The other day, I was at the playground with my boys, a neighbor, and her son. The kids were happily diving off the many openings of the slide-climbing-death-trap contraption and tossing mulch into each others eyes and hair. I was taking the opportunity to make me-talk-big-girl conversation with a bonafide, living adult. I kind of hoped she'd offer to braid my hair or something, but no dice. It was fun anyway. And, a little later, you guys? A total stranger joined us with her young daughter, and I introduced myself! For real. Without puking on her. In fact, I was so proud, I made up a quick FIRST DAY OF MAKING FRIENDS sign and had her pose with me for a picture to show my therapist.
And really, for about ten minutes or so, we looked like a happy little group as long as you ignored the whining, shrieking children. Well, after a while New Friend had to get going. Sad, I know. So we all stood up from the picnic bench to bid her a warm farewell. I considered hugging, but figured maybe it was too soon. But before she collected her kid, things took a turn for the worse. Please reference the following diagram for the remainder of the story. Ahem.
|(Please ignore utter inability to consider perspective & scale.)|
In my peripheral vision, I noticed a woman getting out of her car and heading to the mailboxes that were located located on the other side of our complex's parking lot. But I paid little attention, because at that point I was probably turning my head, my hair moving in impossibly slow motion so as to highlight its sheen and volume, and saying something so witty that New Friend definitively decided I was going to be her New Best Friend Forever. We all laughed and sighed and wiped tears from our not-too-little-and-not-too-much eye-lined eyes.
But then that blasted peripheral vision kicked in again in a manner that could only be likened to Spider Man's very own Spider Sense. I. knew. someone. was. in. trouble. It was at that point that the soundtrack to our lovely outing (I think we were on an old-school Rolling Stones track) screeched to a halt. I may have even raised a hand so as to silence New Friend. She halted mid-sentence and furrowed her brow. Probably. I turned toward the parking lot and saw the woman's car slowly inching backwards. SHE'D FORGOTTEN THE EMERGENCY BRAKE! Shocked at what I was witnessing, I started to yell nervously.
"Oh my God! Her car! HEY! YOUR CAR!"
At this point, my friends have noticed this oddity as well and are nervously muttering, "Hmm, yeah, it kind of looks like her car is rolling away." They may have chuckled. Probably because they ALSO noticed that the woman was, in fact, not driving, but had gotten out of the passenger's seat. Her driving partner was backing up. He was backing up, people. But I had no time to notice such significant details. The woman had clearly not heard me.
Now, pointing. Maybe waving furiously. I was considering running over there to intervene.
I think the woman glanced up briefly, to my disbelief, as she turned away from the mailbox and walked toward her runaway vehicle. At this very moment, the car started to make that I'm-backing-up,-jackass turn. It was only at this point that I noticed the reverse lights.
She leafed through her mail, climbed in the passenger's seat, and drove out of sight.
I turned back to my friends with my head down and laughed nervously. "Wow. That, ah, that really looked like her car was rolling away, didn't it?" And, to be honest, I don't clearly remember what happened next, guys. I do recall awkward smirks and attempts to go back to the conversation we were having. You know, to pretend it never happened.
It's just best for everyone involved.