When you tore off that scrap of junk mail and scrawled hateful words to me, you couldn't have known the true effect you'd have.
I do imagine you were going for something effectual, or else you wouldn't have taken the time to call me a bitch, among other things. I won't get into the silliness behind calling someone you don't even know, who did no harm to you or your property, a derogatory name, but I will say that I think your vocabulary could use some embellishment. At a certain level of maturity, the phrase dumb ass becomes less explanatory and more laughable. I suppose you haven't reached that level yet, though, so I can forgive your choice of words. Or maybe you are old enough to know better, and truly DID just feel the need to laugh. I understand: sometimes you need to laugh.
But I will never understand laughing at somebody else's expense. For not parking as straight as you wished I would, you found it necessary to passive-aggressively berate me. In this age of cyber-bullying and online-personality-boosting, I had forgotten that people use the same methods in real life: placing rude notes on windshields, calling out taunting words behind the protection of a crowd, building themselves up by bringing others down.
I also forgot it was possible in this town. Joplin has been open-hearted and generous for so long that I never would have imagined a crooked parking job could incite such hatred. Even if I'd been outside of my designated lines -- which I wasn't -- I'd have been surprised by your anger at such an ugly level. I did know I was parked less-than straight. I also made sure I wasn't in anybody's way. We exited our vehicle without any problems, and left plenty of room for you to do the same.
But the effect you might have been trying to achieve -- proving your importance? making me question my parking skills? displaying your shining knowledge of cuss words? -- fell flat. Well, mostly. You did succeed in making me feel embarrassed and sad for several upsetting minutes. Congratulations.
The cool part, though, if one chooses to see it (and I do), is that your words helped remind me that the world isn't very nice. I know the thought is neither new nor hopeful, but I am an admitted idealist, and I sometimes forget (or willfully ignore) the harsh parts of life.
I watched my kids all weekend, making mistakes and having accidents and at times doing things every way but the right way. I saw them trying so hard to learn life. And where I might have grown frustrated or angry with them, I stopped. I remembered your rudeness. I remembered that my children are going to experience plenty of angry individuals in life and that I never want to contribute to their accumulation of negativity. As if it could build up in their hearts like a slow leak of radiation.
I know they'll be rocked by hatred at some point. But I want them to remember the encompassing grip of acceptance and love more than the meanness. I want their hearts to be so full of light that they are not harmed by dark words or shadowy intolerance.
So while you only meant to cause bad feelings and harm with your hatefulness? I choose to contort your rudeness into something I can use for good. I choose to forgive your act of intolerance. I would even hug you if I were to see you again, because our days since your note have been so full of love, silliness, and joy.
Thanks, bully. I guess there's a place for you, after all. Just not as you might have wished.
The Perpetually Positive and Cheerfully Optimistic Lady Who Irritates Your Sense of Parking Lot Superiority,
Sarah The Heavenly