Temerity Jane
29. 11. 2010

I took a break from posting, and I’m not going to do that thing where I apologize for being gone so long because oh my god, even I don’t care.

I want to tell you about this lady we saw at Target a little while back. Remember how I’ve talked about putting carts back and all of that, and how just about everyone said that they do indeed put their cart away? I suspect that anyone who doesn’t put their cart away knows that they’re kind of a wang and thus wouldn’t comment, but I am going to go ahead and make the good faith assumption that we are all cart putter away-ers.

So Phil and I were at Target a few weeks ago, and you’re going to have to pretend we’re all sitting at a cocktail party or something, and I’m telling this story in a really engaging way, and I grab a cocktail napkin and pencil to sketch this out for you. You’re going to have to imagine the sketch. Because I don’t really feel like sketching.

So here I go. I’m really engaging, and I’m sketching, and you’re all gathered around trying to see my sketch and hear my engaging story.

Now that the scene for scene setting is set, let me set the actual scene. So we’re at Target, and we drive into the parking lot, like you do, and choose our aisle. You know, you decide which one you’re going to drive up and hope there’s a spot. We entered the aisle at the end closest to the store, and just a little way up, before one of those cement-enclosed grass areas that are in parking lots for some reason, that kind of separate off the first parking section from the next parking section, as if to illustrate with engineered terraforming just how good or bad of a spot you’re getting, there was a spot. Right next to that divider, so we’d be in the first section. An indisputable good spot.

So we’re just about to pull into it, and slow down to let a lady pass. She was walking her empty cart up the aisle from her car. And do you know what she did? She shoved her cart into the spot. And walked away. We’re sitting there, kindly allowing her to pass, as we assumed she would have to to get to the cart return, and instead of passing, she just shoved her cart into the spot and walked away, with this weird kind of barely noticeable shrug that indicated that she knew exactly how big of a wang she was.

So Phil threw up his hands at her, in the universal You’re a Total Fuckwad gesture, and we pulled forward, because there was another visible spot in the clearly secondary parking section, but that doesn’t bother us too much because WALKING TEN EXTRA FEET IS OK.

As we walked toward the store, I pointed out incredulously that the cart return was just about THREE SPOTS further up than where she had ditched her cart. We also watched one or two other people try to pull into the spot and drive off in annoyance. As we walked closer, even worse, I noticed a cart return DIRECTLY ACROSS THE AISLE from the spot into which she had abandoned her empty cart, which had surely formerly contained Cream of Bitchface, a couple of bottles of Inconsiderate Buttface supplements and probably some kind of stick for poking kittens or something.

Now, Phil, being a decent human being and also not above a little Screw You Action himself, walked across the lot and shoved the cart into a proper cart receptacle, just as the lady was driving by in her car to exit the parking lot. He yelled something about how she was a barnacle on the ass of polite society, or something like that, but she didn’t notice.

Do you know why?

Because she was texting. While driving. In a crowded parking lot.

Not only is this woman an inconsiderate non-cart replacing hose beast, but she is also a TEXTER-WHILE-DRIVING-ER. While shoving your cart into a parking spot that someone else is clearly about to take, a spot that is less than FIFTEEN FEET from a proper cart location, requires a certain kind of self-centered arrogance, texting while driving combines an unbelievably ridiculous confidence in your own driving, completely unfounded faith in everyone around you to stay in their lane or not dart into the street or not accidentally slip into diabetic shock while driving, and also a delusional belief in your own ability to exhibit superhuman reaction time and reflexes when you do look up from the screen of your phone.

This story doesn’t have a point except to let you know that this lady is OUT THERE. And she is taking your parking spots and potentially mowing down your Target-bound family, secure in her belief that she is more important than EVERYBODY EVER.

And you should LOOK OUT.

39 responses to “Warning: A terrible woman is OUT THERE.”

  1. Jess says:

    I laughed so hard while I was reading this post. I mean, I also got infuriated and tempted to scream things at this woman that use much worse words than “barnacle,” but also, so funny. But seriously WHO DOES THAT? Who intentionally blocks a parking spot right in front of someone who is CLEARLY ABOUT TO PARK IN THAT SPOT?

