an awful confession

In ALL, INTROSPECTION by Stephanie Klein31 Comments

I get it now. I completely understand how my sister was driven to smear the fecal matter of my dog all over the car of a stranger. Up in all the door handles, across the windshield. Hell, yes.

Up until now, I simply thought, “That’s crazy Lea.” Followed by some remark including the words, “Unhinged” and “Anger Management.” No longer.

parking spot theft
Parking Spot Theft

There I was patiently waiting for a parking spot after circling a tightly packed strip of stores for a good five minutes. Five minutes is actually a decent amount of time to circle. No worries. Finally, found my spot. My blinker is on. I’ve given the person who’s pulling out enough room to reverse. And holy ball-joy, some four-door sedan whips around the corner, sees me, then pulls into the spot. With the exit to my left, I had hesitated taking the spot, for the briefest of moments, because I thought the sedan wanted to exit.

No, what he wanted was to exit this world. I was going to kill him.

As soon as he began to turn into the spot, I’d pressed my horn like nobody’s business. And now, I was so ready to go Kathy Bates on him. You motherfcuker. Who purposefully just wheels + steals like that?

Benefit, meet doubt. Maybe he didn’t realize I was waiting. I quickly pull into the Handicap spot beside his car, and jump out of the car.

“Ah, excuse me. Maybe you were completely unaware, and didn’t realize it, but I’ve been waiting for this spot for a while now.”

“Up yours, lady.” He was out of his car now. Mid-twenties, short spiked hair with too much gel, and a severe case of acne. Adult acne. Bad.

“Are you fucking kidding me? I was waiting for that spot–“

“I had the right of way, bitch, and look at you! Look where you’re parked!” He motioned with his hand to the Handicap icon. Obviously, I only intended to be in the spot to deal with the situation at hand. As fast as that, I was about to lose him. He was walking away. I wanted to punch my fist through his window, key his car, ram the shit out of his piece of shit grandpa car. But what happened next is something I’m still trying to process.

You know how you can imagine how you’d react in any situation, but until you’re in the situation, you really have no idea? Know how people say that our character is tested, and it’s how we respond when the shit comes down, when we’re between a rock and a hard place, that we really expose what we’re made of? I’m so surprised at myself. I don’t know if it’s disappointment, but it’s shock.

There was nothing I could do, other than let it go. In no particular order, I thought:

Citizen’s Arrest

Key to car

Slash tires

Call the police

Follow him into the store and tell everyone inside what he’d done.

I wasn’t about to convince him of anything. He wasn’t moving. I didn’t have a gun or Linus’s hot steamy slightly-wet bowel movement. I wasn’t about to break the law, or just wait, stand behind his car, and when he wanted to pull out eventually, refuse to move, locking him in (though damn, that might have at least been something). Instead, the lowest part of me came out. A part of me I haven’t seen in years. Really, years (remarking that the Wasband’s penis was made of Kibble & Bits was just plain fact reporting).

“Just get over it, you bitch!” He screamed, his hand on the door handle of a video store.

“Karma’s a bigger bitch than I am, pizza face!”

And with that, the door closed behind him. I got back into my car and sat with that. Did I really just say “pizza face?” What is wrong with me? Why would I do that? Ever? Me, once upon a Moose. I know how hurtful that kind of thing is, and how juvenile. What am I, twelve? 

I’d run out of hurt and went for the lowest hanging fruit, wanting him to be as upset as he’d just made me. But really, I just ended up being upset with myself for not being the bigger person I thought I was. Then again, I also once stole a cab from old people in the rain when I was late for work, so maybe this was my Karma.

Comments

  1. Man, I was expecting something so much worse. In Florida, we have guns. I always assumed Texas did too but it really sounds much tamer there. :-)

  2. I don’t think getting into a shouting match w/a space stealer was the best idea. I’m surprised that a native NYer would do that. Sorry for the lecture. That said, since you DID get into a thing, LOVE the pizzaface. Dude’s a sack of shit; calling him pizzaface is the nicest thing you could have said.

  3. Well, at least you admitted that it was a mean thing to say – i always want to say something out loud but then i chicken out- or i get home and think, “aw, i should of said that” damn!- always too late. I also think that calling the Wasbands penis the “kibbles and bits” remark was kind of mean also…just sayin

  4. You are definitely not alone, there could be a whole site dedicated to awful confessions, not even horrid secrets, just confessions that make us wince, and the ones we are sharing them with. Here’s to those who love us after hearing them.

  5. You gave me that pit in the stomach feeling reading this post cause I KNOW exactly what it feels like to be in that situation. I think calling him a name was kind of immature but the fact that you realize that makes it a lot better. And really, he deserved it. He called you a name so you were just playing on his level. Situations like this make me hate people, not you, but like this moron that you had to deal with.

