Generally, I like people. People tend to be pretty cool and do the right thing if you give them the chance. Sometimes they’ll stumble along the way but they’ll eventually get to the finish line. However, there are people out there who will never ever reach the finish line, or even the midway point. They’ll putter along aimlessly and make things interesting for everybody else. I’d like to talk about two such people that I encountered today.
First…I took my daughter to the LA Auto Show today. It was OK, not as much fun as I remember when I was a kid (but then again, what is?) and she was getting tired and bored when we stumbled upon the Kids Zone! Yay, a zone for kids. There were a few bouncers there she had fun romping around in, and then came my first “encounter” of the day. There was a small area set up where the kids could drive in the little motor-driven kid cars – the battery rechargeable kind, not that big; a ten-year-old would have trouble fitting in one and I think they max out at about 3 mph. The area they could drive in was an oval about 15 feet long, and they did loops. They had helmets for the kids to wear that didn’t strap shut, which made them kinda worthless. Zoe had to wait for her turn and when she came she went for the closest car, which was in the back. The Person whom I’m referring to was the dad who put his four-year-old in the very front car.
There’s a reason certain things have age brackets for their usage. Kids mature rapidly and there’s a big difference developmentally between four years and seven years. This girl couldn’t really figure out the car; she’d drive a few feet, try to turn and take her foot off the gas, and then stop, causing everybody behind her to pile up. Of course, the dad HAD TO FILM THIS BECAUSE IT WAS SO CUTE!!!!! He even told her she was cute, while the kids behind her were waiting for her to get out of the way.
No, jackass, your daughter wasn’t cute in that circumstance. She was annoying and she didn’t belong out there with the older kids, slowing them down. She needed to get out of the way. It’s OK to tell your kids they have to wait until they’re older to do things; in fact it builds character. It makes them want for something and appreciate it more when they get it. Get her out of there and deal with the tears; you’ll both be better for it.
Incident #2…after the auto show we grabbed some lunch and then were going to Borders, because daddy had a coupon! 40% off so don’t you scoff. We were looking for parking at the Valencia mall-thingy and I found a sweet space open directly ahead of me with no turning involved. However, the car to the left of the space had somebody rooting around in the passenger side for something and the passenger door was opened, blocking the space. I waited for the space, something I rarely do but this one was too good to pass up. I couldn’t turn on my signal to “save” the space because it was ahead of me, not to the left or right.
Right before the person closed the door, a car appeared from the left and started to turn into MY space, this violating the laws of parking spaces that keep our country from devolving into chaos. I tapped my horn to let said car know I was waiting for the space. With as much ill grace as she could muster – yes, the driver was female – she stared at me and then backed out. I could tell she thought the space was hers but I’d been waiting for it for about 20 seconds; my territory was marked.
I pulled into the space – did I mention it was a “last” space and there was nothing on the right side, making it even sweeter? – and the other car pulled into an open space just behind where I was waiting. It was hidden by a truck but still open. I got out of my car and walked by hers, with my daughter in hand. She was staring death at me. I said “hey, I was waiting for that space because the passenger door was open” and gave her an apologetic shrug; I could afford it since I’d taken the sweet space. She looked even death-ier at me.
…from her space NOT EVEN 20 FEET AWAY. She also got a space in a premium place. And yet she still hated me for taking the space she thought was hers.
And that pissed me off, just for a moment (as long as it took to put a note in my Droid to blog about it later). Why was she still upset? She got a good space. It isn’t like I robbed her of parking and she had to circle the structure for 10 minutes before she found another one. Why couldn’t she let it go?
My daughter then said “come on daddy, let’s go!” and dragged me out of my reflection. Kids are good at that. Sometimes they make more sense than do adults.