- 4 years ago
- Wedding: April 2013
I want to know if DH should go over and apologize (again) or if we have a right to be a bit offended. Here’s some background:
DH and I are white, living in a predominately black neighborhood (and I only mention this because it pertains to the story). We have lived here for nearly three years and never had an issue with anyone, including our neighbors who are an older, black couple (probably 60s). In fact, we’ve been nothing but nice to each other, always saying hi and stopping to talk, inviting each other to parties, etc.
So, DH works long hours, sometimes from 9AM-10:30PM, so he’s ready to get home, eat dinner, and go to sleep. Our building (of townhouses) has a community parking lot that reaches right up to the doors of each townhouse. DH usually parks on the opposite side of our aforementioned neighbors because the woman can’t walk very well and uses a cane, though it would be a shorter walk for him to not do so. Anyway, he came in late one night this week and the neighbors had company, including a man with a little toddler boy.
According to DH, he went to his usual parking spot and got out. As he was walking back, the (white) man stopped him and said ‘you need to slow down, this is a parking lot. You could have hit my son.’ DH never speeds through parking lots (and rarely, if ever, speeds anywhere… He has a delivery job and one ticket or citation means he will be fired). However, though he knows he wasn’t speeding, he apologized and came into the house.
Two days later, he came in from work, furious. Apparently, he pulled into his parking space again and was stopped by the same man. This time, the man was very confrontational and this was the exchange.
Man: “I don’t want to have to tell you again, you need to slow down. Then, you almost clipped my auntie yesterday,” indicating our neighbor who walks with a cane.
DH: (Slightly confused/annoyed) “I did not.” (Assuming he meant DH nearly ran over our neighbor with his car, which clearly did not happen).
Man: “She told me you did. Are you calling my auntie a liar?”
DH: (Thoroughly confused and annoyed) “I just worked fourteen hours, I want to get home. I don’t have time for this” and then went into our house.
He came in and told me what happened and my first reaction was ‘YOU ALMOST HIT A LADY WHO WALKS WITH A CANE WITH YOUR CAR?’ Because, I take ‘clipped’ to mean nearly hitting someone with a vehicle. No, he didn’t. This is what happened (and this is the only thing DH can figure the man is talking about):
It was supposed to rain, so DH took his raincoat, work gloves, and lunch box (which is one of those big, soft cooler-style lunch boxes). He had everything sitting on the passenger’s side seat, to be taken in the house. He went around the car, to the passenger’s side, and took everything out to be carried in. He didn’t realize our neighbor with the cane was bending over to pick something up and he happened to have swung his lunchbox out when he was taking it out, NEARLY hitting her in the head. He apologized and she said it was okay and he went inside. Then, we get this guy we’ve never seen/met before (we met a lot of their family from parties and stuff) making it into a huge deal.
So, last night, DH was getting out of his car and got stopped by our neighbor this time, the woman’s husband. He said: “Have we done something to disrespect you or are you and your wife just racist?” WHAT? I don’t know how I got dragged into this. We have NEVER had an issue with them or anyone else. Plus, need I remind you, that the guy who was confrontational with my husband IS WHITE. DH apologized (again) and said we are not racist, we didn’t mean any disrespect to them, we liked having them as neighbors because they’ve been nothing but nice to us, etc. DH came home, very upset by the whole thing. I mean, I’m incredibly offended at, essentially, us being accused of being racist. (I’ve dated more guys who aren’t white than are, have black cousins and family members, and DH and I are the furthest thing from racist, in general). I have no idea where any of this came from.
Should we go and talk to them or should we let this go? Clearly, the one starting trouble is the man who likes to police the parking lot. What should we do? I consider our neighbors to be friends and would hate to lose them as such and be considered ‘racist’ while living in a predominately black neighborhood for at least another year (because it isn’t true). Any advice is appreciated. TIA.