The Piece of Shit that I had the unpleasantness of dealing with today decided he was going to park right on top of the cross-walk at DD's school. I don't mean he was hanging a fender over it. I mean he was parked dead center on the thing. For the second time. He did it one day last week too. Last week, I was pissed off about it and I didn't get a chance to do anything about it. So instead, I took note of how everyone else responded to it. And mostly, I noticed, they didn't. I saw one man, just one, out of a whole parking lot full of people, make an angry face and some angry gestures at the douchebag parked in the crosswalk. Everyone else seemed to ignore the fact that they had to walk around the car blocking their path and the drivers' line of vision. I was not in a position to say or do very much, since I had the Littles with me, so I just pointed out to them that there was a man who was so rude and inconsiderate.
I chose to use it as a learning tool, that first time. "Look guys," I said, pointing. "I know that man is very rude and inconsiderate. Do you know how I can tell?" They asked me how and I said, "Because he's parked in the crosswalk, which is illegal, and not safe. That means that he is a person who doesn't follow the rules. He's very rude." DS said, "Yes. That's inappropriate."
When I got home a bit later, I told DH about it - about how furious it made me that people all too often get away with doing shitty things, and that there are so few others who are willing to stand up against them. I shared with DH my theories about a Piece of Shit like that guy: That people like him have a blatant disregard for everyone else; that they don't care how they affect the lives of others or in what way they inconvenience anyone else; that they honestly believe rules don't apply to them; that they are interminably selfish and believe themselves to be better than all others. I despise people who fit this description. I rationalized with DH that this man had no acceptable reason for parking where he did and that any reason he could have cited (if he were asked) would have been absurd. I know he was not in a rush to drop off his kid - he pulled into the spot and sat in his car for a while before getting out and waiting in front of the school with the rest of the parents who showed up early to drop off their kids before the school opens. I know that he was not handicapped - the generally obvious visuals were lacking, as well as a handicapped sticker on his vehicle. I know that he was not late for work - since he was not in a rush. And if he had been late for work, in a rush, handicapped, and having a bad case of explosive diarrhea, that STILL would not have excused him from being an inconsiderate Piece of Shit prick with no regard for the people who also just happen to inhabit the world around him. I know what his reasons were for disregarding the rules (Hell, it's a fucking law). He's an asshole. He's selfish. He's fucking lazy. And he thinks he is better/more important than literally everyone else.
I could tell all of this from this one, relatively brief in the scheme of things, experience.
When it happened again today, I was pissed. I mean ripshit pissed. And I decided to do something about it. I only had DD instead of my whole crew with me today, so it was easier to take action. Right before I got out of the car, another woman attempting to use the cross walk yelled angrily into his window, "You're parked in a cross-walk you know." He ignored her. I got DD out of the car and took three pictures of the Piece of Shit's car with my phone, clearly parked over the crosswalk. He didn't see me take the first two. I asked DD to stand on the grass, while I took a picture of his license plate. I think he saw me when I walked around to the back of the car (because there was no front plate) and that's when he got out of his car.
"Whoa, Paparazzi!" He said. I didn't respond to that immediately, I just walked quickly back to DD so she wasn't standing alone while I handled Mr. Piece of Shit. He continued, "What are you doing? What's the problem? Why are you being so rude?"
I said, "DUDE, you're parked in the crosswalk!" I wish I could have said it more calmly but my anger got the best of me and I SOUNDED pissed. I think it was the accusation that I was the one being rude that got to me, which I'm very aware was what he had hoped to accomplish.
Piece of Shit said, "So you can't tap on my window and ask me to move? It was a mistake! I can't believe you're so discourteous! You could have just asked me to move! Gosh, you're so rude. In front of the kids too." He then looked directly at DD and said, "Hi kids. Hi Little Girl." Which was creepy, to say the least.
At that point, I realized I needed to move. There was no reason for me to still be standing there, listening to this creep attempt to berate me, completely evade responsibility, and implicate my child in his bullshit. As I took DD's hand and walked her around his car and across the parking lot to school he continued talking, loudly, "What's your name? Wait a second, let me take a few pictures of you." I said, "No you will not." And then mostly tuned him out at that point, but I could still hear him talking very loudly, as DD and I kept walking. I don't know if he took any pictures of me, but I'm pretty sure he did get his phone out because he seemed to be talking to someone on it about what had just happened. I only heard snippets of it because after I hugged and kissed DD goodbye, I called our police station. While I was on the phone with the police, I could hear Piece of Shit STILL complaining about "how rude that woman was" because "she didn't even ask me to move." And yada yada yada. He did get back in his car and move it sometime after I walked away, because when I turned back around, it was parked in the drop-off lane.
