Putting your ego to one side and saying, 'I'm sorry...'
I'm in a complete and utter world of my own, standing there, scrolling through the latest happenings on Facebook - as you do - while in an unusually long line at Starbucks.
"Can you see they're harassing me?!?"
My subconscious inches me outta my content daydreamin' state to take a look around. See if I need to bring myself back to the here and now.
"Can you see???"
I turn around and spot a young woman behind me, clearly distressed - OK, yup, it's time to re-enter the here and now.
She continues to spilling out her distress in my direction, clearly looking for someone to stand her ground with her - as I piece together what's been happening - and wha't been said - to make this land at my feet while I've been off contently daydreaming, oblivious to what's actually been happening back in the real world.
"They don't even know me. They know nothing about me. Can you see, can you see?!?"
I look behind her and see a couple, looking in my direction too as she speaks.
Is this some kind of joke? Are the all friends really, having a laugh while waiting for some seemingly never ending queue to go down and place their order...?
No... I soon get the vibe, there's no joke. Yet I'm still none the clearer why, and what, the heck as been happening, and why this woman is clearly looking for rescue.
Woman : "They're harassing me. They want to know why I'm parked in the disabled bay, but they know nothing about me..."
Pieces, slowly start fitting together.
Couple : "Well, are you disabled?"
Woman : "YOU don't know me, or my family."
Couple : "Are you though?"
Woman : "You don't know me! No I'm not, but you don't know my family!"
Ok, pieces are forming and slotting together.
And crap. I want coffee, not a fight. Especially not one of my own choosing.
LOVE PEOPLE, LOVE. AND RESPECT. CAN WE GO BACK THERE, THAT STUFF FEELS A WHOLE LOT NICER.
But of course, this thought comes from Ms Eternal Optimist with her idealist views on how life 'should' be.
The optimist who often wonders 'why, why can we all just get along? Respect each others views - however different they may be, as see them just as that, different, instead of 'right' or 'wrong''.
But, of course I understand the logic of realism, how everyone's different and how emotions are powerful things (which can lead to some crazy things a-happening, and being said).
I really - really - don't wanna get involved, to stoke, poke or prod this fight.
And, at the end of the day, who the heck am I to referee this 'thing'? To say who's 'right' or 'wrong'.
I STAND THERE, SILENTLY WATCHING AND LISTENING. SAYING TO MYSELF, LEAVE IT, STAY AWAY, LEAVE YOUR 2 CENTS OUTTA THE MIX.
But then of course, my heart chirps up - because this is a matter far closer to it than my head, and it's a passionate creature that says what it needs to say.
I look at the woman, still clearly distressed, who likely is a really nice person in normal conversation - and who's unfortunately (fortunately?) picked the wrong person to share her distress.
Or be rescued by.
I park my own emotions to one side, and after about a minute calmly turn back to them.
"I don't know who's 'right' or 'wrong'. However this I will say...
My BF is disabled. He's in a wheelchair. When we go to park up somewhere and there's no disabled bays for him to get out - and sometimes, yes it's because someone who doesn't need one 'steals' a spot to save themselves walking across the from the far side of the car park - it sucks.
It sucks driving around and around trying to hopefully find some kind of space big enough to pull up so he/we can pull his chair up to the side and he can get outta the car.
So if you did park in the disabled spot right outside the door and it's not really needed - for those of us on the other side who it does affect, it really does suck - having to try and find some random spot somewhere so he can get out, before parking up somewhere else.
But then -
But then I will also say" - because I really don't know the whole picture here - "it sucks being in the car, and having someone make assumptions, accuse or shout at us for parking in a disabled bay. And people do, and have. It feels pretty crappy having someone accuse you without thought, when your man's in the car next to you, paralysed, with his chair in the boot. That really does suck too."
Woman : "See, see! You don't know" - she says to the couple - "you don't know anything about me and there is a disability in my family..."
Couple : "Are they with you now?"
Woman : "No, I'm on my own, but..."
Ahhhh man. Lady, you really, really, lucked out choosing me to stand your corner here. I can't be your saviour for this one.
Yet I also can't stand in the corner of the accusing - especially without really knowing - been on the end of that too. And it also SUCKS.
Me, to in all probability nice woman : "Being someone on the other end and deals with the struggles that come when someone who doesn't need it, simply decides to claim a closer, wider, easier to park in spot right next to the door - I can't. I can't stand your corner on this, because it really, really does suck."
And then I walked off, wishing I could have bit my tongue as my hands were trembling - but when my heart got dragged into it, it needed to do it's thing.
As I left Starbucks a few minutes later after collecting my mocha, the woman walked over to me.
"I'm sorry. I can see it upset you, and I'm really, truly sorry."
NOW THAT LADY, RIGHT, WRONG, WHATEVER - I GOTTA RESPECT.
We all do stupid things. Say things we don't mean. Make mistakes. Take a quick and easy option without really thinking - knowing - the impact it can have on others.
It sucks, but it happens.