I was going to tell you about my Memorial Day weekend highlights – and it was going to be FANTASTIC. You would have DIED the updates were so unbelievable. But then this happened this morning and I like – can’t NOT tell you guys about it, because it was crazy, even though I’m sure it won’t be as fun to read as the highlights would have been. (Just know – the weekend highlights included multiple baptisms in a Holiday Inn Express. I mean, you can’t. EVEN.)
Anyway – even though it will not be as fun, I feel like you’re committed to this post with me now, and you’re going to stick it out, right? Like – it would be foolish to abandon it now. We’re IN THIS. So here it is:
This morning I went to the Starbucks on the Newton-Wellesley line – for you locals, the one near the Oriental Rug place & Lower Falls Wine Co. (fanTASTIC wine by the way). The parking lot is a little tiny – so if one person is attempting to either get in or out of a space, you kind of have to wait for that to happen. So that’s what I was doing, kind of waiting for that to happen, when a car pulled up behind me and laid on the horn. I was kind of zen (because of the fantastic weekend you won’t hear about) so I just kind of waited and let it go. Then I pulled into the spot I was waiting for, and the car behind me pulled up into the handicap spot next to me.
Except the person was not handicapped. She was beautiful, dressed well, had awesome sunglasses and fabulous shoes, but she was not handicapped. And we walked in kind of at the same time – and the door is about 5 feet away from the spot. The handicapped spot. The super clearly marked spot. See here:
For the record, I did not leave and capture the moment digitally, this is just enough of a hot spot, apparently, that someone has documented it and left it on the internet for me to relay it to you now. Perhaps these things happen all the time?
Anyway, I pointed out to her that she parked in that spot. I don’t know why I did it. I like – couldn’t help myself.
Me: You parked in the handicapped spot.
Woman:…….(looks at phone)
Me: Huh. That’s kind of weird. Maybe you’re having a bad day.
Woman:…..(continues to look at phone).
Me: I mean, what’re we going to do if someone that is legitimately handicapped shows up?
Woman: Stop talking to me.
Me: I mean, I feel like you’re asking for bad karma.
Woman (more angrily): Seriously, stop talking to me.
So I did. And then I spent the next three minutes, waiting to order my coffee, trying to think through if that was a dick-move to say something to her. And then thinking through if there was ever a period of time when I would have parked in the handicapped spot. Like – when Anna and I have been in the middle of pain-crisis or something. But I thought I wouldn’t have. But maybe? And then I thought no matter what, I didn’t know if I ever would. Y’know like – people say you never know what sets you apart from a specific crime it’s like circumstances or feelings or something. Someone says that don’t they? Or was it just in the movie rendition of Chicago I remember? (Side note: I’m totally screening that in my backyard this summer. Do you guys want to come?) Anyway, we both got to the checkout line at the same time, and when we ordered our coffee, I asked my barista-guy if I could pay for her coffee. And he told her barista-guy. And then she heard. And she WHIPPED OUT HER HAND and shooooooed me away and said:
NO. She MAY NOT pay for my coffee.
And I said:
I’m sorry I gave you such a hard time.
And she said:
YOU MAY NOT PAY FOR MY COFFEE.
And I said:
YES I AM PAYING FOR YOUR COFFEE. I’m sorry. Really.
And she said something that involved a lot of ‘fucking’ and stormed out – and then peeled out – of the Starbucks parking lot.
Without any coffee.
And the lady next to me said, “Cheers. That’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen at a Starbucks.”
And I spent the next 45 minutes trying to think through what this all meant. Like – what is my lesson.
I think most of me was trying to be nice when I bought her coffee, but what she heard was, “Here, beautiful woman, let me pay for your coffee reminding you that I am better than you by not only NOT parking in the handicapped parking spot but also by buying your coffee” or something.
And then let me write about it to my friends, solidifying my awesomeness.
So here, HERE is where I’ve landed, at the end of what has actually been a very long day.
To the beautiful woman that parked in the handicapped spot this morning at Starbucks:
I am legitimately sorry. Yes, I think it was a dick-move for you to park in the handicapped parking spot, but I also think I am not the queen of the Newton-Wellesley Starbucks parking lot, nor is it my job to police handicapped parking spots in the Newton-Wellesley area. I am really sorry if I ruined your day, and if it’s any consolation, the fact that it’s possible that I did actually ruin it, in turn ruined mine. If I were ever to see you again, I would apologize in person, but I fear that it’s not likely, so I am going to go buy some random person coffee tomorrow & will therefore pay a debt to the universe that I hope will get back to you in some way.
And guys: if you see someone park in the handicapped spot at Starbucks, just let it go. That small part of you that wants to right the wrongs will feel much better moving through your day not having ruined someone else’s.