I waited for a police officer to get to the school and when she showed up a few minutes later, Piece of Shit had already left. I told her what had happened and what the man's license plate number was. I asked her what, if anything, she could do about it and she told me that she would "go talk to him" and that he would get a warning. She also advised me not to approach him again and if he behaved aggressively at all towards me in the future, to back off and call the police. I'd had no intention of approaching him again and would call the police again in an instant if I thought he was dangerous in any way.
Anyway, here is what I took from this shitty, but useful experience: Both times, I was reminded of EFIL and L's bullshit philosophy about not "judging" people or situations (but mostly people.) I used this experience as a bright and shining example of why, precisely, we need to assess people based on their behaviors. When talking it over with DH, he said he could hear his EF and L saying, "Well, we don't know WHY he was parked there" and "It's not for us to judge him." I am reminded that these phrases represent the narrative in which DH was raised; that it is partly the reason why, in his recent past, he has turned away from confronting the wrongs he has witnessed (and at times, been a part of). And I continue to fight this kind of doctrine: I don't need to know this Piece of Shit's reasons for being an asshole today to know that, in the end, he's still an asshole. I have some theories as to what his reasons would be for parking on a crosswalk, and I also have some theories as to why he REALLY parked on a crosswalk, as outlined above. But like I said, either way, based on my observations, he's still a Piece of Shit. And I have every right to "judge" him, and to take action. It's very important to me that my children grow up knowing that.
And my assessment of the situation doesn't stop at the observation that some dude was parked on a crosswalk: it goes further to my observations of how he responded to being called out on it: His immediate response was to play dumb and to evade responsibility by turning the tables on me, the person pointing out his bad behavior. ("What's the problem? Why are you being so rude?") He completely refused to accept any responsibility, either during or after the confrontation. ("It was a mistake!" He yelled to me and to people in the nearby vicinity). He expressed his belief that it is the responsibility of OTHERS to remind him, influence him, and otherwise make sure that he knows and follows the rules of good behavior ("You could have just asked me to move!") He attempted to change the focus of the confrontation from himself to A CHILD. ("Hi kids. Hi Little Girl.") He attempted to make me uncomfortable for DARING to call him out on his behavior - ("Wait, let me take a picture of you.") - as though taking a photo of me, a person, was equivalent to my recording of his illegally parked car, an object.
Let's be clear. I could have asked this fucker to move. I could have knocked on his window and said, "Please move your car," or "Please move your fucking car," if I wasn't feeling so charitable. BUT - this is not about what I did or did not do, or how I chose to respond to his blatantly bad behavior, because this is a Piece of Shit who doesn't believe the rules apply to him anyway. If he doesn't know (or care) by now that parking in a crosswalk is illegal, that it's just plain rude, and that laws apply to him too, than me knocking on his damn window and asking him to move, or telling him to move, or punching him in the face, dragging his ass out of the car, and then moving his car my damn self isn't going to teach him. He's a Piece of Shit. And Piece of Shit are well past the point of learning how to be decent human beings. And besides wanting this dude to learn some basic fucking manners, which we all know isn't going to happen, I know exactly how he would have responded if I had taken responsibility for his poor choice of a parking space by knocking on his window and pointing out his "mistake," thereby leaving his general assholeishness unaddressed: he would have 1. Played stupid anyway and thrown out some nonsense excuse, "I didn't realize" or "I'm just dropping my kid off" or "My legs are broken and I need pain pills to survive my everyday existence and today is my last day to live and the sky is blue and my kid likes it when I park here, how can you be so mean to a kid?" Or 2. Gotten angry, "How dare you suggest I did something wrong!" or "Mind your own business!" or "If the school officials want me to move, they'll ask me," or "I don't have to listen to you! You're not the boss of me!"
To me, it wasn't worth the infinitesimal chance that he was going to respond differently than what I had imagined to handle this situation any other way. And anyway, his response to being called out on it told me that I handled this shit exactly right. You can't reason with a Piece of Shit.
|Piece of Shit on a Crosswalk|