So I was driving my one day a week, hard-working, immigrant nanny/housekeeper to the bus as I usually do on Wednesdays. Mind you, this is Thousand Oaks, California not Newark, New Jersey. Nice upper middle class area with limited public transportation. The bus route is near the mall, so while we soccer mom's drop off our 'domestic' help at the bus, we can zip into Macy's for the latest in INC. or Bobby Brown (on sale, of course).
So- as she is getting out of the car, a seemingly un-crazy crazy guy stops in the middle of the road and points to me. Quickly, I tuck my wallet and purse under the seat of the car and wait for him to move so I can get the heck out of there fast. He proceeds to give me the finger. And, not the girlie kind of bird with closed fist. This was an arm's length bent-knuckled 'the Fingah!' Then he shouts out "Up Your A-(hole) N-word!" And believe me, he did not use the abbreviated versions seen here. There was no mouthing of these words. It was loud and clear. All heads (well, the few that were around the bus stop) looked at him, then at me as if I had just slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting him. But, there I sat, on the side of the road, paying my housekeeper as I had done so many times. Quietly. Non-confrontationally. Well within the laws of the road and driver courtesy.
Now while I've been called a lot of things in my life. I've been called an asshole. but never the N-word. I don't even use that word...ever. Not that I am beyond racial epithets...but that word is just so hateful. I think the C-word is the only other word I don't use. Everything else is fair game. Hell, I've even invented a few good ones. But that one? Not for me.
So- with my 4 year old in the back of the car...I bang a U-ie (that's cool guy for U-turn) and nervously get the hell out of there. I am pretending to be all cool, but a part of me wonders what brought about that slur. Was it meant as a statement against SUV's and some sort of political statement about global warming? (I drive a Honda Pilot, a mid-size SUV with really good mileage and safety ratings). Was he pissed off that I hire immigrants? Does he know I am a jewish woman and he is pissed that we don't do our own housework? Does he work for the bus driver's union and felt I was cutting off the bus lane traffic? I have no idea....but I couldn't help thinking I did something more than double park at a bus stop.
And, this whacko wasn't driving either. So there was no fear that he would ram my car or anything like that. He was on foot. Standing in the middle of the road with his arm held forth as if he was holding a Stop sign. Only his sign wasn't a stop sign. It was a sign that was more disturbing than that. I guess I should have waited to see if he approached my nanny at the bus stop...(was his epithet meant for her somehow?) But as I thought more about it after the fact, mother bird protects her young, not another bird. I go the heck out while the gettin' was good.
So, immediately - I call hubby and tell him about it. While he is in his car, he see's movie stars. While I am in mine - I get call a lot of things, but never this.