Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Has this happened to you?

Do you ever sit in your car, even for a few minutes? I do. For various reasons. When I was selling Mary Kay (forgive the swear word), the only way I could get quiet some nights away from the kids and the hubby (I have an extremely noisy household) was to sit in my car to make phone calls. In the mornings before the day job, I usually stop at McDonald's to get a bagel and a drink. Rather than try to butter the bagel and take my morning medicine while I'm driving, I pull over to the side in the parking lot to take care of business rather than chance wrecking. It only takes me a few minutes and then I'm on my way. Well, this morning, a woman carrying what looked like a Bible and pamphlets approached me in the car, and asked me if I speak Espanol. I don't so I said no. That's when I noticed the load in her arms. She walked away but then I noticed she seemed to be canvassing the parking lot. Oy! I'm so tired of getting jumped while I'm sitting in my car, minding my own business. This wasn't the first time. When I was making those Mary Kay calls, in my own drive way, a man tapped on my window wanting to ask a question. He totally freaked me out, in particular since it was dark. Luckily, he wasn't out to hurt me, but it was scary. Then another time, when I went to my dentist and I was early so I sat in my car for a couple of minutes, doing some kind of paperwork, and another woman tapped on my window. She was a Jehovah's Witness wanting to proselytize to me. Again, she surprised me and I was freaked out, even though it was day time. I don't know about any of you, but I don't like for people to come up to me out of nowhere. If it was an emergency, if they need help, or if they're asking if I need help, that's one thing, but for stuff like that? Especially as in my area, a mother and her young daughter were recently shot to death while in their cars at an upscale mall (Boca Towncenter). I guess I shouldn't sit in my car for even a minute extra, but sometimes, you have to collect things before you get out. Sometimes, I write while I'm waiting for my hubby or kids somewhere. Maybe I shouldn't do that. Is it just me that gets freaked out so easily? That doesn't like that?


Molly Daniels said...

If I'm listening to the radio or even tape or CD, and arrive at my destination while a song I like is still playing, I will sit in the car and sing along until it is over. I've gotten a few strange looks, but no one has tapped on my window.

Phoenix said...

Ashley, Thank you for popping in to the interview last night. What a blast!

And YES. People approaching me in my car creep me out. I would never do that to someone so it's hard to imagine what goes through the mind of someone who does it back.

Unknown said...

I wouldn't make a habit in sitting in cars but that's me. Mary Kay huh? I saw a movie on the founder...very interesting

CJ Parker said...

It's only happened to me once. I answered her question through about an inch of open window. As she walked away all kinds of things ran through my mind. She looked like she was lost, broke and hungry. She was covered in dirt. Okay, you guessed it, I drove up beside her and asked if she needed a ride somewhere. She smiled and said she was fine. Turns out she just works in landscaping and was dirty because of that. She was hungry, but not starving and had come to the wrong McDonalds to meet her husband for lunch.

Anonymous said...

Hi, a thought just ran across my mind as I read your email. I understand you being caught off guard and startled, that is not good. But have you ever considered that she may have thought her message to be extremely important? Everyone has a different set of values. In todays world people work 2 and 3 jobs to maintain a "comfortable lifestyle". That means they are never at home to enjoy their house or breakfast in their kitchen or time with their children. They are working or on their way to work. So no doubt the woman who chose to use her time to try to share a Bible message with you, felt very strongly that what she was doing was something obviously very important, though you did not share her view. She must consider you and others worth the effort to get up early and go to McDonald's where many enjoy their breakfast.

Unknown said...

I'm of two minds about this.

It still startles me, especially if I don't see them walking up and they just seem to appear out of nowhere like a couple of them did.

I understand someone who feels strongly about their message enough to share it, however, so do sales people for any number of products, so I don't know if that endears them to me.

I don't make a habit of sitting around in my car for the fun of it, but sometimes, my kids get louder, not quieter, if I have to make an important call(s). I went to Borders the other night to do the interview with Kaz as the 13 year old was having a screaming fit. But when I got to Borders, the cafe was full. I went to the back music section that's usually pretty quiet and a huge group of people were practically yelling. I was very tempted to go out to my car to do the interview. But Kaz said she could hear me okay, that my headphones blocked out a lot of their noise. Since I was talking into the microphone and not the headphones, I wonder about that, but it seems to have worked.

Sometimes, the car is the only quiet place I can go.

Cath said...

That is a hard one Ashley. I guess to some extent I agree with anonymous - some one has taken the time to share something that is precious to them with you.

But on the other hand, as a "lone woman" in a car, I do not like to be approached. I often sit in my car for peace, or to finish listening to a song, but never in dim light. Too scary.

I guess, in a car park at MacD's in daylight, I wouldn't mind being approached if a little irritated. In my own driveway? Unless it is a matter of life or death - furious!

Depending on circumstances and my mood I guess is my answer!

Anonymous said...

Just looked to see who you were. A writer. I am encouraging my son to write a children's series. Do you have any thoughts on self-publishing?

On the subject of the car incident. I think that the difference between a salesman who has a passion for his trade and a Jehovah's witness is vast. More often than not, a salesman's sole aim is to make a sale whether it be affordable for you or not. They could care less about your quality of life after the purchase.
Their zeal is strictly fueled by the desire to get ahead. The person that came to your car does not get payed for what she does. She has no ulterior motive. It will not put food on the table for her children. She gets no monetary compensation for leaving you with a magazine. She gets nothing but the hope that you may read whatever she gives you (not just take the literature with the idea that you are doing her a favor and then throw it away, can you imagine giving someone a copy of your book and then they walk away and toss it?) or maybe she would hope that you would think about whatever thought she has left with you. That is it. Her zeal is fueled I would think by love of God and love of neighborhood. I think Hal David and Burt Bacharach put together a nice song that we all like to sing but don't truly like to practice."What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love"

Again for emphasis, I do not like the idea of being startled, we live in a scary world, I would never encourage that. And scaring me would not endear me to whatever message one would bring. I do find though that putting myself in others shoes and trying to understand their point of view in life makes life a much richer experience.

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