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What Would You Have Done: Insensitive People in Parking Lots...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
This morning I went out with all three kids to Whole Foods to pick up some much needed fruits and veggies. All the kids behaved fairly well. The boys started to fuss, so I gave them each a bottle and they were awesome. Maddy was fantastic (at least for a 2 year old she was!). We got all our groceries, picked up something to eat and sat down to eat. As I was checking out, a lady with her own toddler said out loud "I'll never complain about having to do groceries with 2! You're doing great with 3 and they're all so little! I'm in awe!" I was just so happy to hear this because many times I'm so panicked someone will just have a meltdown and it can make me wary of going out with the kids (which means I'm homebound!).

Anyway, we manage to get to the potty before we leave and as a result, Maddy's no longer in the grocery cart when we head for the van. She's very cooperative and holds my hand to the van. I put her in the car seat and she screams bloody murder. Why? She wanted to climb in herself. Well, seeing as both boys are having meltdowns right now (getting close to nap time), I don't have time to talk with her about it. I give her her yogurt smooothie, struggle to get her buckled up and stear the double stroller and grocery cart to the other side of the van. The grocery cart is placed on an angle to avoid it careening into other cars parked in front of us, but it looks like it's resting against the side of the car beside us. It wasn't, although I do admit it looked like it.

I get the screaming boys into their carseats just when Maddy decides she doesn't want her drink anymore and in her attempt to hand it to me, sploshes it all over the inside of the van. I'm now trying to quickly clean up the mess so I can put my groceries in on the passenger side, fold up the stroller and get the heck outta Dodge!

Just as I get out of the van, the lady whose car is parked beside mine (where the grocery cart looks like it's resting against it) comes over and GLARES at me. It's completely obvious that I have my hands EXTREMELY full. She hears me talking to Maddy about the mess she made; she can hear the boys screaming and sees the double stroller. AND SHE STILL GLARES! I realize she's glaring b/c of the grocery cart. I say, very nicely, I might add: "It's not touching your car; it's just on an angle." and she GLARES. I say "There aren't any scratches or anything." and she GLARES. I say "I'd be more than happy if you'd like to check out your car. If there's anything scratched, I'd be happy to pay for it." and she FRICKING GLARES at me and snarls "There better not be!" and gets into her car and waits impatiently for me to move my stroller and cart so she can get the heck out.

I just wanted to sink into a deep hole and cry. I was so damn frustrated and I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG! Hell, I even tried to make things better by offering to pay if there WAS something wrong with her car for Pete's sake! I mean, seriously, if I'd been nasty or snooty or had an attitude when I spoke with her, I could understand her being upset with me, but I felt like I went out of my way to "fix" things with her and she was such a BITCH!

I cried all the way home I felt so rotten, hurt and like I was a bumbling idiot! Wahhhhhhh!!!!! I hate stupid people!

So... what would you have done? My dh says I should have told her off, but I'm too chicken to do something like that; besides at that point, I couldn't be sure she wouldn't come over and slug me! Why do people have to be so insensitive?
post #2 of 21
i am not a parent of multiples, but i could totally relate to your story.

hugs to you. you sound like a fabulous momma.

it reminds me of a few weeks ago when i took a friend without a car and her baby shopping with me and my kids and she opened my van door and touched the car next to us where some crappy guy was chatting on his cell with the car running. there was not even a pencil mark dot and he went ballistic and then slammed his door really hard into the side of my older minivan. he did infinitely more damage to his own vehicle than her tapping above his hubcap did, and my vehicle ended up with a huge scratch. i kept the kids in the carseats and let psycho guy drive off knowing that he was just crazy and my car wasn't worth exposing my children to that.

it sounds like glaring lady was off her rocker to expect more than what you gave her, a sincere apology (for no wrong-doing); a willingness to fix the situation (if there was one to fix) and a plea for mercy (which I am sure you had in your eyes)

i always try to imagine what a lousy life mean people must have. i meet at least one a week.

then, i try to focus on the nice people, like the one you met in the store.
post #3 of 21
You did fine, mama. If you'd told her off (as she so richly deserved) you would have still been angry, hurt, and upset, but you would have sunk to her level!

It's all about karma - you came out with a positive karma balance and she's definitely coming back as a cockroach.

