I leave my newspaper on the table outside as I dart inside the coffee shop to get more sugar. When I return, four or five seconds later, a middle-aged woman is walking briskly across the street holding my newspaper in her hand.
Hey, I shout fairly amicably, I was not finished with my paper!
She turns around and throws the paper on the table near me. I don’t want your stupid paper, she says. What would I do with it? I am legally blind.
Fact is that she is wearing unusually thick glasses. Point well taken. What do I know?
I drive into an unevenly paved parking lot behind a woman in a big van. As she makes a right-hand turn, I spot a blue handicapped placard hanging from her rear-view mirror. Just as she is about to position her van in the reserved handicapped space, its engine stops. After several useless attempts to re-start it, she steps out of the vehicle and begins pushing.
I am a real sweetheart and also an old-fashioned guy so, my first reflex is to get out and give her a hand. I abstain because I soon judge her efforts to be useless. She is pushing that heavy van up a significant bump. I think there is no way the two of us can vanquish gravity and place the van in its right spot.
Then, the woman braces herself; the back of her dress rises and her big calves become like hard river stones; she harrumphs once and the van ends up perfectly parked in the handicapped space. I learned another lesson: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Speaking of parking makes me think of the last time I went to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). I just wanted a copy of a trailer permit. I had duly paid for the original when I had obtained it. As is normal, I was in a foul mood much before I reached there. Less logically, my irritation grew as I advanced up the line, as I got nearer the end of my ordeal.
The employee to whose window I am directed is a plump young Latina with thick eyelashes and a pleasant yet officious face. I explain my request. She goes tick, tick, tick on her computer and, quickly enough, she hands me the copy I want.
It’s $16.75, she says.
That’s ridiculous, I explode. That fee for a simple copy is an abuse of power. I changed my mind; I don’t want it anymore. Keep it!
Well, I will just have to give it to you, says the DMV employee with a big smile.
I practically fall on my butt in the midst of dozens of still pissed-off but unbelieving customers. I guess I don’t know everything about women, as I often think, just many things.
This is just a story; it has no deeper meaning, as far as I know.