  2. OMG. I wish it was legal to carry paintball guns and tag assholes like that so everyone else knows to avoid them. And possibly tasers, too.

    Laurie Reply:

    I love that! I have always thought that I (not everyone else) should be allowed to walk around and freely taser assholes as I encounter them.

  3. Kristin says:

    I’m always the one to say something to people who act like that. My husband tells me I should just ignore it because we live in a small town, and he doesn’t want me to embarrass him. Isn’t it THEM who should be embarrassed? BTW… Missed you during your internet absence.

    TJ Reply:

    They should! They should absolutely feel ashamed about it, and how will they if no one says, “HEY I SAW THAT YOU SUCK?”

  4. If I had seen that woman I totally would have given her my patented eyebrow-raise-and-hand-gesture-of-doom. The hand gesture involves raising them in the classic WTF!!! shrug, but it’s the addition of the eyebrow that would have sent her into a spiral of shame ending only when she collapsed in a pile of worthlessness right there in the parking lot.

    Unless, of course, she missed it because she was too busy mowing me down.

    Some people. Hmpf!

  5. Melissa says:

    “Now that the scene for scene setting is set, let me set the actual scene. ”

    I read this sentence three times. Not because I didn’t get it, but because I liked it so much.

    People in parking lots are polite society ass barnacles way more often than they are not.

  6. Jen B says:

    I have to say that I felt myself getting enfuriated with each sentence of this post. I hate when people are so inconsiderate. Other inconsiderate cart moves: When the person in front of you in line is done checking out and they grab their bags and go, leaving behind their cart IN THE CHECKOUT, IN FRONT OF YOU like you’re supposed to do something with it! HA!

  7. sKRAPS says:

    Oh I get to be cocktail witty and draw a picture for you too…

    This morning on the way to work, I pass a few stoplights to get on the highway. The first light coming out of my sub-division was a lady, the light turned green, and she didn’t go. I waited a few seconds, and still she didn’t go. I then honked my horn (somehow this made me an a-hole), at which point she looked up from texting then went. The light turned red and I had to wait for another green.

    (live near hwy 12 in CA. Connecting the 2 main north-south freeways. Traffic is always scary here, as large trucks drive REALLY fast on a 2 lane highway)

    The a 1/2 mile down the road, the stop light to turn right onto the highway was red. I could see her face in her rear-view mirror, looking down and texting again. At which point she decided she waited long enough at the RED light and just turned. In front of a VERY large semi, who had a green light, there was much screaching of tires, swerving of trucks and she went merrily on her way, narrowly missing dying and I don’t think she even noticed.

    Your woman maybe drove to CA in the few weeks since she was at Target.

  8. Gen says:

    Oh, that was me. Whoops.

  9. Adlib says:

    Starred, shared, and liked in Google Reader because OH MAN. I think my head would have exploded before I even got the opportunity to do or say anything to her. I can’t believe how self-absorbed some people are.

  10. I hate to break it to you, but you will soon not be a cart put-awayer. Here’s the dilemma–leave your tiny, helpless baby all alone in the car while you put the cart away? Nope–not going to happen–you’ll be stressed the ENTIRE time you walk away, and what if someone busts a window and ganks your kid?

    Where are you? Three spots away, worrying about your cart. Plus, what if there’s a bee in the car? They start to scream bloody murder because they just got stung–you can’t hear it because you’re off putting away your cart.

    So, you think you’ll just take your kid with you to put it away? heh, think again… that carrier seems REALLY LIGHT right now, but when you put a 4 month old baby in it? Not so much… it’s pretty much the most awkward thing on the planet.

    I never EVER thought I would be a cart leaver–seriously— EVER.

    But, then I had to come to a big decision… I’d rather be a cart leaver than a kid leaver.

    TJ Reply:

    No way, dude. I’ve always been a cart putter away-er, and I always will be. My mom’s got three kids and has always been a cart putter awayer, too. I actually just called her to confirm that she didn’t experience any radical shift in cart behavior with any of her kids.

