Bad experiences at the Apollo and on the street

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 6/21/2013, 2:19 p.m.

Not being one to cause a scene or demand to see the boss, I left. Amidst my disappointment--not to mention embarrassment, as it made me feel like I was a party crasher--I couldn't help but think one thing. It's not about me per se, but here I am representing the New York Amsterdam News, and this is the Apollo Theater, two of the country's longstanding institutions. Both establishments are located right around the corner from each other. Where's the sisterhood? Where's the camaraderie? Where's the professional courtesy? Obviously, there is none, because under the circumstances, I, or any other person in my position, should have been granted admission. Period. In short, as much as I would like to have reported on all of the evening's tidbits that I know you love to read about, I can't, because they wouldn't let me in. Boo hoo.

The second event of the week occurred right out of the blue. After completing a series of errands in preparation for Julia to start day camp next week, it was noontime, and I suggested we go to Ollie's on Broadway and 116th Street for lunch. As always, parking was a nightmare, but we were lucky enough to find a spot between two cars that were permissibly double parked on 114th Street between Broadway and Riverside Drive. We parked, we ate and we returned 10 minutes before the time was up, something I am very conscious about for two reasons: one, I don't want to get a ticket, because once time is up, you are considered illegally double parked and will get a ticket; and two, I don't want to block anyone in once time is up. Again, imagine my surprise when, as I approached my car with my child, this wild man comes running up to me, screaming profanities about how dare I lock his car in by double parking and asking, didn't I see the note on his car stating, "Don't block me in"? Whoa.

Now that he was in my face, my reply was that I had listened to him speak, so now he must listen to me (isn't that what they teach in conflict resolution?). I pointed out the obvious: that the deal when it comes to alternate side-of-the-street parking is you either plan to be locked in or move your car before the rule goes into effect. Did he listen? No. Did he care? No. He just proceeded to continue using profanities, calling me all types of names, ranting like a maniac and threatening that if I ever did it again, he would damage my car.

Here is the really bad part. I began to engage in a verbal battle with him, and for that, I am terribly ashamed. It set a very bad example for my daughter. There's also the fact that in today's world, this guy could have really gone ballistic and pulled out a high-powered rifle received straight from the front lines in Afghanistan via UPS and blown me away. Furthermore, it was completely out of character for me to be sucked into this low-level behavior.

Upon reflection, I believe the proper thing for me to have done would be to take down his license plate number, snap a photo of him in his maniacal rage and drive off without ever having said a word. Can I ever be forgiven for not letting a cooler head prevail?

Until next week ... kisses