Instant Karma

Ryan Magee – PA hard at work

Sunday is my last field hockey game of the season. We’re hoping for a win. Our first win. Mike has work, so I drop him off in the morning on my way to Moorpark College. Then I stop at 7-11. I pull into the parking lot, and another car is pulling in from the other entrance to my right. There’s a spot directly in front of me, so I go ahead of the bright red sports car and pull in. There’s an empty spot to my left, so red car pulls in next to me. I don’t think it was wrong of me to take the spot. Let’s say I let red car go ahead of me. Red car would have had to make a wide turn to get into the spot, which means red car might actually hit me in the process.

I get out of my car and don’t pay attention to woman getting out of red car. But maybe she was looking at me. Make myself a cup of coffee, shoving some extra splenda packets in my purse for the apartment, grab a bottle of water and a granola bar, and head up to the register. Red car lady is standing here paying for her stuff. There’s room on the counter to her right, so I put my stuff there. She’s an older woman. Frizzy hair tied back on her head, with a gruff voice like she smokes a lot of cigarettes and a confidence that makes me not want to mess with her. She notices me, then speaks to the cashier. “Go ahead and ring her up, too.” She looks at me. I’m stunned. “For giving me a spot.” Wait, what? I’m so confused. Um, wow, thank you so much, you didn’t have to do that. She smiles.

What is happeningggg. Is this gesture dripping with sarcasm? Or is she being genuinely nice for no real reason? I thank her again and walk out to my car, feeling weird. She’s still inside, paying. As I pull out of my spot, she walks out to her car. We make eye contact, and she starts smiling and waving. I smile and give a wave of thanks. What is going on??? That could not have been real. That was fake nice. I took the first spot. I didn’t “give” her the spot next to me. It was just open. Why would she buy my stuff? I’m so confused. This is freaking me out. I keep looking in my rear view mirror to see if she’s speeding up behind me, trying to run me off the road. I should have been a nicer person. I should have let her take the spot. Or I should have at least looked at her when I got out of the car. But if I did it over again I probably would have done the same exact thing. OK. This was just a person being nice for no reason. I have to think of it that way. The only thing I can do now is be nicer to people. Do a good deed or something. Pay it forward. Because if I keep thinking about red car lady I’m going to go crazy.

Once I get to the field all is forgotten. Field hockey is on the brain. I finally meet Patti, who I first exchanged emails with back when I discovered the league. We’ve been missing each other every weekend – her daughter is in high school and plays in tournaments all over. Patti and I are very like-minded. I can tell she is serious about field hockey – basically opposite of Rebecca and most of the young girls on the team. When she starts talking about the girls and the “way” to coach them, it’s very reminiscent of most of my conversations with Coni (Spence athletic director). Similar because she stresses the importance of keeping the girls around and making them love field hockey, especially because we don’t have the numbers. Patti, what is the deal? I thought field hockey was big on the west coast. She looks at me like I’m crazy (second time I feel crazy today). She and her daughters have been to the east coast for various tournaments. “When we go there, and say we’re from California, they look at us like we’re nothing. ‘California girls don’t know how to play hockey’.” Wow. I never knew. Apparently, there are only about four decent college teams in California, and they’re all way north. Bummer. So she and the rest of the organization are trying to build something here. I’m happy to be a part of it. As long as I can get here.

Her daughter is playing with us today – goalie. She’s really good – aggressive – something this team is really missing. The two Erin’s and Amanda are here, thankfully. I’m excited to play. Rebecca peps the team up before we start. “Let’s score early, guys.” Right. Isn’t that always the plan? Turns out, her pep talk works, and we score in the first 15 minutes. I won’t drag this out. We’re up 1-0 at halftime, and we lose 3-1. sdkfhdsgkjhgkljhdgkjhdsds I’m so pissed. First of all, the little dweeb referee on my side of the field is an idiot. Second of all, the girls on the other team are the biggest bunch of babies I’ve ever seen, complaining about every call and crying if the call isn’t in their favor. I hate to be a hypocrite, but I do flip out on the ref at one point. I’m dribbling the ball and go right through the girl, putting the ball into her feet. Tweet. My ball. He gives it to her! It so blatantly BOUNCED off her foot. I throw my hands in the air. Ref, what’s the call? “It hit your foot.” Are you kidding me? I dribbled it right into her foot. Another time I dribble by a girl and she gets between me and the ball. Her ball. Dude, what’s the call? “You can’t go through her.” No, she can’t plant herself between me and the ball you half-wit. It’s called obstruction. Maybe you should read the handbook. God. I’m getting heated all over again. I promised myself I wouldn’t write about this, but I can’t stop.

Anyway, even with all that, the other team was still better than us. The girls on the forward line had bullets for shots. One girl took a shot and it barely skimmed my thigh, then banged against the back of the cage. Even though it barely touched my leg I have a huge bruise from it. I wish I could shoot like you, you dumb 17-year-old Barbie. Sorry.

After work tonight, I have to pick up Mike from his job – he’s had a long day. He asks if we can drop of another PA. Sure! (Good deed.) This kid gets in the backseat. Ryan – a little nerdy, but funny, and incessantly making fun of Mike. I ask him what his story is. “Well, I was adopted. No, but uh, I just graduated from William Paterson, and my cousin was working out here with Auction Hunters. They came to Jersey for some episodes and hired me temporarily. They like me so much they asked if I wanted to come on permanently.” By this point, we’ve pulled up to where he lives. I cut him off. I don’t really care, we’re here. “Oh, right, OK.” Haha just kidding, but he gets out anyway. Mike and I get home and after some sleepy-haha’s, pass out.

*John Lennon

4 thoughts on “Instant Karma

  1. Hahah Lindsay I do the same thing with the Splenda packets lol. Well not so much anymore because I don’t get coffee as much as I used to but I was cracking up when I read that.

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