Sideways Spat

When someone proclaims something about you, sometimes you get defensive. Well this just happens to be a true story from a couple weeks ago.

In late January I bought a bathroom cabinet from Target. I opened the box and the included hardware from the first step of the installation were missing. Great, the hardware was missing. A couple weeks back, I finally packed the darn thing in its original box to return to Target. I brought the box outside the house and was locking the front house door when I heard someone saying something to me.

“no thanks, I’m fine”

I didn’t really know what the stranger said, but I figured I best say no. I assumed he asked if he could help me move the box to my car. I stood on the top of my stairs for a little bit, hoping he’d continue walking away from my house. Nope, he stopped on the sidewalk and said something again. This time I heard every word exiting his mouth.

“can you give me a ride a few blocks?”

Naturally I responded negatively by politely saying no. I was still on the top of my stairs when the stranger then accused me of being a racist. “you’re a racist”. I was a bit shocked someone would make a proclamation like that based on my reluctance to drive a complete stranger three blocks away. I highly doubt I’d drive a friend three blocks, but a complete stranger… hells no.

I put down my boxed up bathroom cabinet and asked the guy what he said, descending my steps to get a closer look at the guy. He repeated his racist accusation. I foolishly chided him. I engaged him asking what about my ride denial warranted the racist label. He continued to blab. I half chuckled to myself. I may have said something about how I’d call the police and then he may have dared me to call them. It’s entirely possible I may have then taken his picture using my cell phone.

I watched him walk around the corner and vanish. I waited a few minutes, finished loading the boxed bathroom cabinet in the Prius and drove around our neighborhood. I made sure he wasn’t up to any other mischief as stuff has been happening in our neighborhood. I didn’t like this interaction. I didn’t appreciate this accusation one bit. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if one of our car windows is broken in the next few months.

Hey, Target took back the bathroom cabinet and I was able to build the white pressboard cabinet without any instructions. That my friends is what we call a silverlining.


About lessinges

Seattle native, discovering life! I like ice cream, cold cereal, and The Amazing Race.
This entry was posted in Opinionated, Storytelling, The Vigilante, Who Edits a Blog Entry. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Sideways Spat

  1. justrun says:

    Okay, creepy.
    But go Target!

  2. jaded says:

    Provocation lives on. You would think with all the emphasis on being politically correct in the media people would have a better understanding of what the “r” word means.

  3. sizzle says:

    That would skeeve me out and I’d worry my windows would get busted out too.

  4. Felisa says:

    When I was living in the South, I think I got accused of being a racist like every other week — and I’m not. It’s just so easy for some to say that.
    But to hear that in Seattle would be totally new to me. That’s something I’d be a little concerned about… especially because he knows where you live. Just be careful 🙂

  5. Chris says:

    I wish I could spell the facial expression I think I made (can’t confirm because I didn’t see it).
    How freaking perplexing!

  6. Matt says:

    I get accused of that on a weekly basis (at least!)by 12-year-olds. The race card must be awfully convenient, considering how often it’s played.

  7. egan says:

    justrun – while at Target I had to wait around as they found a replacement unit. The woman was very nice even though I got a little short with her because I didn’t have the instructions. I may have said something like “well it was missing parts and you think it’s a big deal to not have the instructions?”. As you can see, I was a bit fired up still.
    Jaded – in all fairness, I’m going to guess the stranger doesn’t really watch the news. I’m going out on a limb here, but I would say he wasn’t all there… if you know what I mean.
    Sizzle – yep, we’ll see what happens. I think it’s just a matter of time before someone breaks into our cars again. Jerks.
    Felisa – the guy was a tool. We’ve had people attempting to scam neighbors recently and his smooth talking ways fit the warning emails I have read. Odd how some feel the race card is their only option.
    Chris – it was very strange. I tried to let the guy off by just saying “leave me alone” and he wouldn’t let it go. He was just interested in calling me a racist and that’s it. Oh well, tough shit for him.
    Matt – yikes, a weekly basis? I don’t think I could teach if that was the case. I don’t get the need to throw terms around that have no merit.

  8. brookem says:

    that’s frustrating. interesting what stories people will make up or assume about someone if they don’t get the response they are looking for. because clearly if you won’t drive a complete stranger down the road, then you’re obviously a racist. idiot.
    and if his response was so heated just because you said no, imagine what could have happened if you DID drive him? who knows what ideas he had in mind… sounds like a loose cannon.
    (and he’d think im racist for saying that, right?)

  9. furiousball says:

    yikes dude. crazy people are every where

  10. sprizee says:

    Egan, don’t make me lecture you. Never engage crazy.

