So this is what happened. I was sitting in the car, which was parked in the Trader Joe’s parking lot, while my son was inside shopping for a few things. I didn’t have anything to read while I was waiting, so I decided to call my other son, G.
We were having a pleasant chat, when I heard/felt a loud bang. A middle-aged peroxide-blonde woman had just smashed her car door into mine. This was not a careless little tap. It was a forceful hit that jolted me. And she didn’t even try to apologize or anything. She just got into her car without looking at me.
Oh my God. I totally snapped. I smashed my car door into hers in a sudden impulse to fight back. It wasn't because she dented my car. It was such a decrepit old thing anyway that one more dent didn't really matter. It was her attitude that enraged me!
I was extremely angry, but so was she. In fact she smashed her door into mine again. So I did it again. Then she did it again. Now, I was so infuriated that I hastily struggled to take off my seat belt and get out of the car, with every intention of doing serious bodily harm. She backed her car out fast, at an angle, nearly hitting me, while shouting insults. I responded in kind, yelling at the top of my lungs, until she drove off. I think my last words were, “I hope you crash and kill yourself, you stupid bitch!”
Yes. It was ugly.
I had dropped my cell phone on the seat of the car, so the whole time this madness was going on, my son had been listening. As if I didn't feel stupid enough. When I picked up the phone, I was shaking, my heart was pounding and I could hardly speak. While I was trying, between ragged gulps of air, to explain what had just happened, G interrupted and said, “Mom? Mom! Whose car are you in?”
Oh my God. I then realized I was in D’s nice truck, not my old, beat-up jalopy! In the throes of that rage, I had forgotten where I was!
I’ve never been a physical fighter, never got into “cat fights" as a girl, never very interested in martial arts. Not just that, but my health has had some challenges in the last few years, and I’ve become quite weak. When I was struggling to get my stiff and ancient body out of the car, adrenaline may have made me forget all my aches and pains, but it was still a ridiculously slow and lumbering process.
I may have been visualizing that I would violently bash that woman’s head in with my cane, but in reality, I’m not sure what kind of damage I could actually have managed, with my weak arm waving a spindly cane about and trying to get it through her car window. Sheesh. Maybe I might have poked her in the eye one time.
She was a sturdy-looking, middle-aged woman with frizzy blonde hair. I’m a slow-moving, overweight, white-haired old Filipino lady. One shove and she probably could have made me fall and break my stupid hip or something.
The instant I felt attacked, I forgot where I was—and even what I was! All that adrenalin surging through my body wiped out every sense of my age and true physical state.
The whole thing was so stupid. Ridiculous. Made no sense at all. But my point is this. Despite my advanced age and the idiotic reality of the situation, I felt extremely violent in the grip of that sudden, swiftly mounting fury.
A Political Epiphany
It was a good thing that I don’t carry a handgun. In those few crazed moments, I could have made a really terrible, life-changing mistake. I could be sitting in a jail cell right now, instead of having a lovely cup of French Roast. I could be spending my old age in a prison!
Good thing that horrible woman didn’t carry a gun either, or she could be the one sitting in a jail cell, and I could be lying dead in the morgue.
I’m no conservative and yet I’ve always been against gun control. I was always abstractly focussed on our right, as citizens, to bear arms and to be able to defend ourselves. Just in case terrorists or else the government starts attacking us. Or else, just in case there's a catastrophic social collapse, freeing all the sociopathic bullies to start rampaging about like the villains in a Mad Max movie.
But now I totally get why ordinary people—typically untrained—should not carry handguns. I mean, judging by the news these days, even police and soldiers regularly lose it, despite professional training. Now I can truly understand the dire peril involved in having a small, fatally dangerous weapon that can be stashed all-too-conveniently in pockets and purses and glove compartments.
I still think citizens should have the right to bear arms—at least until the day that human beings are capable of living in a society so reasonable, equitable and civilized that we have no need for armed police either.
But now, my opinions on this issue have shifted. At least until a doomsday event actually occurs, I think maybe citizens should just keep large, inconvenient weaponry that we have to store someplace special in the house, under lock and key.
By the time my son D came back from shopping, I was feeling a lot of remorse and chagrin. Great example of a mom, especially at my age. I offered to pay for the damage, of course. D took a look at the door and said he could see some dents, but didn’t think it was worth repairing. He just wished I had thought to simply ask her for her insurance information. Why, why, why didn’t I think of that?
On the other hand, would somebody like that have given her data to me? I guess I could have taken a photo of her license plate as she drove off and left me in the dust.
At least in part, I think I totally lost it like that because I’ve been dealing with a very painful bacterial infection since before Thanksgiving. I’ve tried prescription antibiotics and half a dozen natural remedies but so far nothing has permanently cured it.
I’m not trying to excuse my behavior, but I think months of constant pain and irritation was really getting on my nerves, and that was why I snapped so easily. Because usually I have a very long fuse. I lead a quiet, reclusive life. I never have drama!
OK maybe I am trying to excuse my behavior, a little. It was very troubling.