    I love your drawing by the way.

  6. Okay, something very similar just happened to my 8.5 month pregnant self in this sweltering heat and humidity but my assailant was a 90ish year old that dared me to say anything. We had words with our eyes and I wanted to cry. Actually, I did cry and decide that I really didnt need that cheese I was craving after all.

  7. I’m in the minority here, but pizza face? Really? Did that help anything? I say, as my mom said, as her mom said “if you can’t say something nice – don’t say anything at all”. Does that make me a pacifist? Could be. But maybe his life is so unbelievably shitty that we cannot even comprehend it. Maybe his dog just got run over after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Who knows? Maybe he’s just an asshole.

    Will he be better wearing that label? Is it better to be meaner than the guy who was mean? Is there some sort of justification to stooping to that level?

  8. Ah, honey, forgive yourself right now and move on. Sometimes these situations make us do things we never thought we would–doesn’t make you a bad person. He was an asshole. Really. Sometimes the level of people’s rudeness is too overwhelming.

  9. Oh come on, “pizza face” was the very very least you could do!!

    Now please, enjoy just a little bit that it came out of your mouth!

    ; )

  10. yeah you were a crazy fat bitch for fighting on the street over a parking spot. grow up fatty.

  11. Come on, you didn’t have ANYTHING in your car you could have smeared on his windshield? I’d gladly sacrifice a $26 tube of lipstick to write something awful across his rear window… if I were really mean, it’d be the kind of thing that would make somebody ELSE want to slash his tires.

  12. My dear sweet (New Jersey bred) mother suggests lipstick. She usually uses it to leave a fat kiss on the windshield (right in the driver’s field of vision) when a car parks unreasonably close or over the line, forcing her to climb over the center console from the passenger seat. In this case, I’d say that writing, “This car belongs to a parking-space-stealing asshole who is probably compensating for a micropenis” would be worth a cheap tube of Revlon. Or two. If you’re worried about lipstick constituting vandalism, carry blank paper and a marker. It’s really a public service to warn others.

    1. lipstick is brilliant….i’m digging out some old tubes right now just in case i’m confronted with this drama. of course, i wonder how i’d really respond with my kids in tow. I live in Austin too and space-stealing is an epidemic. to the credit of punks everywhere, once at the domain a punk stole my space and I rolled the window down to say “not cool man, i had my blinker on”…he actually stopped, apologized, said he didn’t see me and pulled back out of the space. i doubt this will ever happen again, hence the lipstick.

  13. I wonder how many would be applauding Stephanie if it wasn’t a young pizza faced kid but a woman with children or an elderly person? I think we cheer because it was a young punk and exemplifies the rudeness of youth.

    I guess I just wonder why it’s cool to insult one person but we all know we’d let others slide, even though they are every bit as rude. And yes, even women with children can be incredibly rude and self-absorbed, same with old folks. It’s not just the young.

    I was just cut off the other day in a very similar situation by a mother with two toddlers in tow. Not only did she steal my spot, she had the audacity to yell at me for being too close to her car. I wanted to yell at her for being a selfish cow and for feeling entitled for having had kids, but I knew it would do no good. And ultimately this kid probably felt absolutely nothing at being called pizza face by someone he doesn’t know.

    1. Good point but I think that people across the board have become more rude, aggressive and absolutely do not even bother to feign civility anymore. It’s almost…interesting. I’m in my thirties and not an old timer (well, I feel like it but technically speaking) and I feel like people were never as bad as they are now. is it the (insert tired groan here) “Economy” that is making people edgy? A lot of people are facing harsh realities and struggling to get by now. Stress is part of most peoples’ lives. BUT. I think it makes manners and niceties even more important now. I find myself feeling like SK did here often. I am appalled at say, the guy who let the door whack me in the face… or angry when I open a door and smile and someone charges through it not even glancing up or mumbling a thanks (despite me juggling a baby to do so.. etc) and it’s ridiculous. I told my husband I am so fed up with venturing into the general public sometimes dealing with rudeness; there’s often at least one ‘story’ I come home with to tell him about. I am tempted to stop being so nice and meet them on their level. That’s not only easy it honestly feels GOOD at the time. But- not soon after yes, the guilt sets in and you know you are better than that yet refused to listen to your inner Emily Post. It’s human to mess up but I think if enough of us counter the rude bastards with class and patience we could just make someone who is as fed up as we are stop and smile and realize maybe they are wrong after all and not all people lack manners and kindness.

