Sunday, November 11, 2007

Principled Woman, or Spoiled Brat?

Alright. Here's the deal. There might be some ambiguity, and it's just to protect my sorry butt, and the identities of those involved in the situation.

So my mother and I picked up friend X, and drove her to meet my mother's two friends,Y & Z, who had come in a separate car. One of those friends (Y & Z) has a daughter who also brought her friend along.

When it came time to go home, the friend who had the other car, (Y) suggested that my mother drive home everyone else, since she was headed somewhere close to where we had been.

This is about a 15-minute walk from any of our houses, and about a 5-7 minute car ride. There was nobody else around to give anyone a ride.

Here's the problem. There were 6 people. Me, my mom, X & Z, the girl, and her friend. My mother drives a mid-size sedan.

"You can squish, right?" Friend Y asked, rhetorically.

Now, any normal person doesn't mind a few minutes of discomfort to do someone a favor. I don't mind squishing...if it were legal.

I objected however, for two reasons: It's illegal and unsafe. If one girl sits on the other's lap, and a) we pass police, or b) my mother makes a short stop C"V, we're in trouble.

Now, I knew if I offered to walk home, which, to be honest, I wouldn't have minded so much, it'd make a scene. People would think I'm trying to be dramatic, and manipulative if even I'm not. That's just how things like that are perceived. Even if you say it in the most gentle manner, people think you're being passive aggressive. Then people all start saying, "No, I'll walk...it's okay..." and everyone throws a fit about how they're okay walking, and I've started something too big for itself. It's just a 5-7 minute car ride. That would just be waay too dramatic.

So, I said, "I don't like this idea. I don't mind squishing, but I don't want to do something illegal and unsafe. I'm not very interested in getting a ticket C"V..."

While friend Y was out of earshot, her daughter wasn't.

The girl, Thank G-d, is one of the nicest, sweetest, most sincere girls I know. She recognized the issue, and approached her mother. I don't know what she said, but her mother agreed to drive her home. "Nothing personal!" I shouted after her. "I know," she said with a smile. But I felt like I really offended her, and might have even embarrassed the kid. She doesn't deserve that. She was probably willing to squish because she didn't want to inconvenience/disrespect her mother.

So, I got my way. I felt like a spoiled child. But I was right.

"You're a principled woman," one of my mother's friends in the car told me. "Thanks," I replied, unsure of her intentions.

I don't think Friend Y is evil. Ignorant and unaware, yes. Ill-intentioned? No.

Why would someone put my mother in a position of doing something unsafe and illegal, just to save herself a few minutes? She was only headed to visit one of her children. No appointment, no emergency. A casual visit.

She knew we'd have to squish, and it's unsafe and illegal. Yet everyone turned the tables to say that I was wrong. I couldn't think of a better way to handle it on the spot. I just didn't know what to do.

23 Comments:

At 11/11/2007 6:15 PM, Anonymous bad4shidduchim said...

I don't know that "spoiled brat" is the other option to "principled woman" here. But besides that...

You know that you weren't protesting because of "spoiled brat" reasons. I think that answers the question straight off.

The thing that is probably bothersome is that most other people aren't as principled, and don't care how many people squish into their car.

OK, I confess, I've driven with an extra passenger. So I would probably raise an eyebrow at you. At the same time, I have my own hangups, and so do most people. So I think they'll understand that you were being principled, even if they don't agree with the principle you were being principled about.

 
At 11/12/2007 8:10 AM, Blogger halfshared said...

You are my kind of girl. I also refuse to squish and do illegal things just cuz "she" said so. I do what I feel is right and that's that. Whenever people ask me for rides, I make sure there is legally enough room for her in my car and if not, I tell her I'm full. I don't have any interest in tickets or guilt trips should anything c'v happen. You did what was right.

