Friday, January 06, 2006

Parking lots have feelings too.

So a couple days ago, I got back to the town where I go to school. I needed bedding supplies and I needed jeans, so I went to a shopping center in which Target and Old Navy were nearly adjacent to each other.

Why Target and Old Navy, you ask? Target is the civilized alternative to Walmart. I hate Walmart. Not so much because of how shittily they treat their employees, since I'm thankfully not one of those, but how shittily they treat their customers, since I occasionally become one of those (but only when the circumstances require it). Their stores are either harshly lit or poorly lit, have uncomfortably narrow aisles, have shit perpetually piled up in the center of their aisles, have markedly unknowledgeable "team members," and basically just give you the urge to shop as fast as possible so that you can leave that horrible horrible place. Walmart does not respect you and me, the consumers. Walmart expects you and me to tolerate these affronts in exchange for "Always Low Prices." We are whores to Walmart.

"Not I," say I; "I won't be a whore," I said. "Go to Target I will," I say. And so it was. I went to Target, with its spacious clean aisles and brightly lit smiles.

Then to Old Navy. Old Navy because their jeans are cheap: only $18.50. After all, jeans are jeans are jeans, as far as I'm concerned. It took me all of two minutes to choose and pay for the jeans. I already knew my size and my style; was there more to debate? Decisive shopping is best.

Getting back to my car from Old Navy, I noticed one of those enormous minivan/SUV's had parked within a foot of the right side of my car. Drats! Darn you, insensitive SUV driver! Getting into my car, I started to back out of my spot. Now, I didn't exactly creep out or inch out, but I didn't go out all that quickly either. I'd say that I probably went out a tad too fast considering the gargantuan SUV that was blocking my view to the right.

Anyway, as I backed out, I looked to left first, then, looking right, I slammed the brakes. Shit. Two four-year-old girls and their father had just emerged from behind the SUV. I hadn't really come close to hitting them, but I definitely hadn't seen them. The girls hadn't seen me and were skipping along as if nothing had happened. But their father had seen me. Our eyes made contact in the split second as I hit the brakes. He had struck an instinctively protective pose, with one arm shielding one daughter and another arm grabbing her sister by the waist. His eyes stared piercingly into mine, wordlessly yet unmistakably informing me that he would do whatever was necessary to protect those girls.

Slightly shaken, I waved to him to indicate that I had seen them, and took the car out of reverse for good measure. He hurried his daughters along, then I very carefully backed out of the parking spot. I drove away, wondering if I too would have reacted with such selfless vigilance.


Blogger monkeylogique said...

Walmart is Satan's bitch! SUV owners should be SHOT!

1/07/2006 6:09 AM  
Blogger Gwen Masters said...

I absolutely love your blog! You're on my favorites list.

Would you have reacted the same way the man in the parking lot did? I think any parent would. Even the perceived threat against a child is enough to keep a Mom or Dad wide awake at night.

A "for instance": My kids wonder why I obsessively check the smoke detector. Every single night. Sometimes more than once. One day, they will know.

1/08/2006 4:11 PM  

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