I have something utterly embarrassing and shaming to share with you. Something so horrible that I've been in denial about it for 12 days. But this morning as I replayed the scene in my head again, I knew it was time to let it out and get closure on the whole ugly situation.
I was called "Lady" by an angry youth. As in "Whatever Lady. *eye roll*"
Let me give you the play by play trauma:
I was taking my highly gifted soon-to-be third grade daughter back-to-school shoe shopping. Being the thrift conscious home economist that I am I decided we would go to Ross to get a good bargain. As I drove very carefully through the pedestrian laden parking lot, never hitting above the 15 mph mark on my spedometer, I spied the perfect parking spot. It was like a mirage, all shimmery and shady, and right in front of the building! I came to a complete stop and put on my turn signal THEREFORE DISCLOSING MY INTENT to pull into the space. As I then did so another car came down the aisle from the other direction. As I eased into my perfect spot I heard a curt honk from behind me. That car then pulled around to the next aisle and found an almost equally good parking space. Here is the "conversation" which took place as I exited my vehicle.
Ungrateful teenager: (loudly to her friend) "Yeah, I wasn't trying to get that spot or anything."
Me: (staring her in the face) "I didn't do it intentionally, hon. I just pulled into the spot."
Teenager: (also to her friend) "Yeah right, LADY." *eye roll*
*there it is! do you see how embarrassing!? as if she had it in her sass holster and pulled it out at the perfect opportunity to make me look like a jackass! she said "Lady" like it was a disease! like I was...old.
I totally fell apart after that. I lost the ability to be the bigger person, to set the example. Here's how the rest played out as we all walked into the store.
Beatrice: "Mommy, why's she saying that?"
Me: (loudly to teenager) "Because she's 16 and already has road rage. It's so sad, really."
Teenager: (surly) "I'm not 16."
Me: "Oh it's so sad that at her tender age she's already getting high blood pressure in the Ross parking lot."
okay, I didn't really say that last part, but it sounds great doesn't it?
basically the exchange ended with "I'm not 16." Which I still totally consider a win.
So I win, but I lose because she called me Lady which reminded me that indeed I am no longer a youth...I am, in fact, a lady.