I Am That Asshole

Note to self: 6pm on a Monday night is not the best time to hit the grocery store.

Not only is every person who put off shopping during the weekend suddenly in desperate need of dinner, but you get the aggro just-off-workers who are busily grinding their teeth and throwing elbows as they shop.  It's groceries, people! Not the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale.

It started in the parking lot. The fact it was pretty full and SUVs were circling like sharks should've been my first hint that tomorrow would have been a better choice for me to go to Henry's and get my sundries. But hey, I was babyless and guilt-free, so let's just say I gleefully ignored the warnings and was busily fantasizing about what dessert I would allow myself to indulge in.

I'd nearly decided that two cartons of Golden Rainbow ice cream were in our near future (coffee for me, something fruity for The Varmint) when a perfect, directly-in-front-of-the-store parking space opened up directly in front of me - glory, glory!

Smiling and humming, I whip into that spot, sweet as pie. (Oooooh, pie!) This, I said to myself, is going to be an epic grocery shopping trip. Maybe I'd get some really good beer, too...

I didn't really notice the pissed off lady in the green Cherokee honking her horn until I was already out of the car and on my way into the store, everyone staring. I couldn't figure out why she was glaring at me and swearing and - hey! - why did she just flip me the bird?! Oh. Shit.

ParkingPlaceThiefI stole her parking place.

The one she'd been waiting for: Just zipped my car and my daydreaming, ice cream-obsessed little self right into her spot and la-te-da'd my way to the store entrance, blond ponytail jouncing.

Grrreat. I'm THAT chick, I think to myself. Now what do I do? Do I go apologize? No, she already moved on, I can't go running through the parking lot to find her. What if she keys my car? Oh, who cares - it's 10 years old. And she did flip me off and swear at me. Maybe her public display of anger is atonement enough? So embarrassing.

All of this flips through my head in a second, as I move steadily toward the baby food aisle. (See?  I'm not that evil parking-place thief - I'm a mom who's worried about feeding her kid! Organic baby food even! See?!) A weird irrational blanket of shame rises around me like a miasma, and while I know no one could give two flying shits about me or that parking spot, I get ridiculously paranoid, eyes darting back and forth. I am sweating with worry that she'll confront me, New Yorker style, in what I'm realizing is a crazy-crowded madhouse of a grocery store.

I put my head down, and I silently skulk through the store, buying the minimum in an effort to get out of there as soon as possible. I don't want to be identified as That Asshole, even though I am That Asshole. And how many times, I wonder, have I muttered "That asshole!" when someone didn't perform their driverly duties to my satisfaction? Maybe I'll think twice, next time. Maybe.

Anyway, if it makes you feel any better, Lady in the Green Cherokee, I was so flummoxed with guilt at having accidentally stolen your parking place, I forgot to buy my ice cream. My husband is not happy with me, and as a result, I likely won't be getting any tonight.

So you can rejoice. From my perspective, the karma scales are officially balanced: No ice cream. No scrumpin'... If you ask me, it's one heckuva high price to pay for your crappy parking spot.  



  1. The New Yorker said on April 24, 2007 04:38

    Depending on the weather (you know, that crap you DON"T have to put up with in sunny, Southern CA?) your car COULD have been blown up in NY. Especially if a blond, bobbing pony tail was attached to the thief.

  2. Deb said on April 24, 2007 12:43

    I'm a little hurt. I do believe that is my car on the left and the orginal photo had me in it. You cropped me out and used the photo for your entry. Oh my God, I was erased with one click of the mouse.

  3. Tam said on April 24, 2007 15:09

    Um, yes. Yes I did. Finding images that work to illustrate an entry isn't always easy, so I pirate them wherever possible from my collection. But I suppose you're right - you could have become the Lady in the Green Cherokee with just a little more Photoshop work... It's just so darn hard to make a middle finger look real, you know?


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >