So, yesterday evening at about 5:30, after an hour+ of some extended and touch-and-go non-cooperative toddler negotiations, I come out of the grocery store (having saved $20 of my $78 trip, BTW, thanks to my cuz Renee's tip about coupon.com), with my cart loaded down (with my own tote bags instead of grocery store bags, I love going green, plus, you can stuff a lot more groceries in your own unbreakable bags!), Clare riding on the front like a big kid, and I round the corner to our little green car ready to unload and get home pronto to start dinner. And witness the lady parked next to us in the big new shiny Lexus SUV push her cart directly behind our car and walk off.
I mean, I know that probably half the people that grocery shop don't bother corralling their carts, but most people seem to park them in reasonably out of the way places. Not directly behind neighboring parked cars.
You gotta be kidding me, I said out loud, but she was already starting her car and gettin the hell outta Dodge.
A few years back, I would have fumed silently, thrown a dirty look that didn't land, and been even more furious than warranted because of feeling impotent and helpless. A couple of years back, I would have probably lost it completely and gone overboard in explaining to this woman exactly how awful she is.
Yesterday, I managed (I think) a good, moderate, middle-ground response. Here's how it went down:
Me: [on seeing the cart, to self and Clare] You gotta be kidding me!
[I push my cart past my car, up the aisle to her driver's side window, and tap on it. She rolls it down and gives me a what the hell look.]
Me: Did you just leave your cart directly behind my car?
Her: Which car is yours?
Me, incredulously: The green one right next to you with the shopping cart behind it!
Her: Yeah, I could have done that.
Me, even more incredulously: Why would you do that?
Her: I'm in a big hurry.
Me: Really? Yeah, so am I. And I have a three year old and a cart full of groceries to unload, how am I supposed to deal with this?
Her: I figured the guy would come take it away. And I'm in a hurry.
[I just stare--can't figure out how she could be caught red-handed and not be the least bit repentant. I stare until she rolls her eyes, sighs, and makes like she is going to get out of the car and deal with her cart.]
Me, dripping with sarcasm and really mad now: Oh don't bother. Don't worry, I'll handle it. You're in a hurry. You just go on and have a great day.
[I get no reply. No thanks, no sorry, no nothing. I am so shocked at this that I shake my head and exclaim, "Jesus!" which, I hasten to explain, is not a curse but my shorthand habit of my preferred prayer for patience in absurd and stressful situations, the "Jesus prayer"--"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."]
She ought to be thanking God I'm back on Zoloft. Things could have gone a lot worse for her. As it was, I had to push her cart away from my car in order to unload mine, and her car was so big that she had to execute an extra point in her turn in order to pull out of her space and go past us without hitting her own cart. She refused to even look over the whole time she maneuvered her way out of her spot. So she was minorly inconvenienced by her own mean sneaky laziness, but not enough for me to get any schadenfreude-ish satisfaction out it. So I find myself hoping that deep down inside she felt really bad, even if she couldn't bring herself to show it. I mean, I'd like to think that she's basically a decent person and not a totally depraved wretch.
And my sis thinks I should have just pushed the cart over behind her car instead. There's some really satisfactory poetic justice to that solution. Wish I'd thought of it.