 
At 11/12/2007 5:48 PM, Anonymous iyhbyyou said...

there's unsafe and unsafe. i think you were being a lil too goody goody here. im the first person to always drive and ride safely in a car (always wear seatbelts, a given, i know, but also to make sure the head restraints are properly aligned, not to text and drive at the same time, and in the "country" will never drive stupidly.) here, however, you know and i know that a few minute car ride with an extra passenger won't make any difference. in this situation you certainly weren't a spolied brat, nor principled, but instead, a stickler.

 
At 11/13/2007 8:32 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

B4S and halfdshared: Thank You.
IYHbyyou- Well, it would have the effects that enumerated in the post. G-d forbid someone make a short stop, or a police officer notice someone sticking up C"V.

That could be a cause for trouble.

 
At 11/13/2007 9:51 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

"Yet everyone turned the tables to say that I was wrong." I wasn't there so maybe there was something you didn't write, but I didn't see anyone in the story say you were wrong. One person actually complimented you. As for the daughter, she probably felt as uncomfortable about the situation as you did, but didn't want to say anything. Once you had said something though she probably felt more comfortable going over to her mother and saying that she'd be more comfortable driving with her. You did the right thing. Be proud of yourself... after all, you're a principled woman ;-)

 
At 11/14/2007 9:58 AM, Anonymous notsofrummie said...

Can I assume your the type of driver that goes down Ocean Ave at 30 miles and hour (city speed limit), slows down at every yellow light, and stops before the white line and every stop sign.

 
At 11/14/2007 2:20 PM, Blogger LakewoodShmuck said...

you did well

 
At 11/14/2007 4:51 PM, Anonymous ds said...

I'm not going to judge your or their behavior. I'm just going to say, wait until you're a mother. Remember, everyone is a nice person who means well and plays by the rules. But sometimes the situations overwhelm us. As a single girl you don't even realize half the responsibilities and tircha that your friend's mother has.

 
At 11/15/2007 10:56 AM, Blogger Leah Kleim Has Fake Tits said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/15/2007 10:56 AM, Blogger Leah Kleim Has Fake Tits said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/15/2007 3:58 PM, Blogger Semgirl said...

I am just going to adamantly agree with ds. If it really bothered you that much you could of made up a story, I need to go the grocery store a second and get something catch you guys later.

That way you arent inconveniencing anyone, or acting like a goody-goody, or implying Im going to walk since Im such a wonderful person.

 
At 11/15/2007 5:29 PM, Anonymous iyhbyyou said...

notsofrummy- it's you're not your

 
At 11/15/2007 5:30 PM, Anonymous iyhbyyou said...

semgirl- you could have not you could of

 
At 11/15/2007 10:17 PM, Blogger Semgirl said...

iyhbyyou

Hey I a produkt of Lakewood schools, lol..

 
At 11/16/2007 8:33 AM, Anonymous notsofrummie said...

iyhbyyou -- can you try and finish your thoughts when you write.. im a little confused with what you were trying to say to me

 
At 11/16/2007 11:42 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

notsofrummie--she's telling you that it's "your" not "you're," which I noticed as well, but didn't bother to correct.

If I were to correct all errors in the comments (or even in my own posts) it'd take all day.

Although, Thank G-d somebody else notices these things!

 
At 11/18/2007 12:01 AM, Anonymous iyhbyyou said...

i'm a male

 
At 11/18/2007 1:15 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Whoops. Sorry, I spaced.

All those grammatical corrections with the different names foncused me.

 
At 11/21/2007 2:52 AM, Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

you did the right thing

 
At 11/28/2007 7:45 AM, Anonymous moshe dov said...

I miss the good old days, when this was a weekly blog. Come on Michelle, your blogs are a good, thought-provoking read. Keep 'em coming!

 
At 12/04/2007 12:16 PM, Blogger LaffAlot said...

I confess. I think the limit in my car mustve been 11. Though im not 1000% sure...

 
At 12/04/2007 12:47 PM, Anonymous CresceNet said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12/26/2007 12:29 PM, OpenID mommymommyland said...

Sounds like you handledd it very well.

 

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