While on the way to the gym today, I followed a minivan into the parking lot. As we turned into the lane in front of the building, I noticed two spots directly across from each other. Obviously the minivan saw them, too, because he turned to park in one of them. Behind him, I waited for him to pull in so that I could park. As I waited patiently, he, ever so slowly, maneuvered his car into the spot on our right. Just as I was about to move, he started backing up. So. Slowly. Then he stopped.
He was far enough out, and I was uncertain enough about what he was doing that I stayed where I was, watching. After a few more seconds, he started moving again and backed into the spot across the aisle. All in all, it took about 45-60 seconds, and was in no way a major crime, but I was irritated enough that I honked at him and gestured to his first spot. I might have said something along the lines of "jackass" as I did so, which would have been quite clear to him as we were not far apart and at this point our faces were visible to each other.
The irony here is that I am not a honker. I couldn't tell you the last time I honked at someone. I'll admit to occasionally (alright, often) venting a teensy bit* when someone does something stupid, but I do it within the closed window confines of my car. I very rarely go so far as to actually let them in on my displeasure.
Meanwhile, the guy then pulls back out and parks in his original spot. (To recap: that was parked in the right, backed out into the one on the left, and then pulled back into the one on the right.) Truly, my honk was not so much, "I want that particular spot" as it was to say, "what the hell, dude, pick one and get on with it." So after all of this, I pull into the spot on the left that he has just vacated. Of course, when we're getting out of our respective cars, he is right across from me. He yells out, Good Morning, to which I grumble back, good morning. Because now I feel like an idiot. I'm not your confrontational type and certainly not when I have totally overreacted over something so trivial. But neither do I like admitting I'm wrong. Just ask Neil.
Once in the gym, I dance around him. I am acutely aware of where he is and make every effort to not come into contact with him. On the inside I want to say, "I am sorry for honking, not sure what I was thinking." But I just can't bring myself to go up to him and say it.
The worst part is that I know this nothing incident will haunt me. I know that weeks, months, years from now, I will still feel bad about it. There are a thousand of these events in my past. From the time when a girlfriend asked me if her newly platinum blond hair looked natural and I blurted out something along the lines of "no one with eyebrows that dark has hair that light" to the time I heartlessly told a friend about the really nasty symptoms of a condition she was concerned she might have, likely scaring her worse than she already was. All the times I have said or done something rash or careless, causing real or imagined hurt, that will randomly pop into my head, raising the Goliath that is my overactive conscience.
Why do I keep doing this? Why can't I either a) think before I speak/act or b) get over myself and apologize where appropriate or c) realize there is nothing to be done now and let. it. go.
I'll tell you, sometimes I think I am one hot mess.**
*Screaming obscenities while I gesticulate wildly. Meanwhile, my impressionable daughter sits in the back seat with her ears on fire taking in the horrors spewing forth from her mothers mouth, just waiting for the day when she can echo them back in the LEAST appropriate setting possible.
**Neil is no doubt reading this right now thinking "stand back lads, she's ALL mine."