hope you don't get a cold!