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park like a jerk

I Got Jackassed. TWICE.

The parking lot was not full when I drove up. I slid into one of many available spots, grabbed my mat and headed in to a yoga class. I got some exercise, met my physical and mental edge, practiced staying present, and closed with a moment of stillness.

That last step was important.

Because when I came out  to my car, this is what I found.

park like an idiot

My zen evaporated and a rush of anger come over me. I stormed back into the gym, thinking of all the ways I wanted to make this jerk pay for their transgression. Jackass.

You Park Like an Idiot!

The front desk paged The Jackass by license plate number. I waited by my car for several minutes, desperately wanting to know what such a high-order jackass looks like, but no one came.

Perhaps because I’d just come from savasana (corpse pose, where we attempt to find stillness), I began to observe myself.

I noticed that I wanted revenge more than I wanted to get on my way. My primary need had become to key The Jackass’s car, not to get into my own. I had visions of chewing out the offender, which were extremely satisfying, but would come at the expense of meeting the obligations I had on my calendar that morning.

So instead of waiting for The Jackass to finish their workout and appear so that I could spew my righteous anger all over them, I got into my car on the passenger side. I reaaaaaally struggled to overcome the intense INTENSE urge to mark up that car. I imagined myself being seen doing so on the security videos and was able to stop myself for legal reasons, not for moral reasons (it’s still wrong to key a Jackass’s car, isn’t it?).

More Jackassery

I went on about my day but couldn’t stop thinking about The Jackass. I wanted to tell everyone about it. Like a mosquito bite that never quite stops itching, my mind kept going back to how I was victimized by The Jackass.

Scratch that. The mosquito bite DID stop itching. But whenever it did, I’d keep reactivating it . This is a really strange thing. Why did I keep choosing to feel hyper-angry?

I Was Jackassing Myself!

Because self-righteous anger felt so gooooooooood.

I was hanging on to being a victim of The Jackass because it felt good. How messed up is that?

Once again, I had competing needs and was at cross purposes with myself. It wasn’t until I asked out loud, Lori, is this obsession serving you? — that I was able to choose to reclaim my day and consciously decide not to give The Jackass any more of my attention.

But I did get a satisfying little kick out of writing this post.

Have you noticed a time when it felt good to feel bad? When was the last time you chose to hang on to bad feelings longer than you needed to?


This post is part of #MicroblogMondays? Whazzat? A post that’s not too long. Head to Stirrup Queens to join the fun.

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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16 Responses

  1. I jumped right in to victim mode with you just by looking at the picture. I kept reading to find out who the jack ass was. Did they somehow “deserve” to be a jack ass and park that close?

    I will remember this post the next time I jump into victim mode and “jack-ass” myself. Reading about it or stepping back and realizing it makes it seem so silly (from a logical standpoint), but sometimes my feelings rule!

    This is a great reminder to me to stay present and not let myself get “jack-assed!” especially from my own victim thoughts.

  2. Does this election count? I just said yesterday that I feel like I’m on a moral high horse because of the justifications I keep hearing from family. I have asked myself, “are you making this worse for yourself by refusing to move on?”. I’m not sure….

    But that was your point, right? ?

    1. It’s funny you say that. This happened the week before the election and I had the post queued shortly thereafter (I had to channel that righteous anger somehow).

      But the post certainly has added meaning this week!

  3. Took one look at your photo and my blood boiled. And it made me angry right along with you. But you’re right, dwelling there turns us into the jackass. They won’t learn from being yelled at or having their car keyed (then they get to become the victim). But it feels oh so good to feel morally right. Shame is a powerful discouraging device, but it’s not the most effective.

    Powerful lesson today. Because though hate is easy, it’s not the best way to unify.

  4. Yesterday when we came out of Ulta, a man was waiting by our truck to let us know about the jackass who parked too close to us and slammed their door into ours. He offered to point them out in the store, but after waiting a few minutes, we shrugged and left because it wasn’t worth it. Maybe parking should be a much larger part of the driving test.

  5. Aaaaah, you need my car. I have been known to enter my car through the trunk in order to bypass opening side doors when people park too close.

    1. That’s the thing. I WAS ON THE FREAKIN’ END of the parking aisle. I could easily have gotten in on the passenger side. But getting in wasn’t what I wanted most in the moment.

  6. I actually thought that was the license plate number for a hot second… 🙂 Oh wow, that is THE WORST. I can understand, especially after coming from a beautiful yoga practice, being overcome with rage at not being able to enter your car the normal way because someone was in such a rush they parked horribly and LEFT IT THAT WAY. I mean, I park horribly all the time but I always fix it! To not fix it is to just not care about anyone but yourself. I’m glad you opted to get in your car, albeit a wacky way, and drive off. It does feel good to rage on about stuff like that, though. I have to admit that I have a facebook “friend” that I kept only so that when I wanted to feel righteously (?) angry I could look at her posts that are very much “pat me on my back for my awesomeness” and rekindle all the reasons we are not truly friends. It’s kind of sick, actually, and sometimes I don’t feel that way, but it is a catharsis of sorts… I’m glad the post made you feel better! Someday the Jackass will park next to someone not quite as Zen as you and get that keying, but you won’t have to live with it. 🙂

  7. I’m not sure what I’m seeing.. Did they actually hit your car or did they just park suckily? Maybe you’re just mad because you wish you were a 78 lb wisp of a girl and able to slip into the driver seat. Seriously: My psycho babble take on this is: If this just happened: Like a lot of us, you still are grappling with what to do with the election results. We can’t resolve the magnitude of that, so we’ll do the next best thing… get pissed off at something that couldn’t possibly matter less. I’ve had a lot of those things lately… It never feels good to me. I always question why I feel like I’m regressing to a way I used to be. What’s different is that now I’m more concerned about my inability to let go than the actual stupidity I’m upset about. (Like my Taco Bell not participating in the free taco deal during the World Series.) For me, honestly… I think a lot of it is my ever-changing hormones at 52… but the election thing’s not helping.

  8. I just saw the plate on that car. AMAZING!!!

    I lose my shit over bad parking jobs. They happen A LOT here in SF. You’d think I’d be over them by now, but I’m not. It’s so hard to talk myself down.

    I’m getting riled up just thinking about it. That probably was not the intention of your post. 😉

  9. This happens to me quite a bit. Sometimes I notice that people park close because the spots are tight and they’re trying to leave more room on one side cause that’s where the kid seat is. It’s annoying and I’m pretty sure I’ve probably parked that way myself when I was driving a (frigging big) pickup. It’s highly annoying especially since I’m probably nowhere as flexible as you are and crawling over the passenger seat with my big ass giraffe legs is a pain. But you know what’s worse – no room on either side!

  10. You are SO right. Small ways in which we let the terrorists win … and the difference that walking away can make, at least for us.

  11. When this happens to me, I try to imagine the anxiety the driver might have and his or her’s uneasiness with that task. Or imagine it’s someone in a hurry and occupied with something urgent. Or elderly. I then feel thankful that I am limber and fit and I do as you did, climb through another door to leave. I try not to let these small inconveniences bother me.

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