It’s a concept that we’re all a little familiar with. Usually, it’s one of the first things people point out when things go wrong, or someone hurts them, or people they love.. “Karma. They’ll get theirs…” Or, they use it to cheer up friends who seem to be in a giant rut of bad luck, but haven’t done a thing to deserve it.
Other people simply think of it as just “Do unto others …” The concept seems to be in a few different religions (granted, in varying forms and ways) and really, in ways that non religious people think. I’ve had people who don’t subscribe to any religions tell me that they believe the universe has ways of balancing things like how people treat others, and so on. So it’s hardly a foreign idea to most people.
But, what actually IS karma?
(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
from Sanskrit karman ‘action, effect, fate.’
So, in reality, it’s a lot deeper than how we all use it, and it’s tied into a few religions. (That, I know nearly nothing about, so I almost feel guilty even using it in the context of this blog…
But, for our discussion, let’s look at karma simply as the concept of people getting what they deserve. Or, to sound a bit less sinister; the way they treat and act towards others, will eventually come back around to them.
I’ve never actually seen karma in action. Not once. Usually, it’s been something I say, or friends have said to make each other feel better about a situation. Or, wishful thinking. Or, (and perhaps this is the most common. Especially lately, and a few friends who read this will be RIGHT on board with me) something we say that may be the only thing that keeps us from trying to go and deal out a bit of well deserved revenge of our own. The more we repeat that karma will handle it, the less likely we are to stoop to their level (or…stooping be damned, we’ll at least keep our butts out of jail, right? )
Well, it finally happened. After so many years of throwing the term around, and patiently waiting for some karmic revenge to magically happen in front of me — it did! It finally did! And it was so beautiful, I couldn’t stop giggling and talking about it for a good two days. It made me so giddy, in fact, that I couldn’t even update Facebook about it. It deserved a blog post. A long, articulate, well written blog post that would make me giddy all over again.
Problem being of course, I’d have to stick my butt in a chair and actually type it out. And, we all know how often THAT has happened lately, but I digress. Better late than never, no?
So without further ado, let’s jump into the story.
I forget what day it was. Or really what time. None of that matters. What’s important here is the place. It’s a place I hate with all my being. I loathe going. I would rather do cartwheels over hot coals. Be hung by my fingernails. Be subjected to the movie Freddy Got Fingered on repeat. With no movie snacks, at that. But, Mom wanted to go. And being the good daughter I am, I kept my whining to a minimum. Where did we go?
By Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. TheNewPhobia at English Wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Griffin5, Estoy Aquí at English Wikipedia. (Extracted from Wal-Mart’s 2009 Financial Report) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Dun dun DUN….
Ok. So the “scary music” loses its impact when it’s typed out and not actually heard. Ah well.
Anyway. Yeah. Wal-Mart. I hate going. Neighborhood Market, I don’t mind. But the big Wal-Mart with the rabid shoppers and people who drive like maniacs? No thank you. Let’s schedule a root canal instead, please?
My biggest pet peeve in the world, actually, might stem from going to Wal-Mart.
First, for anyone who doesn’t know, my mom is in a wheelchair. She’s half paralyzed from a stroke that happened back in 2000. She’s also a slightly bigger lady. Teeny tiny back story, but you’ll need to know that, otherwise this won’t make any sense.
Handicapped parking sucks. It’s gotten better lately, but especially at some older businesses around Owasso, it just downright sucks. Small spaces, minimal spaces, NO spaces, crappy ramps… I could go on. And on. And I quite often do, on Facebook and Twitter.
But the worst things? Those stinking van accessible spaces.
What? Those? I know , I know. How could those wonderfully huge parking spaces be an issue at all?! Shouldn’t I be loving them, and the extra space to help my mom out of the car without dinging the door of another car?
Yeah. About that.
NO ONE apparently, knows how to park when they see those spaces.
Now, if there’s some weird law that I’m missing, (though I really don’t think there is) please, comment and let me know so I can quit ranting on like a jerk about this stuff.
These spaces, while being extra big, are extra big to allow for van unloading. Like, wheelchair lifts and whatnot. Unfortunately for most handicapped people, this is not the purpose most people think they meet.
It seems like a good chunk of the population seems to think that these bigger spots are little gifts from God when they can’t find parking of their own. And they, in turn, become the bane of my existence.
People ALWAYS park next to me when I park in those spaces. And I almost always end up waiting for them to leave, because I physically can’t get my mother back into the car without damaging their car. And, it never fails, that the drivers in question, get extremely hostile and immature when you call them on it. (Another peeve: Those people who think the pretty yellow diagonal lines are a parking space JUST for them…I got told it wasn’t my f****** business once, if someone parked in the yellow lines. Hm. They probably would have thought it was my business if I’d hit their car, I’m sure….)