  11. egan says:

    Brookem – the guy was clearly nutty. I’m not driving anyone lingering outside my house anywhere. I have a feeling he didn’t need to go a few blocks. I have a feeling he wanted to engage me in a discussion to test my vulnerabilities.
    furiousball – they are, including my neighborhood. Seattle is full of many crazies. I think we can blame the rain.
    Sprizee – I know, taking a picture probably wasn’t the best thing. However, I didn’t want to go back in the house and hide. The police will tell you need to make your presence known. Taking a picture may go too far, but at least that dude knows I’m standing my ground.

  12. Pants says:

    What an uncomfortable and unwarranted conversation.

  13. emma says:

    One more reason to a) never leave the house, b) talk to no one, and c) own a very large dog or compulsively shedding cat.

  14. SM says:

    One time, after exclaiming that I will only write with blue pen, I was accused of being racist. Clearly I have a preference for an all blue race.
    Ugh. Good call on standing your ground but I do have to say that the image of you trying to get his picture seems strange. I don’t know why but it seems more aggressive than I assume you are. Or that i picture you do be. But what the hell do I know?

  15. big bro says:

    Um, this post contradicts your last post’s title…

  16. Cazzie!!! says:

    Well, that guy certainly had a chip on his shoulder. I am glad for you that Target took back that cabinet, I wasn’t sure how long they would give you to be able to return something you know. Good on you!

  17. Amanda says:

    I can’t imagine how one person could ask a complete strange for a lift in the first place, let alone accuse them of being racist. He sounds a little unbalanced. I hope your windows (and your family) will be safe over the next few weeks. Take care!

  18. You should have said, “no, I’m not a racist, but you are a nutjob!”. I hope you filed a report about him. At least called the police to let them know of the incident since he is likely to do it to someone else, they will want to patrol your area and keep and eye on him. Sounded like an angry man.

  19. JLee says:

    He was trying to guilt you into a ride. Probably works on some people, but then again, if they’re actually racists, it wouldn’t work at all. Oh never mind…

  20. Jen says:

    Bizarre! I was told I am not a good friend for not driving my friend someplace, but at least that made sense. Not driving a stranger someplace and then being called a racist, doesn’t make sense.
    I think it was a good idea to stand your ground.

  21. hool says:

    yo monkeyman! hows the training? trade in toilet seat for bike seat

  22. brandy says:

    Oh crazy people blow my mind. I always find it doubly infuriating when people a) say something about me that I don’t feel is true and b) it’s a stranger saying it. That always gets me even more angry. As Jen said- I think it was a good idea that you stood your ground!
    Were you happy with the end of the amazing race?

  23. egan says:

    Pants – you’re damn right. I decided to cut it short by taking his photo. Worked like a charm.
    Emma – leaving the house is never a good thing. It can lead to so many other problems such as blogging atrophy.
    SM – who doesn’t like to be photographed? Racists? Sure, it was perhaps a tad awkward to take his photo, but it’s a good way to document the creep lingering in front of my house. Pen color selection definitely mean you have tendencies against certain races. Duh.
    BigBro – how so?
    Cazzie – nice to hear from you again. I think I pushed it by waiting as long as I did to return the item. Those folks at Target are a friendly bunch. I’m assuming they have them Down Under too.
    Amanda – unbalanced is a keen observation and one I should have paid closer attention. Knock on wood — no issues yet, but now I just jinxed myself and should probably backspace over this sentence. Nah.
    movingdowntheroad – I’d call the police if he technically broke any laws, which he didn’t. He was just creepy and lingering in front of my house. Calling me a racist is foolish and not too accurate, but it’s not against the law. I hear you though and since I have his photo on my phone, I won’t forget him.
    JLee – hey, did you just call me a racist? Take that back! I kid.
    Jen – I figured it was the only option considering he knows where I live. If it happened elsewhere I may have shrugged it off. Thanks for the comment.
    Hool – ha, still running often good buddy? Are you still in B.C. or have you migrated back to Nova?
    Brandy – of course I was happy with the siblings winning. Those two were really good although I think I found my new calling, swim instructor for adults. I mean seriously, how poor did all of them look in the water? Strangers are called strangers for a reason and it’s not because we don’t know them.

  24. Maggie says:

    you’d think if someone really wanted help, they’d make it reciprocal – to sweeten the deal so to speak. But in some cases, entitlement rears its ugly head and then venom comes easily for the slighted.

  25. Kerry says:

    How completely crazy and creepy! Have you seen him since!?

  26. egan says:

    Maggie – I’m not really sure the guy had much to offer consider he didn’t seem all there. Maybe he could have offered a reacharound or something.
    Kerry – I have not seen him since, except on my cell phone. Lucky me.

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