    I’d also never leave the kid (neither did she). It will just go with me, in a carrier or in a wrap. Inconvenient? Maybe. But I can absolutely promise you that I will continue to put my cart away once I have a kid, just like tons of other parents do every day.

    Jamie Harrington Reply:

    heh–okay, here’s what I want you to do… write down EVERY SINGLE thing that you swear you will NEVER do as a parent. A friend made me do it, I had a list of fifty things…

    and I’m not talking like “kill a puppy” or whatever, just all that annoying pet peeve stuff that you swear you will never EVER do…

    I can say that in my five years of parenting, I have done 43 of the things on my list. (And yes… cart putting away was one of them–I’ll never forget the day I broke that one!)

    TJ Reply:

    Come on now, that’s just condescending. I’m not a 12 year old making assumptions of how life will be as an adult. I’m a grown adult and capable of making reasonable assumptions based on my own life, experiences and knowledge of myself.

    Putting carts away has nothing to do with being a parent, though. I mean, I get that saying “Oh, my kid will never watch TV” or “I’ll never use time out” are completely ridiculous things to say and they’ll change.

    I just find it insulting to be *told* that I’ll suddenly start doing something that I’m clearly against just because someone else did. Like I said, my mom has always put her cart away, and I honestly think that NOT putting a cart away is putting your own convenience over the convenience of others – kids or not – and that’s just not the kind of person I am. I don’t see having children as an excuse for not putting a cart away when plenty of parents of children of all ages manage to do it consistently every day.

    Jamie Harrington Reply:

    I felt exactly the same way as you did when someone told me to make the list. Seriously, I was mad at her for days…

    But, she was right–EVERYTHING changed–my entire child philosophy changed. I was a school teacher for five years before I had my daughter, and I would NEVER EVER have thought I could have such a different opinion about raising kids than I did before having one.

    And you’d be surprised– it’s pouring down rain, snowing, etc.–your little baby looks cold–you don’t want to leave it all alone… and bam you put the cart on a median instead of walking it up to a corral. I’m not saying that you will leave it out in the middle of the road or in an empty spot… but when you realize the closest cart corral is 25 feet away, and you just want to go home with your babe… well– it’s just not worth it.

    Now, I have a five year old so OF COURSE I put my cart up. But there were a few times when I didn’t, even though I never in a million bazillion years thought I would do that. I’ll TOTALLY admit it, there are times when I have to put my own convenience over the convenience of others because I have a kid… they get fussy, tired–take a giant dump. (Oh that’s another one I said I’d never do! I swore I would NEVER change my kid in the back of my SUV for the whole world to see. Oh yeah, I broke the mess out of that vow!)

    Plus, our parents had it different than we did. There are a lot of things my mom did (ie- leaving me in the car while she ran into the gas station or whatever) that we will NEVER do.

    The thing is, I will ALWAYS pick my kid over anyone else…. and I NEVER thought I would be that way. (Oh that’s another one! I thought I’d continue to work–but then I realized daycare was a scary place, and I could never let my tiny baby go there all day and let someone else care for her while I was off teaching other peoples’ kids)

    I was the same way–I knew I wouldn’t be one of those no TV moms or one of those only organic food moms, or whatever… but I was surprised at just how much my opinions on the little things changed, and I thought I was TOTALLY prepared for them.

    I. WAS. SO. WRONG.

    Now, I’ve angered the pregnant lady enough for one day–so I shall run away!

    Swistle Reply:

    Right on. And I have FIVE children, and at one point I had TWIN INFANTS, and I was STILL not a cart-leaver. I can carry the carrier into the house, and I can carry it from a cart return to my car.

    Swistle Reply:

    Crap, it looks like I’m saying “Right on” to the part about how TJ will not be able to carry a carrier with a baby in it, but I meant to be saying “Right on” to what TJ said in response to that.

    imrahil327 Reply:

    Uhh…hate to break it to you but just because you ‘broke your rules,’ it’s simply not true of everyone. I have a young child myself, and I am absolutely a cart-putter-away-er still. Yeah, the carrier is heavy, but that doesn’t make me suddenly start to stop caring about other people.

