Dear Sir

DEAR SIR. My most embarrassing parenting moment.

To the man in the minivan in the library parking lot:

I want to preface this by explaining that every week, we have a ton of library books to return. I was just really FOCUSED ON MY TASK.

Wait! No. FIRST I want to point out that I have a three-month-old baby, I am kinda sleep deprived, and it’s hardly my fault.

But still.

Um. Hi. So…

I’m really sorry.

Here’s what happened. I have enough kids to populate a small soccer team, and they read a lot of books. We’re at the library all the time, because: cheap entertainment.

Anyhow. We stopped by the other day (as did you! great choice), but there was some sort of Fancy Library Activity going on, which means there was no parking (as you know).

I decided to hop out of the car to return our dozens of almost-but-not-quite-overdue books while my husband drove the kids around the block. By the time I finished, the minivan was pulling back into the parking lot.

I stepped into the lane, right up to the passenger side door. I leaned in toward the window, grabbed the door handle, started to pull.

That’s when I noticed.

The car was so clean inside.

From your perspective, things may have looked differently. I imagine your own internal monologue went more like:

I think I’ll go to the library!

La dee dah, here I am, arriving in the parking lot.

Hmm, there seem to be no available parking spa—AAAAAAAAACK, WHY IS THIS WOMAN WITH THE UNKEMPT HAIR TRYING TO BREAK INTO MY CAR?

I’M RIGHT HERE, DRIVING, LADY. YOU’RE NOT VERY SNEAKY.

AND IS THIS WHAT CRIMINALS ARE WEARING THESE DAYS? LORD HAVE MERCY.

It was very kind of you not to say any of that out loud, and instead to stare at me, bewildered and perhaps a little bit freaked out, because yes, OKAY, I did try to climb into your car like it was an overgrown taxi.

Again, right, sorry about that.

In my defense, you DID pull up right in front of me and then stop your car.

In YOUR defense, that was probably because of the stop sign. I see that now.

I am just hoping you thought I was a tourist. From another culture, in another land, far, far away. A culture with very different ideas about personal space. And personal transport.

But really it was just the sleep deprivation.

Or I guess it could have been my lack of “attention to detail” which here means “ability to identify my own car.”

Love (but not in an inappropriately friendly way),

Melissa

P.S. – My husband says that from where he was sitting in OUR minivan halfway across the parking lot, you looked like a very nice person, the kind who wouldn’t say the thing about my hair. So that’s good, then.

You might want to see me read this essay on video, here. It’s hardly awkward AT ALL.