"The one who falls and gets up is so much stronger than the one who never fell." (Unkown)
This story speaks volumes about how much you don't know about what others are dealing with. You must read it through to hear the moral of this story...
The other day I was making my way around a parking lot snow bank in an effort to find a parking spot in this mayhem of Christmas shopping. A woman was coming in her car towards me with what I believed was enough time to slow down and allow me to continue on my way, out of her way, so we both could have equal space on the roadway.
She believed I needed to back up (beckoning for me to do so) so she could proceed, and I believed she could move over slightly and proceed slowly so I could straighten out and we would both have equal space on the road. I had already moved over so much so that I was about a foot away from the other parked cars in the lot. On top of that, I was going to have to back up and maneuver around that snow bank so annoyingly placed in the middle of the parking lot. Therefore, I chose not to move. And she too chose not to move. So there we were, both of us sitting there, neither of us making a move. Not because I was being obnoxious, but because it would be an unsafe move for me to make.
The woman got out of her car and approached mine, blasting me with "common courtesy would be for you to back up and let me through and then you can proceed." I thought here we go...the angry driver in the parking lot during the crazy, busy holiday season. I calmly explained to her that I was already half way around the snow bank when she was coming down the lot, and that she would be able to more easily and safely back up, than I would. I didn't want to fight with anyone, especially not at this time of year. I firmly told her I was not moving and that since I had already moved over so much to accommodate her, I was not and could not move anymore. I said "you should back up so we can both win here." She reluctantly said "fair enough" and stomped off. She backed up a bit and we both proceeded to park.
As I saw the woman in the store, I felt compelled to say something further. Not to start an argument, but to clarify why I wasn't wrong here and that it was uncool for her to bite my head off like that. I didn't want to appear as the usual "angry belligerent black person." Unfortunately, we have a bad enough rap for that as it is in this society, and I guess I didn't want her going home with this idea in her head that her encounter with me, a black woman, was indeed as society and media puts out there. Furthermore, it's supposed to be a happy and blessed time of year and a time to show peace and kindness to others (not that we shouldn't be doing this all year long!).
So I calmly said, "excuse me ma'am, I'd like to have a word with you if I can.” She looked a bit annoyed and maybe fearful that I'd try to start an argument, but that wasn't my intention. She was busy with a store attendant so I walked away. As I was walking away, I contemplated just leaving the situation alone, and not returning, but I felt compelled to go back. So I did. She had a kettle in her hand, as looked up at me.
Blog: the woman in need of a hug!
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