Sunday, March 29, 2009


Oh, I hope you weren't coming here looking for something sordid, because that's certainly not where this is headed. But I do need to take a minute to apologize in advance to all those nice old men who AREN'T attempting to micomanage my life this week. You guys are great - smiles, frowns, whatever, as long as you aren't telling me what to do - we are kosher.

So not once but TWICE this week I've had an old man tell me what to do. The first time it was a grocery cart in the store. I had all the kids with me and we were getting muffins. You know, the big giant muffins that have those great tops on them that you just rip off and devour? Well, my family eats them like they are going out of style. So there we were, standing next to the muffins. At our grocery store they have the muffins displayed behind clear plastic doors - so you need to open the doors to get your muffins. And when we pick out muffins, we stand back from the muffins so we can see them all, and each kid tells me what kid to get as I grab them. But before we are grabbing our muffins we park against the freezer opposite the muffins so as not to block traffic (four kids and you do end up blocking traffic occasionally, so we do our best not to when we can). The little boys were debating which muffins were which and so we were all five standing there (Lucy in the cart) and basically minding our own business. So this old man come up behind us and and says to me "Are you really going to stand there in the passing lane?" Looking around to make sure that he's talking to me and not someone else, realizing the slight insanity of his statement - a passing lane in a grocery store aisle???!!!, and attempting not to just laugh at this guy in front of the kids, I simply said "Yes. We are going to stand here." He grumped at me and continued on past me in the NON-PASSING LANE, or whatever the heck you call the other half of the grocery aisle. That was my first micromanaging old man.

Today I ran across my second old micromanaging man - he was telling me how to drive. This time I was in the van, and it was barely drizzling. You know on the road (at a stoplight) when someone signals to roll down the window? Well, in my experience it's either because you've left the coffee cup or briefcase on the roof, or they are lost and need directions. Since I can't really reach the roof of the van, and I was minutes away from home I figured that I would easily be able to help this old guy get to where he was going. So I roll down the window and he says to me "It's illegal to drive without lights AND wipers on in the rain." HUH? After seeing that I'm a bit confused, and noticing that I had my wipers on, he yells at me "It's against the law to drive without lights on - and your van is NOT visible from the rear." "Uhm, OK thanks." I say, still not sure what just happened. It was drizzling out lightly and I did have my wipers on. But why on earth did he pick me, and why couldn't he have said that I should turn my lights on so I don't get a ticket or that if you have your wipers on VA requires that you have your lights on, or NOTHING AT ALL? If he was trying to warn me he could have done that so much more easily (and I would have caught on much quicker). But no, he basically accused me of a criminal act - an INTENTIONAL criminal act at that, and then drove off on his not so merry way. And did he stop at the next light, roll his window down and tell the driver in front of me to turn their lights on? No, he didn't. And he didn't seem to care about the other 11 drivers around me (I counted) that DIDN'T have their lights on. And who knows how many didn't have the lights and/or wipers on! His head must have exploded right then and there with all those non-compliant drivers.

And before you go and scold me for being mean to old men who are trying to be nice - it wasn't just what they were trying to do, but it was also the way in which they said it. Old men gets lots of leeway in my world - they are generally the folks that you look to for all kinds of cool stuff. I grew up with some very cool Grandpas, and in my mind old men are fantastic and great to have around. But when they tell me to turn my lights on or move my cart, BACK OFF BUDDY.

You are going to drive me nuts - and trust me - that's not something you ever really want to see. And you know what? Tomorrow I'm going to drive in the rain without my lights on, and I'm going to park my cart in the passing lane at the grocery store just for you two.

1 comment:

Linda Sherwood said...

My husband hates to go shopping because he thinks the aisles in the market are like the road, and he gets irritated when people are going the "wrong way." Apparently he is not alone in his analogy....