Yesterday, I caved into a moment of blatant unkindness, but I don't feel particularly sorry for it.
It also happens to be this years holiday make-a-person-feel-bad moment, something at which I apparently excel.
In search of a particular gift, I went to several stores, including Sam's Club. The parking lot was surprisingly packed for a weekday afternoon (don't you people have jobs?) and one lane was jammed with oversized trucks crammed into compact car slots. Because really, who wants to walk that extra 15 feet when there's a perfectly good, way-too-small place to park right there?
I left Sam's empty handed; walking in the same lane in the parking lot as I was a much older couple. They shuffled along slowly, pushing a cart, probably going as fast as they could. They weren't walking down the middle; they were reasonably close to one side, just shy of the ends of all the vehicles parked there. Between them and me was another woman. An extremely obese--beyond morbidly obese, we're talking pushing 500 pounds here--waddled behind them.
No, waddling is mot my unkind contribution to this holiday season. It's an observation. Her legs moved in a static motion that didn't allow for the bending of knees and I was actually surprised she was mobile at all.
She was not a nice person, at least not yesterday. She was in a hurry to get to her van, and the old people were in her way. She berated them angrily: "Move the fuck over. Get out of my goddamned way, you're too fucking slow."
By then I was close enough to pass her up, and said as I went by, "Just go around them."
There's the rub.
Between the trucks parked in the wrong places and her sheer physical size, she couldn't go around them. And the suggestion that she do just that pissed her off and she turned her ire to me.
"I can't, and they need to speed the fuck up or get out of my fucking way."
And then it came out, that which 1) probably embarrassed her and 2) made her want to deck me--I'm 99% sure she wanted to slap the hell out of me.
"It's not their fault you can't get around them."
By then the older couple was at their car, and I hope they didn't really hear any of that. Neither of them said a word or acted like they heard anything going on behind them, and if they did hear they were good about not showing it.
But Miss Congeniality certainly heard what I said.
Yes, it was mean. No, I don't feel all that bad about it. If she'd just been walking along and minding her own business, I wouldn't have said a word. If she'd been in my way, I just would have slowed down. But the way she sniped at that couple, her choice of words, pissed me off to no end. They couldn't have walked any quicker than she could have slipped around them, and didn't deserve the venom spit their way.
Hopefully, that's the only Feel-Bad holiday moment I'll inspire this year...but I am awfully good at it.