Try to let it go - even if you had been mean to her back it wouldn't have made her be nice to you. And it would have been a bad example for your kids!

post #4 of 21
i can hardly make it around with my twins, i can't imagine doing it with a two year-old too! i agree with the nice lady in the store! i wouldn't give the other woman a second thought. i get snooty and obnoxious people all the time... i take too long getting through doors, i block the space they're trying to get into with my stroller and/or shopping cart while i'm loading in kids... i've just learned not to care. let them glare, i just smile sweetly and take my time.

my mom and i go out together all the time with my two boys and my little sister who is 3 1/2 and has Down's syndrome. then we are REALLY a three-ring circus (literally) and people can be so snotty... but we just smile like the happy mamas we are and feel sorry for everyone else because they don't know what they're missing.
post #5 of 21
I guess I must be a bitch because if someone did that to me I'd glare back and say "is there a problem?". I don't think it's sinking to anyones "level", if people want to be nasty, I will be nasty right back. I don't see it as a "bad example". I see it as standing up for yourself and not letting people walk all over you.
post #6 of 21
Hi I'm not a mom of multiples, but I am a mom and I work at Wild Oats (similar to Whole Foods), aside from agreeing with the other moms who said that you did wonderfully in avoiding a confrontation (never a good idea these days, KWIM?) and bowing to your ability to grocery shop with 3 under 2, I have to add that the folks at Whole Foods really should have offered to help you out to the car. I really hope that they offer this service to you in the future, and don't be afraid to ask for it if they don't. As someone in customer service, I would be horrified if my store neglected to assist a mom with a stroller AND cart full of groceries.
post #7 of 21
yeah.... well... i dont' have twins and it sounds like you're a great mom who did a great job on your outing. I'll share a similar story and my response.

I did sprouts two weeks ago with my 10mo old, the 2.5yo i watch and my 3.5yo. I was having surgery the following week for gallstones and was sick to my stomache alot. The kids did great in the store and like you i had the girls hold hands and walk with me holding the cart on the way out to the parking lot. but when we got to the van zoey, my 4yo had a meltdown cuz i picked her up to put her in the van. I moved my cart and took her back out again and was trying to keep Roman from losing it in the cart and Ashley decided she wanted to climb up too and then i turned and noticed...

I had someone glaring at me in her car in the parking lot just because she was waiting for my spot! (like there weren't other spots i just happened to be in a front spot). She had her window down and was leaning out basically glaring at me for moving too slowly.

ANd you know what i did when i saw her glaring? ...............

i slowed down. lol

I stopped rushing and feeling stressd out and decided to started singing and playing with the kids. I leaned into the van and turned the music up, then got out my sling and Put the baby into it while i unloaded the groceries letting the girls dance in the space between our van and the car next to us.

ANd this Witch beeped her horn and did that hand thing like "what are you doing?". So...
i smiled and waved and said "oh.... with all these wonderful babies it takes me a while. You might wanna find yourself a different place to park or you'll just have to wait. I still have to buckle them all in sweetie!

she practically growled "uuuuuuuurrrgh" and iso i added "have a nice day!" and kept smiling and singing to my kids (soundtrack from shrek) as we loaded the groceries and them into the now cooled off van.

worked for me

my kids were happier. I was happier. and i didn't let the witch ruin MY day
post #8 of 21
Yup. We all have stories like this. I don't know why people have to be so rude, but being the ultra-sensitive person that I am, I feel shaken up about it no matter how I respond.

Here is my story: I was at the grocery store with my developmentally delayed 15 year old (who developmentally ranged at the time between the ages of 3 and 8). Going to the store was always a big deal and often resulted in total meltdowns, so I tried as much as I could to avoid taking my poor son to the store. Sometimes it couldn't be avoided. In any case, I was super proud of my kid because he was doing really well. We got all the way through check out with no big issues. He was smiling and talkative, and as usual for when he was in a good place emotionally, he wanted to be a "big help." He helped me unload the groceries into the car and stayed by my side the whole time. When we got done, he asked to return the grocery cart by himself.

