What happens to a seemingly normal (big stretch, I know) middle-aged woman that would bring her to yell such a thing to a teenage boy in a public place?
Well, it’s like this.
I began my day like any other. After a bit of bed making, dog walking and article writing I set out to run a few errands.
On my way out of our housing development, I noticed a van parked in front of a house with two barking dogs. The temps were topping 97 degrees and the windows were rolled up tight. I pulled over, got out and knocked on the house door. When a man answered, I inquired if that was his van to which he replied yes. I then proceeded to read him the riot act about leaving animals in a hot car without proper ventilation explaining how little it takes for them to die or suffer brain damage, etc. That was when he explained to me that the car was still running and the windows were rolled up because the air conditioning was on. Apparently he had stopped by to drop off medications to his mom and didn’t want to bother her with his dogs. Oh (horrifying blush and cringe). Well then, never mind. Pretty sure I could have handled that a whole lot better. I have not made eye contact with that neighbor again.
Embarrassed but undeterred, I headed out to purchase a few small trash cans for the bathrooms. I went to a large retail store, which shall remain nameless (it rhymes with Varget). Aside from failing to successfully deal with the language barrier (I knew I should have learned Farsi), I spoke with 4 different sales people (I’m still not sure why they call them that) and struck out each time. I left without a purchase after 40 minutes of fruitless shopping. I will never shop at that store again.
I then headed to a large shoe chain which shall remain nameless (it rhymes with TSW) to return a pair of shoes that had sat dormant in my closet for months. I was told by the 18 year old clerk that she was unable to refund me the money because she couldn’t prove that I had purchased them at their store. I explained that the receipt clearly stated the location, time and date of the purchase. She then advised me that they don’t sell that particular shoe and never had. Multiple attempts of showing her the matching product number, store location and date of sale failed to convince her that she was wrong. In desperation I left with a much discounted store credit. I won’t be back to this favorite location.
I needed a break. Things clearly were not going my way. A pop into a local fast food chain up the block would do the trick. Waiting in the drive-through line I heard the horn from the massive 4-wheel car behind me. He was upset I hadn’t moved up five feet. I should mention that there were six people ahead of me, so no one was going anywhere fast. He proceeded to duplicate his obnoxious honking and coupled it with a finger throw. I remained dignified while quietly cursing his parents who had obviously failed to teach this young man any manners or common sense. After a few more honking bursts, I exited my car and advised him that his horn must be faulty as surely he couldn’t be honking intentionally in a long line of cars. He snarled and told me to just move up when the car in front of me did. I thanked him for his understanding and got back into my car only to hear his honking horn yet again. Yeah, I’m crossing this place off my list.
I then made my way to the super market, grabbed a shopping cart (squeaky crooked wheel, of course) and proceeded to fill my basket with the things I would need for a dinner party that night. I parked it to go look for an item and when I returned someone had taken it. After frantically searching, it was nowhere to be found. I started over. All the while looking for the culprit who stole my items and my cart, but it had vanished. You can bet I’m never shopping at this thief infested store again.
My last stop was at our local gas station which shall remain nameless (it rhymes with Bell), to fill my almost empty tank. The line was horrendous but it was to be expected. It was Friday night in L.A. I waited patiently for my turn. That’s when it happened.
A young man, probably all of 17 years of age darted in front of everyone and took my position in front of the pump. Something snapped. I got out of my car, slammed my door. I could feel my lips curling under my teeth, my eyes fiercely squinting and face contorted into one mean grimace as I yelled in a loud voice “You wanna a piece of me?!; because if you do, you picked a VERY bad day. And if you don’t, you will move your car in the next five seconds.”
He looked at me in terror, his snide smile faded quickly from his cocky expression as he said in a low voice; “You are one crazy bitch”. At which point I told him he was right, and I started counting down. 5 – 4 – 3 – 2. Slam – screech! The car barreled out of the gas station burning rubber.
All eyes laid on me and everything got very quiet. The man across the way smiled sweetly and asked me “Having a bad day?”
I smiled back and replied “Yes, thank you. But I’m feeling much better now”.
I have yet to go back to that station.
What’s the moral of this story? Be patient, be kind, be understanding. And when that doesn’t work, go home and indulge in chocolate brownie ice-cream with a hot fudge chaser. It worked for me. That is, until next time.