As I drove Đạo, Đán, and Xuân to get their flu shot on Saturday, Đạo started to sob. He repeated this behavior every year. His fear of the needle had an impact on Đán as well. I got frustrated because Xuân who is three years old could take the shot without fussing, fighting, or crying, but a ten-year-old can’t.
As I pulled into the parking lot, all I could think about was how to deal with this issue. I didn’t realize that a car parked next to my left was furious until I heard its horn. I rolled down my window and the man on the passenger’s seat rolled down his and told me that “I was a bit too close.” I asked him, “Are you trying to pull out?” The woman in the driver’s seat yelled, “No, you pull out?” I was a bit taken aback? Did this white-privileged woman just yelled at me? I was just going to turn off my engine and let her back out, but the man in the passenger’s seat gave her a hand gesture telling her to calm her nerves. I ended up backing out and took another parking space. If I had no kids in the car, I wouldn’t have backed down. Who the fuck did she think she was? It was not my fault that she was a shitty driver who couldn’t back her car out. I am a grown-ass man with kids, therefore, I didn’t want to lower myself on her level.
What bothered me about the incident was that I let some goddamn stranger yelled at me while my kids were in the car. They didn’t hear her, but I didn’t want them to get the impression that I was a coward after I gave them a lesson about being brave for their flu shot. Now that a day has passed and I am glad that I didn’t react with a negative attitude. It was such an insignificant incident that it was not worth sweating over it.
We’re living in the time that kindness seems to be gone. We can’t even be respectful to each other over a fucking parking space. I would have been happy to comply if she asked nicely, “Do you mind backing out?” My mom once told me when I was a kid that you can say the same thing in either a positive or negative way. Choose positivity.