Most of the cart-return area was in view, and we were parked in front of the store so he wouldn't have to walk through the parking lot. It was a short distance from where we were. Part of my son's developmental plan was to give him opportunities for autonomy, so I decided to let him go for it. I gave him very clear instructions and let him begin walking. He walked most of the way to the cart-area and then something spooked him, so he left it in a parking spot and began walking back to the car. From experience, I knew I needed to get him safely seat belted in the car before I could deal with the cart. We were close enough to the return area, however, that I could do so without really "leaving" him, so I decided to focus for a minute on getting him in the car. It was not a busy day at the store and there were parking spots all along the front of the store.

Well, as my son approached the car a woman pulled up in her van, jumped out, shoved the cart out of the parking spot (not even putting it away somewhere), all the while screaming at my kid at the top of her lungs. "Carts do not f**king belong in parking spots!" I think I yelled back at her, but I can't remember for sure. Whatever I did was an instinctual response and just came pouring from my body. Next thing I know, we have both jumped into the car and are scrambling to get belted so we can drive away.

The worst part was that my son was an emotional wreck for the entire rest of the day. Also, the woman looked similar to the way he remembers his biological mother and he kept saying to me, "What if that was my mom and the only thing she did when she saw me was yell at me?"

When people get angry at others for not really knowing the right way to do things, I try to offer this story as a reminder that we *never* have any way of knowing what is going on for another person. My son did not have obvious physical signs of his developmental delays.

Hugs to you Fleurette. I'm sorry you had to interact with a person who was so rude to you.

post #9 of 21
i try really hard not to let other people's moods bother me
i try to assume the best and when people are rude just think that maybe they are having a really bad day, they are really in a hurry, or they are just rude and i'm not going to let it bother me
it's never personal and i try to never take it personally
i also know that i react depending on MY mood
if you hadn't been flustered and getting frustrated, you might not have been bothered by that lady, have just been able to shrug it off

i also believe that people turn into some kind of alter ego when they are in their cars
they feel invincible and self-important
suddenly they are on the offense
i really have to watch myself in the car
b/c i can be humming along w/ the radio and then suddenly screaming expletives at somebody b/c they are turning too slow or something
this is the ONLY time i behave this way
i remember being in the car w/ my mom once, she was driving
it was a summer day and the windows were down and we were talking and laughing
she stopped at a 4 way and was a little bit into the crosswalk
a pedestrian walked by and muttered something like "you're in the crosswalk"
and my sweet natured happy go lucky mother, who had just been laughing remember, screamed F--- YOU!!!!! at this poor guy
and then just took off smiling again
i don't even try to understand why peopledo the things that they do and especially not when they are in a car

i came out of sam's club one day, had a good parking spot
i was VERY pregnant w/ twins, had my 1 year old in the cart
and a very full cart
obviously i have to move all the groceries, put her in the carseat and return my cart
some lady pulled up as soon as i walked out and was in her car waitingfor me to pull away so she could have the spot
she finally backed up about 20 feet and parked somewhere else
but she got out of her car and walked past me and said "you are so f-ing SLOW"
w/o thinking, i grabbed a tomato, the first thing i found, and actually had my arm pulled back to throw it at her but i stopped myself
and instead said "nobody told you to wait for me you stupid ho and you could have helped me if you really needed THIS spot"
she kind of cringed, i could see her shoulders pull up
i don't think she expected a response
that car, driver, parking lot mentality
she was totally in her own world

it's good that you kept your temper in front of your kids
i hope you can laugh about this by this hour
post #10 of 21
I'm Fromscatteredtribe's car-less friend, and I know I felt totally crummy when that guy messed up her minivan. I tried to be as nice as I could to him, and I wound up pointing out that it wasn't even my car he messed up and told him he was mean.

I don't think he cared.

I just try to remember people like friends who will still give me rides after I got their car damaged and the complete stranger who paid for my groceries one day when I was a couple of bucks short, very pregnant, and had walked to the store w/ the stroller to bring home the groceries. She may just have been in a hurry, but being generous was a much better way of dealing with it than standing there glaring while I had them take items off.
post #11 of 21
Elyssia, you grabbing that tomato really made me grin. I : to your supreme self control to stand down! Because I know, had it been me, she would have been wearing sauce!

