i remember this expression from a high school english class. it’s the equivalent of, “well, laaaa dee dah!”. i think its current manifestation is the exaggerated eye roll while saying, “whateverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”.

in any case, the end of this story is that everything is fine ( i started doing this after i almost gave ryan a heart attack with the post called ‘drive-by shouting’).

the beginning of the story is that we went to costco today. it was me, *h, one son, and one daughter. i joked with them that the following incident happened because i didn’t have anything exciting to blog about😉

so, *h successfully navigated us to costco. we were following a long line of cars through the parking lot, each trying to get as close to the door as possible, so we would all have enough energy to walk for 3 miles inside the store🙂

we saw a sweet spot, actually in the same city as the door, so i put on the turn signal (the blinker, the indicator, or anything else you would like to call it), and waited for the folks loading their car to finish and pull out so i could grab their spot.

facing us in the same section was a grumpy man in a grumpy car. after literally about 45 seconds of waiting for us, he screeched toward us and swerved around us- loud enough to actually burn rubber, which is not so easy in an itty bitty parking lot. then we see him marching toward the car that we were waiting for. he said something to the driver and wrote down his license plate number. then he stomped over to our car and wrote down the license plate number.

hmmmmmmm, thought i. things are getting interestinger and interestinger… then the car pulled out, we pulled in, and that should pretty much be the end of this story.

but grumpy man decided to turn around yet again and high-tail it into my personal space.

whoa.

and then he starts yelling about how he wrote down my license plate number and he is gonna have me towed because i was parked “over there” (and he points toward where we were waiting for the first car to back out).

so, i told him we were waiting for the space, and that’s what people do in parking lots. they wait to park.

so, he ramps it up a notch. gets closer and louder.

whoa.

and says i was parked over there- more pointing- in the parking lot (which i wasn’t), that he is having us towed, so when i come out and my car isn’t there i will know why, and we were parked.

yes, he said that already.

i told him he needed to calm down, that we were parking, which is what you are supposed to do in a parking lot.

he escalated. same stuff, but louder and more irrational.

i told him he needed to calm down because he was acting like a nut, and he is still shouting and telling me he called the police.

and i said good- when they get here they will see that you are a nut and you are harassing people.

so then he tells me he knows the law because he is… a cop… and he proceeds to pull out his wallet and show me some 2-bit ID card from somewhere or other.

and i was like, you know, if you are gonna try to intimidate me, at least badge me nice and proper-like…

but he’s steady showing me his ID (no idea for what or where…) and waving it around and telling me he wrote down my license plate number. because i parked in the parking lot.

yes, he said that already.

and, crowning glory of all- he PARKED his car in the middle of the traffic lane so he could get out (left his door open to block even more traffic) and tell us off even though we were not in park while we waited for the other car…

so, he’s being a lunatic, people are looking, and i’m standing my ground. he’s telling me that they know him and whoever owns my car is getting a ticket because they know him…

and i said good. so then they’ll know you are a nut case.

more back and forth of the same,  and i’m losing my patience for this little exchange.

eventually he must have hit his magic limit for repeating irrelevant notions, and he turned around and stormed off.

*h had the presence of mind to get HIS license number, and then *h called the police for real.

luckily the guy was still skulking around the parking lot looking for other miscreants, so *h was able to describe him and his car to the police.

anyway, we didn’t see him after we went into the store. we didn’t see him in the parking lot when we left.

but my kids were afraid.

and that ticked me off.

because you can be as crazy as you want to be.

you can rant and rave and point and sputter.

but you darn well better not do it in my space.

and certainly don’t do it near my kids.

i don’t know the real ending of this story. the police may or may not have come. he may or may not left of his own accord. he quite possibly started up with the wrong person and ended up in the hospital.

i don’t really know and i don’t really care.

i’m exactly the type of person who will help a little old lady across the street- and i will most likely carry her groceries and give her something to eat as well. i’m compassionate in a mother-earthy way. i will rescue stray animals and give to charity and spend hours listening to people who just need a shoulder to cry on.

but i will not-under pretty much any circumstance stand by while someone tries to throw their weight around and bully people. i will not let someone scare my kids.

it’s funny- i was going to write that once you find your inner strength, you will always have it. nobody can take that away from you. yada yada yada…

but i know that in real life, things aren’t so simple.

in real life, you have to keep proving up.

back in high school if you wanted to be tougher than someone else, you went up to him and “punked him”.

it works like this:

you go up to someone. you stand in his face. you put on your most smoldering hateful expression, and say something along the lines of, “whatcha gonna do now, punk?”

at which point the other person either cracks your skull or backs down.

and if you were the one left standing, you could brag, “yeah, i punked that _____________________ (fill in expletive of your choice)!”

it’s like in the animal kingdom and in prison- the first one to look away is submissive. they are the loser. they are admitting weakness.

in life, the usual stakes are different. but the mental exercise is the same. either stand your ground or get punked.

and then do it again next time.

and again next time.

lather-rinse-repeat.

so, this time i was lucky. grumpy man was not a skull cracker, and he seemed pretty unsure of what to do once i stood up to him. (true sign of a bully, dontcha know?)

i don’t look for trouble. i don’t provoke trouble.  i’d prefer to avoid trouble.

but sometimes trouble writes down your license plate number and screams in your face.

sometimes trouble threatens you in front of your kids.

and the question is, whatcha gonna do now?