    JCF Reply:

    Okay, I came just to comment about the non-cart-putting-away once you have kids, and I guess I’m not surprised to see that there’s a bit of a tussle going on about it.

    I always put the cart away when I had one kid. I always put the cart away when I had two kids. And then I had three kids under three and my local Trader Joe’s has NO cart corral. If I have to park at the opposite end of the parking lot from the main cart area in front of the store, I do not put my cart away. I live smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles, and I am not leaving my three in the car alone while I trek well out of sight of the car. Nor am I going to walk through the parking lot carrying an infant while my 1 and 2 year olds walk beside me when a bunch of idiotic Los Angeles drivers zip around like no actual person might ever be walking by. Sorry. I feel guilty every single time I do it, and I try to put it in a safe place with other carts, if possible. If I could physically carry all of my children or if they were old enough to trust to walk beside me safely, I’d do it, but for now, I just can’t!

    Lisa Reply:

    Park next to the cart return if the weather is bad.

    If not take your kid with you to the cart return and then carry them back. It’s pretty simple.

    I have never left my cart in a parking lot. I have 2 small children and am pregnant with the 3rd.

    JCF Reply:

    I usually have the park in whatever is the ONLY spot available in the whole lot. If I can, I absolutely park right next to the cart corral or close to the front of the store. It is a super crowded big city grocery store lot and CONSTANTLY has people driving around looking for spots when none are available.

  11. maerdred says:

    I would have kicked her car as she drove by. But that’s just me.

  12. Fyurae says:

    Those fortified grassy patches? Those are for people like this woman, who can’t emerge from the center of her universe. You can shove a cart up there so its NOT IN A PARKING SPOT.

  13. As someone who once had a job collecting carts (among other tasks), I can assure you that I too will be a faithful cart-putter-away-er for life.

    Also, with my kid, I’m expecting my perspective on somethings to change OF COURSE, but I am not expecting to become an asshole.

  14. Mel says:

    I am a parent of two and an adamant cart-putter-awayer. Doesn’t matter if I am cold, the kids are tired, it is snowing/raining/sleeting/etc. I do it.

    Besides being an example for the kids, I am being a responsible and considerate person. After all, if I expect those things from others, I better sure as hell do them myself.

    And, I guess I tend to park next to/across from cart corrals, to expedite this. It is not hard to be considerate of others.

    Also – strollers work wonders for baby errands (provided you aren’t stocking up at Cosco). You can clip in the baby seat, and you don’t have to return it to a corral.

  15. Julie says:

    My kids are 18, 16, and 15, so it’s been a long time since I had little ones with me when I shopped. I can tell you that I have always been a cart putter upper, and having children had no real impact on my life in terms of doing what is right and what is wrong. For those of you saying you changed because you had kids, my guess is that it wasn’t that important to you in the first place if having a kid changed it. This is a basic value, you either find it fundamentally wrong, or you don’t really care, and having a kid just brought out the I don’t care in you. It is incredibly presumptuous of you to think someone having a kid will change what someone else feels is wrong, just because you did. I faithfully walked my three kids under 5 to the cart return each time, then to the car. If there was inclement weather, I put them in the car, locked the doors, and returned the cart. Not a single bee sting incident in all those years.

  16. Kate says:

    Oh, oh! I know where that woman was earlier! She was at a Stop & Shop in MA, where she walked 20 ft from where she was parked in order to leave the cart IN THE PARKING SPOT NEXT TO THE CART CORRAL. I mean, seriously? You’ve already walked that far, couldn’t you make it the extra two feet to put the cart where it belongs?

  17. Lauren says:

    As a former Target employee I can tell you that you would be amazed at where people will leave their carts…but I too always have been, and always will be a cart-puter-awayer.

  18. cindy w says:

    I’m just awed and amazed that people like this exist and that they haven’t been weeded out, Darwin-style, by the rest of polite society.

    Yes, I will admit that a couple of times in extremely bad weather (like, freezing rain torrential downpour, not “hmm, it’s a bit chilly”), I have shoved the cart onto one of those little grassy medians instead of a cart corral. But I have NEVER IN MY LIFE left a cart where it would’ve blocked someone else from parking. That’s just unbelievable.

