Monday, October 13, 2008

Me first always!

I just took one of those Twilight zone trips to the super market with all the kids. I don't just mean Twilight Zone as in the creepy show of yesteryear, but also as in the time of the day when the sky is an unbelievable blue but the light has not yet left the sky. It always strikes me at that time of day that it could be morning or evening as it is such a misleading color. It reminds me of certain people whose facial expressions or motivations are uncertain. There are those people so lost in their own world no one exists out side of their own microcosm. I ran into this sort of person during my Twilight zone trip. As I navigated through the maze of aisles at the grocery store, there was an incredibly pushy patron who never looked above her own nose or cart to acknowledge those around her, always weaving around others as if they did not exist. This market cart joust continued all the way down to the bread and freezer aisles when I thought she had to be gone for good.

As I neared the check out aisles there she was, heading straight for me and the only thing in between us was the only open aisle. It was a Maine stand off. Being the person I am, with three kids hanging off my cart, I offered for her to go first since she had less items than I. To my surprise, she didn't even acknowledge my kindness and moved in for a complete kill of kindness. I took a deep breath and moved on taking my place behind her in line and putting my ten year old to work to empty the cart.

As I watched her leave the store I was happy to have moved on to bigger and better things. I recalled that yes it was a holiday evening, which brings in all cast and kinds of folks to our small town. Yes she must have been from out of town. When the car was loaded and kids strapped in I proceeded out of my space in the lot to head to the exit, when a Toyota from New York, backed out of a space in front of me, not looking, and proceeded to stop in its spot, taking over both lanes of traffic.

I saw through the wind shield that it was her, my selfish nemesis from the aisles, corking up traffic to put on her own seat belt. I thought I was in some twisted scene from Better Off Dead with instead a crabby lady chasing me. How many people really back out of a parking space, one of the greatest scenes of accidents, without a seat belt on only to stop and make everyone watch them don one? In her impulsive need to get in front of everyone possible, how could she possibly still be in my way when I had much more groceries and children to wrangle into their own car seats?

I was aghast and pointed her out to my to year old, helping him recall the sequence of events that led to this latest display of rudeness. I muttered under my breath, "Typical New Yorker" and then had to bail myself out of such a slanderous statement when my son asked why I meant that. On our drive towards the light in the center of town, I explained myself and what I had learned growing up in the tri-state area in the shadow of NYC and how our own move north was to get away from the selfish "me first always" kind of life I knew all too well. We did after all move north to start living the way life should be, the Maine state motto.

Approaching the light in town, I noticed a car following me all to close for my comfort, and this says a lot as SP can attest to. But under the florescent glare of street lights I could see that that licence plate was from the Empire State. Sure enough the paperboy was back but this time the pay back was mine. Instant karma had intervened and I drove those 2.9 miles home as slowly as possible.

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