I'm not proud to say that I have a really bad habit of getting into altercations in grocery stores. I have no idea why this happens. Once it was when I witnessed a mother close fist hit her 9-month-old child in the dairy aisle. (totally justified right? the police thought so...)
And then there was the time where I took my tire iron to the back window of a truck (in the parking lot of a grocery store, does that still count?) when a ridiculously drunk man left his 3 dogs in the car with no windows open in 105 degree weather. (I called the police myself for that one...)
Needless to say, my family doesn't let me go shopping very often.
It happened again last night.
A woman nearly t-boned me in the parking lot. I had the right-of-way (of course.) She flipped me off with BOTH hands and mouthed some very aggressive choice "f" words at me. My 6-year-old son was in the back seat, wondering what the crazy lady was saying to us.
Well, that made me a tad angry.
So, we both parked. Neither of us getting great spots, I might add. Certainly nothing worth the double bird.
We entered the store nearly at the same time. She mutters under her breath, "eff you."
I opened my mouth. (mistake #1)
"Really? Really. You need to behave that way in front of a child?"
She responded, "Cunt."
"Oh. That's nice. Very nice." Blood really starting to boil in my veins. This lady had NO idea.
She responded, "Oh, I didn't get a message that the queen was at Hy-Vee." I think she meant this sarcastically.
"Oh, my friend, I'm sorry you didn't get the notice. Next time you'll know. (this was said with my trademark wit sarcasm.) Now, go get yourself some nutritious food. I think you are hangry."
She responded, "Bitch."
I frowned and said, "I'm sorry you are so unhappy."
She stormed off to the bakery. Under her breath she kept repeating my two new nicknames under her breath. Bitch. Cunt. Bitch. Cunt. Bitch. Cunt.
My adrenaline was pumping. My son had no idea what was going on and was oblivious to our entire encounter.
I got home and told my husband. I felt bad that I was a little snarky with her. Then I felt tremendous compassion. Mainly because I made up a whole story about how her husband just left her (because she was so mean) for her best friend and her job wasn't going well. Perhaps her mother was ill. She was full of anger and hate and bile. She was hurting and sad and scared. She wasn't living a joyful life. She was in pain.
I told my son that bullies come in all shapes, sizes, and ages, and that we need to make sure that we stand up for ourselves, that we don't allow people to disrespect us.
I probably should have just kept my mouth shut.
But the good news is, I don't think my husband will ever "let me" go grocery shopping again.
That's what my dear friend Charlie Sheen calls #winning.