      This is a great post because a lot of people can relate to it. And the commenter who noted maybe ‘pizzaface’ had a dog get cancer, etc.. well yeah. That too. We never know when someone just got awful news. Not an excuse but an explanation and it softens the blow b/c we know it’s nothing we did. It’s nice that SK even thought about it that much after the fact; it shows she’s aware of her actions and how they affect those around her. And id the kids were with her I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have even said as much as she did. People can be so unhinged nowadays I would suggest refraining in any verbal exchange because it could be the one person who is angry enough to come back, assault you or even try and kill you. Extreme? Yes. But just read the news. Glad he didn’t come back and physically harm her (someone tried that with me over a parking spot in Philly when I lived there and moved some chairs in street in the winter ‘holding’ his spot..) so thank god for that.

      Also- I think pizza face is um, benign. I would have started with the C word and ended with, I dunno. The C word. I’m classy like that.

      1. I’m also in my 30s and I agree with what you’re saying. I just thought it was weird to see people get rah-rah over calling a young man pizza face when it didn’t phase him at all and made her feel bad.

  14. Yesterday my 65-yr old mother told me the story of how a guy almost hit her as she was crossing a street because he wanted to make the light. When she said “you almost hit me!” he called her a string of expletives. Then he parked, got out, crossed the street, and reiterated that she should go F herself. I was appalled that someone would speak that way to an 65yr old woman, and that my tough cookie Brooklyn mom didn’t answer.. til she mentioned his braided beard.

    Stephanie, the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time of self reflection. You’re human. Don’t kill yourself too much.

    1. Author

      Well, “Bitch” is kind of generic these days–network TV is fine with it. It’s the female equivalent to “douchebag”–also fine for network TV. Pizzaface was cruel. That’s the difference. Asshole, I wouldn’t have felt bad about. It’s not cruel to call someone with clear skin pizzaface, because they’re like, uh, wha? But he had it BAAAD. Like you could see it from two streets away.

      It was cruel of me. It was. And like I said, it shocks me! that I said it. I still can’t believe that came out of my mouth! It’s just so not me. But I guess it is still in me.

      Look, in the end, this was a good thing. I learned from it in the same way I learned never to swear, especially not the big eff, while speaking publicly. Been there, regret that. I still wince when I think about it. Really wince. I HATE that I did that. And I learned. Hopefully I’ve learned this lesson… though, I have to admit, I’m still angry.

      What pisses me off most is that he knew it was the wrong behavior, absolutely knew, wasn’t in his own world, and then when I approached him he became belligerent. Which was a double wrong. Just pisses me off. But I’ll get over it.

  15. Ok Guys, this is serious stuff. the lack of good manners and civility in a public setting is so ridiculous. You can’t really blame kids and youngsters these days for acting that way. the parents and older generations have given up the old gentleman thing just to look hip or cool. the stuff you guys mentioned are the basic of human interactions and yet it became rare to witness it nowadays.
    Ps: Hey Stephanie, I know you are one tough/clever cookie no matter what I try to do.

  16. Teach yourself to be more calm + walk away from situations. Easier said than done, but holding onto anger makes you angry.

  17. I shouted at an old-ish woman the day before xmas over the same issue. I just asked her if she F*ing blind, etc etc. NOT my finest moment.

    The problem with this lack of self control is that it feels good for like a mili second and then I feel like the worlds biggest asshole. I’d much rather take the high road and keep it classy.

  18. Is it wrong to yell at the jerk that just ran you off the freeway because he didn’t feel like letting you merge?

    I was getting on the freeway this morning and this ass wouldn’t let me in even though there was plenty of room. I had literally no freeway entrance. There was a metering light and then bam, you’re on the freeway. Instead of kindly slowing down, he sped up and I was stuck on the side without a lane. I drove along him for a moment, laying on my horn, until the guy in front of him slowed down enough so that I could punch it and get in front of him.

    And to make matters worse, the guy later pulls up next to me, rolls down his window and starts to applaud me. Really?!?! I’m the crazy idiot this morning for trying to merge onto the freeway? I flipped him off, wore out my throat yelling at him that I was merging, then flipped him off again and got in another lane.

    I lived in California all my life and just moved to Minnesota only four months ago and look what I get to deal with. Minnesota asshole drivers.

    I feel your pain, but I feel it more on the freeway. Mr. Pizzaface deserved the name, and about five other names.

  19. Living in South Florida, I have been in this situation way too many times (we are #1 in road rage cities). It is frustrating. And I used to scream, get angry, throw things, and call names. Then I stopped. Now I just walk away.

    Nothing good can come of fighting (or god forbid, shooting) over a parking space. It’s just not that important.

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