Published at 1 February 2017 9:29 AM EST in 'General'
So I had a thing happen the other day that I am struggling to come to terms with. At the time I brushed it off thinking to myself “people are idiots” (which I actually texted to my husband), and went about my day.
I was going to Costco to buy some groceries and stopped to get gas at the Costco gas bar before parking. Our tank is on the driver’s side so I pulled into the farthest pump from the attendants bunker with the pump on my left. The second pump was occupied, so I stayed in the first position. Moments later the person in front of me finished and pulled off. As I finished paying someone pulled around me to go to the pump infront. Instead of pulling forward and backing in parallel to the pumps he decided to just drive in at an angle. His large truck was situated so that the hood was almost touching the cement in front of the pump and the back went out at a 45 degree angle. I looked at him, shook my head, and decided it was no big deal as there was no one at the right hand pump so I would have lots of room to pull around. Famous last thoughts.
I finished pumping, and got back into my car just as someone pulled into the pump on the right. Thinking I might be able to squeeze between the two cars I pulled towards the middle and forward. I quickly decided I would not fit, particularly with the man pumping gas standing on the left side of his car. The older gentleman pumping gas in the angled truck waved that he would be done quickly. I thought “whatever, I am in no hurry” put the car in park and sat back to wait the minute or two it would take.
That is when someone pulled in behind me.
I should mention that while all of the left hand pumps were full most of the right hand pumps were empty. For those who don’t know, Costco’s pumps can easily stretch around your car so it doesn’t matter which side of the car your tank is on, you can use any pump.
I was sitting patiently, and happily, listening to music when I notice an older man with a mustache come around the passenger side of my car and bang on the windows yelling at me. I thought "what the hell!!" but choose to ignore him as the guy at the pump was clearly finishing and I could just leave. The man walks around to the front of the car waving at the gap between the two front cars and signaling that I should drive through. He clearly felt that the man on the right deserved to be run over or the truck on the left could use a large dent. I gave the man a look that hopefully read “You know you’re being a dumbass right?” and continued to wait patiently.
The truck driver was now getting into his vehicle.
Crazy mustache man moved to stand beside my window on the drives side and he continued yelling and gesturing with his whole body much like an angry gorilla at the zoo. The truck in front has now driven away and I am stuck waiting for Captain Crazy Pants to move so I too can drive away.
Finally he notices the truck has left and moves back to his car and I drive away to park, hoping that Mr. Crazy Pants Mustache was only stopping for gas as I really didn't want to run into him in the store.
I did not see him again.
After parking and sending my husband a few irritated texts and then responding to his texts that I was fine (unsure why he asked), I went about my shopping.
When my husband got home from work I relayed the whole store in detail and he asked me "Why didn’t you lay on the horn so the attendant came over?”
Huh never thought of that…
... in face at no point did I feel threatened or unnerved or consider signaling for help. I knew I was in the right, the older man could go screw himself, I was just going to sit and wait.
… but then as I thought about it I realized that it really was not okay. The man's behaviour was more then just ridiculous and uncalled for, it was completely wrong and unacceptable. I sat for a while and thought about the whole event.
I considered the women a couple weeks ago on the Gardner in Toronto who was forced to stop he car in the middle of the highway and subjected to similar, though more belligerent and sexual, behaviour.
I considered how I would have reacted and felt if my children had been in the car with me.
I thought about what my anxiety level would have been if the man was not a senior citizen.
I thought about whether or not this man would have done the same thing had I been a male sitting alone in my car or if my husband had been with me.
Why didn't I recognize it at a level more reactive then to ignore it?
Why did no one around me, coincidentally all men, react in any way what so ever?
Why couldn't the fool wait the one fucking minute it would have taken for the truck driver to finish?
… and then I came to the realization. I regret not reacting to his ridiculous, unwarranted, behaviour. I should have laid on the horn bring attention to the loser and, hopefully, scaring the bejesus out of him. I should have made sure that he and everyone around us knew that this was not okay. I should not have brushed it off as nothing.
I should have stood up for myself.
Why didn'tt I?
... next time be damn sure that I will. I am done tolerating such disrespectful behaviour towards me and other people. The only way the misogynists, racists, homophobes, and any other divisive contemptible behaviour goes away is if we stand up and say "NO". Even in stupid, silly, little incidents like this one. If we allow it in the everyday moments and just brush it off it only reinforces that it is okay.
So next time I will go against my non-confrontational tendencies and call out barbaric behaviour for what it is ...WRONG.
Christine Morton -
A mother, a daughter, a magic bean grower,
a hoper, a lover, a dandelion blower.
A dreamer, a wisher, a photograph maker,
a writer, a hoper, a lesser road taker.
© 2016 Christine Morton Redhead Snaps
© 2016 Christine Morton Redhead Snaps
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