Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Life in the carpool lane
Perhaps I should have titled this entry "Life on Long Island." But I don't know. Maybe this could happen in Anytown, USA. I suspect that, at very least, it could happen in Los Angeles, as it strikes me as a very Larry David moment. But maybe that's only because there are so many New Yorkers in L.A. But let me know if you think this could happen in your town ...
Every Saturday morning, my husband takes our two boys to a swim class at the local high school. They were running a bit late this week, so he dropped them at the entrance before scouting for a parking space.
A long school bus was parked by the curb, squeezing a two-lane passageway down to one. Hubby drove past the bus and saw a parking space directly ahead. Just before he reached it, a PYMPEL (Privileged Yet Miserable Person with an Empty Life) in a big white BMW pulled up and blocked the space. She was leaving the parking lot, and needed to head through the lane next to the school bus.
Hubby motioned for her to back up so he could slip into the parking space and be out of her way, but she shook him off, insisting that HE back up. It was ludicrous, as he would have to back up the entire length of the bus (and probably lose the parking space), while all she had to do was back up a couple of feet.
He gesticulated again and again to make it clear that he just wanted to pull into the spot, but the PYMPEL wouldn't budge. Hubby can be as stubborn as the next guy, especially when someone is being unreasonable, so he made a show of folding his arms and relaxing in his seat, to indicate that he had all day.
But never underestimate these Long Island PYMPELS. The woman got out of her car, opened the back door, took out a BOOK, and then got back in the front seat to read it.
Not to be outdone, my husband picked up the book next to him in the passenger seat, which just happened to be my ARC, and held it up so his nemesis could see he had reading material as well.
I would love to tell you my husband won the battle of wills, but such is not the case. He had, after all, left the boys unsupervised. And for all his posturing, he really didn't have all day, which Princess PYMPEL clearly did. So, finally, he moved forward, passed the BMW, made a tight U-turn and pulled into the space after her highness had moved forward.
So she won. I'm sure she's never backed up an inch for anyone in her miserable little unfulfilling life, and never will. But if that's winning, I'll take losing every time.