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.


Myfanwy Collins said...

I think your hubby won afterall because he knows what's important in life and she clearly has no clue.

I love PYMPEL. Love it!

Ellen said...

Thanks, Myf! I was furious when hubby first told me the story, but I've decided to feel sorry for the woman. Can you imagine what a tiny little sad soul she must have?

Stephanie said...

I can't believe how intentionally selfish people can be!

I think it could probably happen here too....

RobinSlick said...

Ha ha - I love that "privileged yet miserable" -- I know far too many people like that in this neighborhood which is Exhibit A of why I like to be alone.

Mike is a saint! Gary would have ripped her car door off, used ethnic slurs, four letter words too horrible to even post here (though in one of his calmer tirades, I do believe he was the man who originally coined the term "dickhead" back in 1978)...and I of course would have gotten the phone call to bail him out of jail and I would also have been the one to intercept the letter from her attorney, suing us. Exhibit "B" of why I like to be alone.

Great post, Ms. Meister.

Ms. Lori said...

Ugh! People like that just burn my ass. And the sad fact is, they couldn't care less if my ass just completely fried to a crisp and fell off onto the pavement.

Your husband done good.

Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

Rich people are very sad, in reality. They have terrible, terrible, empty lives. But somehow they do tend to expect the entire world to revolve around THEM. (Also? They tend to name their children after their cards. My younger son has two girls named Mercedes in his class!)

Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

Um, obviously I meant to say "they tend to name their children after their cars..."

(If they named their children after their cards, they'd all be named "Platinum.")

Ellen said...

Oh Steph, I'm so insistently naive it shocks me every time.

Robin, I totally believe Gary coined the term "dickhead." Ha! And for the record, Mike wasn't always this calm. In fact, he STILL isn't. (Hi honey!!!)

Lori ... I really was proud of him! And it was cool that he was able to laugh it off when he got home.

Melanie, you DO crack me up! And I think you might have been right about people naming their kids after their CARDS, especially the folks who carry store credit cards. Can you say Tiffany?