So, I’m sure you can guess where this blog is going. Lo and behold, when we arrive at Wal-Mart that day…. there is exactly ONE empty handicapped spot in the lot. Of course, it’s a Van Accessible one. Naturally. I’m already in a horrible mood, so I plot the perfect thing to do. I’ll park so horribly that NO ONE will be able to park next to me.
I was perfectly within the lines of the parking space. Nothing hanging out, and not overlapping the yellow lines. Mom laughed at me a bit, but I got her out, and we went in to get her shopping done, certain that we wouldn’t get stuck.
Ha. Turns out I gave the human race more credit than I should have.
We come out of the store, and my jaw hit the asphalt. I couldn’t believe it. There was this truck. This giant, gas guzzler looking truck, squeezed into a corner of my parking spot, and over the yellow lines. I would be able to get mom in the car just fine… but I’d have to suck it in myself to get in, and there wasn’t a prayer I’d get the car out of the space without body damage.
So we’re standing there, both openly staring, and I’m debating between heading inside and unleash hell on some poor checker and their intercom; or just calling the cops because I’m sick of dealing with people in this town and handicapped parking. While we’re staring, this man who we’d passed on the way out stopped, and turned and watched us.
Turns out, this was his truck. Oh, the luck, right?
So this guy, who is probably in his late 40’s, early 50’s, saunters over. He doesn’t say anything, but cocks his head to the side, and seems to be assessing the situation. Part of me wants to completely tear into this guy. At his age, (and needing handicapped parking himself) shouldn’t he know better?? But, partly because it’s probably not the nice thing to do; and partly because I suck at confrontation, I didn’t. Instead, I looked from the cars to him, and calmly said that I wasn’t going to be able to get the car out without hitting his truck.
“Well, if you’d learn how to park, then there’d be room enough for all of us..”
Now. If I were my sister, or my brother, I’d probably be typing this from a jail cell. (Or, if mom’s speech wasn’t severely impaired…) There aren’t words for how angry that made me.And it’d be very unbecoming of me to say ANY of the things that were running through my head at the moment.
Ridiculous. I grew up and was taught to share like everyone else. But a parking space? That I’m in BECAUSE I NEED THE SPACE? A space meant for ONE CAR? Since when do I have to share THAT?!
A little disappointed I didn’t have the guts to be SuperBitch, I pointed out that he was the one who had crammed his truck into a parking space that was meant for one car, and started loading my mom and the groceries into the car. He climbed into the giant truck, and started it.
He sat there until I loaded every grocery bag, my mom, and her wheelchair. (which was less than fun with Giant Truck right there. He didn’t start to back out until I was in the car, and had been sitting for a while. Obviously, he was angling to take over the entire spot after we left. Which I think may have made mom angrier than it made me. Again, it’s probably for the best that some words don’t come out clearly ….
Jokes on him, really. As bad as I am about seeing distances, I very realistically could have nailed his car anyway, but…sadly, I was a decent driver that day.
I’ll admit, I took my sweet time backing out, and only partially because I don’t see distances awesome. I wasn’t happy with this guy. But… then it happened.
As I was backing out, I hear mom start to get excited, and she smacks my arm and tells me to look. So I look up. There, in our rearview mirror, is this little blue car. Blue car was coming in from the other side, at a much less severe angle, and they wanted the spot too. This gave me the giggles.
I knew the little blue car probably wouldn’t get the spot… but wouldn’t it be cool? Ohhh, wouldn’t that just show our new “friend?” But no. Things rarely seem to work out that way. But… it’d be cool.
So I back out even slower, keeping an eye on both cars as I finally leave the parking space. There was definite tension. I feel like we could have used some popcorn that day..
Finally out of the spot, I glanced in the mirror as we drove off….
And…. ZOOM! The little blue car zipped in and got it! What?! YES!
I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited in my life. We both cheered, and hollered, and carried on. I think I giggled the whole way home. I did, immediately call my husband on speaker phone, and relay the whole incident, in between giggles. (For the record, he wasn’t as amused.)
I did feel a little bit bad. I don’t think there was another spot anywhere. And he walked with a cane, so no doubt he needed a handicapped spot. (Though, history says he’ll just illegally park again, right?)
And I know it’s awful to wish misfortune on anyone. But I have no shame, it was so nice to see it fall back on someone else, instead of people yelling at me, or having to be super careful to avoid hitting cars that are parked where they shouldn’t be.
Now… to make this less of a bragging because someone else got gipped out of a spot post, does anyone know if the apps for reporting handicapped parking abuse actually work? Does local law enforcement even really care about this type of thing? Is there a better way to report it?
Any suggestions or stories in the comments would be lovely. ❤