Ugh… one of the things I struggle with a lot in my recovery journey is deciphering where the line is in terms of behavior like standing up for myself when people are being rude or generally combative. I guess the best way to describe what I’m thinking is picking my battles and what constitutes an appropriate anger response.
Friday I was picking up B2’s meds from the local pharmacy. We went through the drive through because it was convenient and easy. I finished my transaction and pulled forward away from the window before pausing to answer a quick text from Hubs and put away my debit card. When I pulled forward there was no one in line behind me. I generally always try to pull forward instead of sitting at the window when I comeplete any kind of drive thru transaction just to be polite to those working the drive thru and whom might arrive behind me.
So we sat there for less than two minutes before an impatient guy in a Jeep pulls up behind us. Immediately as he pulls upto the window he taps the horn. I looked up and pulled a little bit farther forward, as far as I could go before I was sticking out in traffic, and picked up my pace trying to finish getting everything in order. I was just finishing putting my wallet in my purse before this guy lays on the horn and starts waving his arms around getting pissed off. We hadn’t even been sitting there for four minutes and this guy is getting down right irate that we haven’t pulled far enough forward for his liking.
So me, being me and not going to put up with this rude ass guy being rude throw the car in park and take my foot off the brake making it obvious. Guy get’s out of his car and walks up to mine, with a huffy, arrogant look about him. I roll down my window and before he has a chance to say anything look him dead in the eye and say: “You, Sir, can be patient. I have three kids in this car and I’m getting my affairs in order before I leave the drive thru. There’s no need to be rude.”
That clearly surprised him. I don’t know what he was expecting hopping out of his car and waltzing up to mine the way he did but he took two steps back and changed his tune real quick. He didn’t apologize for being rude or impatient, but he did back off and find some manners after I stood my ground. Which sort of made me feel like I’d over reacted to his initial impatience, but at the same time being a woman, in the car with my kids by myself, having some strange pissed off guy come up to my window in this day and age, it isn’t surprising my fight/flight response kicked in.
His behavior was clearly aggressive, and I reacted accordingly. People never seem to expect the fight response from those who they think are “beneath” them. All Jeep Man was thinking about was himself, and how Mom in Minivan had momentarily inconvenienced him. It never crossed his mind at all that Mom in Minivan would/could speak her mind and not just cower away in shame. He was genuinely surprised. Which made me even more annoyed at the entire exchange.
I was pretty proud of myself for remaining calm. I didn’t curse at him, and I didn’t also hop out of my car and get in his face. Lol. I’m mellowing out in my old age. Still… after it was all said and done the self doubt started whirring through my head. I know I didn’t have to throw the car in park. I’ll never see that guy again, and I seriously doubt that our exchange will change his rude, impatient behavior.
At the same time, should I have allowed his rude behavior to influence the importance of putting my debit card away before I pulled out into traffic? No. By fighting with my wallet while trying to drive I would have endangered myself, other drivers and my kids. Pissing off one guy in line at the CVS drive thru seems like the lesser evil, and least risky option to me. Especially since we hadn’t been sitting there for an inexcusably long time, just because I wasn’t paying attention or didn’t give an eff what else was happening.
I don’t know… maybe I was being the asshat misinterpreting his honking, flailing and hopping out of the car as aggression when he was just concerned or something else.