    This is where I’d get into trouble with my extremely polite, British husband, because I would’ve rolled down the window to scream something at her, and he would’ve died of embarrassment. But she TOTALLY DESERVES to have random strangers scream at her that she’s an a-hole. Because she is.

  19. Melissa says:

    That is ridiculous. 99% of the time, I park next to a cart corral so I can return it right next to my car. I have a small baby and do not want to leave her in the car while I return it. But, I will admit that if I can’t get a spot there and the weather is bad (meaning she would have to be in the carried to the car from the cart corral and it’s raining or cold), I have left the cart up at the front of the space with GREAT GUILT. Usually, the next few times, I try to bring in an errant cart to make up for it.

    In your case, the woman was a total tool.

  20. Nancy P says:

    I dont even know where to start! First of all I totally get it. I am and always will be a cart putter away-er. It enrages me when people don’t. I’m hyper ventilating right now just thinking about it!

    Second, W.T.F. with not doing it because your kids are with you. I NEVER left a cart out NOR did I leave my two kids in the car while I put the damn cart away! I would always park right next to the return if possible. If not then we would go to the car, put the stuff away (not always easy as you have to have an eye on the kids while doing so but guess what, it can be done. Then me and my kids would walk the cart back (sometimes with them in it,which made it even easier and then we walked BACK to the car! Oh yes we did and we survived!

  21. drhoctor2 says:

    No..not the “wait..till you have the kid(z)”..prophecy of doom-ers.. I promise..as a OLD mom…you will not turn into auto-a$$ upon expellation of your fetal mass !!

    Under things I never thought I’d say..only FUNNY stuff like..”I thought about how I would explain love and death and birth for hours..never did I once practice saying..If you put the dog’s testicles on your brothers face again..you ARE grounded, Mister !!”

    Totally true story. Ask me about stealing the babies “invisible stuff” sometime.

    Spoiler alert…the baby HATES that …screamage commences.

    Hang in there TJ ..you will LOVE this ride.

  22. Kelly says:

    Rather than a paintball gun or taser, I’d like a little electronic gadget that would cause a large electronic cloud to hang over such a person’s head that read, “I AM A COMPLETE DOUCHNOZZLE.” The electronic cloud would remain over their head until they have completed 10 random acts of kindness.

    And texting while driving in a crowded Target parking lot? That is just epic stupidity. Some time in the next week, that person is going to get into an accident that will be her own fault (and damage her car much more than the other person’s), and it will push her over the limit of accidents so her insurance company will drop her ass like a hot potato. This is my Christmas wish.

  23. Melissa says:

    Well this took an interesting turn!

    Once at Target, the cart return was two spaces from my car. So, I put my kid in the car, locked the doors and walked the cart to the return. Unfortunately, as I was putting him in the car, I threw my purse – with the keys in it – in the front seat.

    So, when I got back from my 5-second jaunt to the cart return, I discovered I’d locked my kid in the car. Kind stranger went inside to tell a manager, who called 911. 911 sent a fire engine, with a full crew into the Target parking lot. Crowds gathered. Me mortified. Child completely fine and not scarred for life.

    BUT! Even after that? Still a lifelong dedicated cart putter away-er. Just a much more careful cart putter away-er.

  24. lak says:

    Why didn’t one of you just get out of the car to move the cart out of your spot and then park???

  25. Swistle says:

    This is probably the best sentence ever written: “Now that the scene for scene setting is set, let me set the actual scene.”

    But I am also enjoying the idea that she would have gone out to purchase a stick for poking kittens.

  26. Swistle says:

    And since I managed to put it in the wrong place above, I would like to repeat what I said there, but here: that I am a mother of five; that at one point I was a mother of four, and two of those were TWIN INFANTS, and I STILL WAS a cart-returner. Some things are innate. And if I can carry a carrier from the car to the house, I can carry it from the cart return to the car. And if I could not, perhaps I would consider doing some upper-body resistance training to assist with that problem.

  27. […] don’t give me that “just wait til you’re actually IN the situation” shit like with the shopping cart thing. We still put our shopping carts away, and we would absolutely leave a restaurant or store if Penny […]