I committed the cardinal sin of driving:
I flagrantly and dangerously cut someone off in the parking lot.
Safe driving is on my list of things that make you an all-around good person. I’m pretty sure safe drivers get bigger rooms in Heaven, with the extra comfy pillows and curtains. No room is complete without curtains, not even in Heaven, so I’m gonna get me one of those rooms. I am also deeply afraid of dying in a fiery car crash of doom (In my dreams, there’s a lot of spinning and exploding and highway barriers and blizzards, but parking lots are bad too.), so I am mindful at all times to prevent my untimely demise before I even get to meet a member of the British royal family.
Well, not at all times. Truthfully, I just wasn’t paying attention. I never bothered to look over my right shoulder as I pulled towards the entrance to the parking lot because it was the smaller side of the lot and no one ever parks in the corners. Except this woman in a small blue Prius.
It was a terrible decision to pull in front of her, but by the time I saw her I was already in the middle of the lane and if I stopped she definitely would have hit me. (The excuse for the ages.) Believe me, I’m still sick about it. My heart was racing and has hardly slowed. I even broke out into hives. (Ok, that might just be the new shampoo I’ve been using– I forgot my allergy medication.) You cannot make me feel worse than I already do. Thank God, truly, that we didn’t get into an accident and that we are both in good physical health for her to be angry with me and for me to be guilty.
Yes, she was angry, and rightfully so. In my rearview mirror, I could see her outrage, shaking her head and yelling at my stupidity. There was nothing I could do; no amount of waving or shrugging or buying her Starbucks (which I had just drank, which may explain the lapse of attention due to caffeine– I’m sorry, Officer, it was the latte, and I even asked for sugar-free vanilla, I swear!) was going to appease her.
Then, as we finally pulled up to the stop light at the entrance to the parking lot, probably about twenty seconds after the incident, she honked at me. Twenty seconds later. That’s like a lifetime in TV. Eva Longoria could cheat on her husband with the gardener twice. Leroy Jethro Gibbs could give eight soulful looks. Dr. Sheldon Cooper could have a lot of fun with flags. Giada de Laurentiis could mispronounce five entire sentences and kill a tree full of squirrels with her alien laser vision. Jillian Michaels could get you to lose four pounds.
“My God, you need to work on your timing,” I said out loud. And then I clapped my hand over my mouth in horror.
I was judging a woman, who graciously did NOT hit my car even though it was deserved, because she took too long to produce a reaction that garnered public attention. I was quietly lambasting her because her attempt to “make a scene” was realized as an awkward afterthought.
And that’s when it hit me, once again, that I am a horrible person.