It is pretty interesting how cars/shopping/parking seems to bring out the verbal/emotional/physical violence in folks! I've noticed that too. It must be the primal 'drag home the kill' thing.
post #12 of 21
i had a similar incident. i was at the mall putting my twins guys into the car when i noticed a man standing two feet from me. he pointed out that my car door was touching his car. he looked at the tiny faint mark and said his car was brand new (i saw lots of other scratches and actually pointed that out to him). he took down my licence plate number. i thought what a stupid jerk, he wont follow thru by calling insurance companies about this minutia, tiny scratch, and he never did.

and i dont think you are chicken for not telling her off. you never know what people might do when they are angry. you were polite and kept your cool, and thats admirable. her biggest punishment is just being trapped in her dreadful personality.
post #13 of 21
I try to pretend that I can't tell they are mad. I probably would have said, "Oops! I'm sorry that is blocking you. I've totally got my hands full, but if you could just angle it away from your car that would be great!" with a big smile on my face. But I think apologizing is very nice. The woman was probably having a bad day and you blowing up at her would only escalate into a fight. I just like to pretend I can't tell they are angry because I think it gets their goat.

Now when I was pregnant, I couldn't control my emotions. This elderly woman called my ds "weird" in a grocery store and I went off. I scared her so much that she left her cart and left the store. I kind of felt bad later, but I had to keep reminding myself that she had no concern for ds's feelings when she followed us around calling him names and age is no excuse for a lack of manners.
post #14 of 21
I would have ignored her glare and said, "I'm sorry, I'll be out of your way in a minute." You were way too nice. I also wouldn't have told her off, either.
post #15 of 21
Originally Posted by Elyssia
"nobody told you to wait for me you stupid ho and you could have helped me if you really needed THIS spot"
Reminds me of the guy who yelled from his car at me when I was SLOWLY crossing the street (having the right of way with a pedestrian signal) 9 months pregnant "CAN YOU GOING ANY SLOWER?!" So I turned to glare and he saw my tummy and cringed. hehehe...
post #16 of 21
She should have gotten out of her car to help you. Then everybody--you and your brood & her--would have been on their way a lot sooner.

Rude, insensitive people....grr. :
post #17 of 21
First off, you are a great mom and I've always admired parents of multiples...wow you must be quite the organizer!
As for the witch in the car next to you, I would have not said a word and taken my good natured time getting my kids in. I would have made sure all of my doors were open so she couldn't back up until I was ready.
I know you were instinctively being a nice person, but I think you should be very careful about offering to pay for anything to anyone again (car damage). There are those in this world that would take full and complete advantage of that.
I'll never forget when DS # 1 was just a few months old...we went out to the store and I had just pulled into a parking spot and was turning the car off. There was a woman with a cart in the row of spaces in front of me and all of a sudden I see her fling the cart towards the cart corral and then seeing that it was instead veering straight for my car, gives it a quick look, and keeps walking back to her car. I did not have a chance to even get out of my car to run out and stop it before it hit. It smashes into my car, dings the crap out of it, she sees that, her eyes get big when she realizes the car was occupied, and she gets into her car. I run over to her and demand her insurance information. She tells me to go f*&* myself in Spainish (and she had two kids in the back seat of her car that weren't even belted in BTW) I refuse to swear at her because I see the kids, but still demand the info replying in Spainish and she tries to back up and drive away. I yell I've got her plate number and I will report it anyway.
I did....and my insurance company tracked her ass down and called her. They left three messages and no response. After discussing it with my insurance company I decided to take the high road and not pursue it any further and let it go.
I am a strong believer in karma...what comes around, goes around. I have no doubt she got what was coming to her.
post #18 of 21
Well their are rude people in the world and unfortunately we all have to run into them. I know firsthand how hard it is to do shopping with infant twins and a 2 year old - as I've got that plus my older two. So good for you for even getting out of the house. Though we all know sometimes we just have to do what has to be done. I know I"ve been out in public with all 5 of mine with people saying "I don't know HOW you do it?" and I'm thinking "BECAUSE I HAVE TO". LOL
post #19 of 21
Originally Posted by jane-t-mommy
...the folks at Whole Foods really should have offered to help you out to the car.
I agree. WF is my favorite place to shop with my children b/c they are *so* child-friendly. I always get tons of help and lots of nice comments about my sling, etc. Maybe a note to a manager is in order?

Re: the woman in the lot, I would have totally ignored her (and then cried in the car like you did, probably). {{{HUGS}}}
post #20 of 21
Originally Posted by Colorful~Mama
i slowed down. lol
What a wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing it!
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