Thursday, 6 January 2011

Mommy: the car slapper

"Mommy, remember when you said you were going to throw the man's voiture in the poubelle?"

To my credit, my exact words were, "si je vous revois je casse votre voiture." (If I see you again, I will break your car). Isn't it nice that even when you're angry, you can still remain polite in French by using the vous form?

I don't loose my temper often. I usually just let anger fester because I'm a big baby. I hate confrontation. In personal relationships. In professional relationships. I'd rather find excuses for why a sales person is rude (because they had a bad day) or why a coworker is angry (because they didn't have sex last night) than actually tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine.

But, the other day as I was walking with my kids, my animal side came out (this is the side that's reared it head in the past when I flipped people off and almost got beat up for it. I learned my lesson). We were walking home from the supermarket, on the sidewalk, Max in the stroller and Suzanne holding onto the side, when I see an older man begin to pull up onto the sidewalk. To his credit, the sidewalk is just next to a parking lot.

I gave him my "what the F are you doing with your car on the sidewalk" look and he stopped to let us by. Just as we were passing by, he pulled up slightly and his sideview mirror grazed Suzanne's head (she didn't even feel it). My eyes turned red, my fangs came out, and out of nowhere, a monster voice came out of my mouth. I openhanded his card window multiple times and began yelling at him. "C'est un trotoir Monsieur. Vous avez fait mal à ma fille". Nothing terrible, I didn't use the f word or any other bad word. But I slapped his car over and over again to the point where I think he genuinely thought I was crazy. He, of course didn't even get out of his car. I walked a little further and stopped a few yards away. Note: had it been a young guy, I probably would have thought twice before lashing out.

When he got out of his car, I screamed at him again. That's when I realized that not only was the entire neighborhood staring at me, but my daughter was in shock.

When we got home, I got down on my knees and explained to her that I wouldn't really hurt the man or break his car. I was just so angry because I love her and Max more than anything. And if anyone ever hurt them, I'd be really sad. I think she understood. And I hope this little incident won't lead her to a life of serial car destruction.

The difference between this kind of incident in the US and France is that :1) in the US, a car wouldn't be on the sidewalk in the first place and 2) in the US, the guy would have had a gun.

French drivers. Pffff.


Pepe Le Pew said...

You should have went all Britney Spears on him and smacked the car with an umbrella.

Anonymous said...

Oh that's terrible! I have no problem with confrontation and have had to dial it way down whilst out and about with my kids. Because of my older son's extreme sensitivity. And, unfortunately, I've had to tell him to stop shouting at strangers on the street...I wonder where he got that one from...

Yes, the parking on the pavement is crazymaking. I'm forever saying "C'est pas un parking." I can't believe he hit your daughter, however lightly. I would have gone all Britney on him and probably would have switched my screaming from French to English.

I'm glad Suzanne is ok and you had a chance to talk about it with her.


Reb said...

I think I will go Britney on the next person who even touches a single hair on one of my kids' heads.

Parking on sidewalks is one of those things I will never understand, no matter how long I live in this country.

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