The High Road


I have a confession to make. I fell off the “take the high road” wagon the other day.

I was at the senior center where I take weekly writing classes, looking for a parking spot. My class starts at 1 p.m. and there is a dance class that meets at the same time which is quite crowded. That means parking can be a problem. The center is located in a neighborhood but parking is scarce there too. I don’t like crossing the street with my walker either.

I finally found one, actually I got lucky, I was only looking about three minutes when I spotted a woman walking toward a car that I was close to, so I put on my blinker and hung my disabled plaque on the rear view mirror. She took her time leaving which was ok by me, I figured I could focus on my breath. I would do a mini meditation.

Then about two minutes later another car showed up on the opposite side of me. The driver, a woman, probably in her seventies (at least) stopped. She spotted the same car I was waiting for. She looked straight at me. We stared at each other. I know she saw my blinker. She had to know I got there first. Yet she just waited.  Then she put HER disabled plaque on her rear view mirror. Now I knew she was serious. She planned to steal my spot!

My monkey Brain took over (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).
If this broad thinks she is getting my parking spot, she’s got another thing coming!

The woman who was leaving started backing out of the space, the other driver didn’t leave her much room to get out. I was a good twenty feet away to give the woman plenty of room but the other woman wouldn’t budge.

I might have had my “mean face” on at that time. I don’t remember.
Who does this granny think she is? I know she knows I got here first!

The woman backing out had to do some fancy maneuvering to get past the other car. I saw my chance and pulled in the spot just as the woman squeezed past the parking spot thief.

I made it! I win! The other driver sat there about a minute. I wouldn’t look at her. Then she drove away, resuming her effort to find a parking spot.

Then I felt bad. How petty can I be? What happened to all my hours of meditation? I let my emotions and ego get the best of me.

I walked in the classroom and saw my teacher wasn’t there yet. Was the other woman who wanted that parking space, my teacher? They both have grey hair. I don’t know what kind of car she drives. Now I felt anxious. She is ninety-five. I’m fifty something. What was that rule about respecting our elders?

My teacher finally came in and I sneaked a glance at her. I couldn’t tell if she was the same woman or not. Now I regretted being such a bitch. It was only a parking space, and eventually I would have found another one. But it was the principle. At least that’s what I tried to convince myself.

I don’t think the woman in the parking lot was my teacher (thank goodness) but it didn’t change the fact that I could have given her the spot.

I guess it’s back to the drawing board. Hopefully next time (and I know there will be a next time), hopefully I will take the high road, because it’s not about the other person, it’s about me.



3 thoughts on “The High Road

  1. ‘I let my emotions and ego get the best of me.’

    With respect, I can’t see that this is necessarily the case. I of course accept that emotions and an egoic sense of entitlement were present as you say; and yet were these phenomena causal to your decision to assert what was after all your right by accepted convention? That decision had already been established, so perhaps it’s more a case of correlation rather than causation?

    With gratitude and respect, Hariod Brawn.

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