Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cornered on the Real Estate Market

In the twilight of evening, we had just met up with our brand new real estate agent who wanted to show us some "properties". In an effort to set the scene here, it was getting dark, I was tired, and we were new to the area. Anyhow, I lost the agent at a stop light, but when the light turn green, I sped up just a little and thought we had caught up with the agent. So anyhow, I am following the agent for a bit, when she starts ducking into side streets rather aggressively and then rather inexplicably drives into a vacant lot. In the lady's defense, my car was heavily tinted (we were living in Arizona, and dang it, everyone has their windows tinted) and my wife was in the back seat with our infant daughter. You have probably guessed what was happening by now, but just in case you are as slow as I was on that day, I had not been following my agent. A very angry Hispanic woman jumped out of her car and started yelling at me.
"What do YOU want?!"
"Why are YOU following ME?!"

I rolled down my window and told her quite calmly, that I was sorry and had mistaken her car for our real estate agent's car. I turned to get my cell phone, but as I looked back, the woman was still sitting there with a "puzzled/angry/scared as hell" look on her face. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that I had really freaked out this woman. She was mumbling under her breath, and kept looking into the car. At this moment, I was feeling really guilty, because I had honestly meant this woman no harm. It had been an honest mistake.

This woman was terrified, and I felt an obligation to assure her that her fear was born of an honest mistake. I rolled down our back window and told my wife to say something to her (I figured the scary man in the front wasn't going to be able to accomplish this regardless of my good intentions). So, as my wife is arguing with me, the lady notices the voice and decides after some hesitation to take a quick look in the back of my car. There is my wife next to our infant daughter telling me that she didn't have the agent's number either....

The woman convulsed as she ramped down from whatever level of fear that I had inadvertently stirred up inside her. She suddenly realized that someone who was going to hurt her probably wouldn't be travelling around with a wife and infant in the backseat. She looked as if she was going to cry, and suddenly looked confused/surprised/embarrassed at this entire scene. I couldn't think of any way to apologize any more profusely than I had, but I tried again. She waved her hand at me, a dismissive gesture, and walked over to her car. As we left, I noted in our rear view mirror, her sitting in her front seat, legs out the door, crying.

That happened ten years ago, and I still feel awful about it. At the time, I remember thinking (please forgive me) "too much television in that one". Ignorance by the truck load in me, I suppose.

Anyhow, thank you for giving me a glimpse as to why this poor lady was so terrified. I honestly had no idea.

With that stated, if you are getting aggressive attention in a public place, absolutely challenge the pig, and more importantly, challenge the people pretending it isn't happening right next to you.

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