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You wanna piece of me?#*!

I found myself yelling those words at a young man in a public place.

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.

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Shirlene Vitale - I totally get that kind of day!!! You are hilarious.
While I feel the same way. I have some safety features going for me when I am caught in those moments in my car. I have one of those little christian fish stickers on my rear back window and a Magnetic sign on my front cars doors that says…: “I DO” weddings
wedding minister
then my phone number.
LOL- Those seem to keep my mouth in safety check, but I do get my point across if needed.

You keep me in stitches Tammy!

Joan Cooper - You are really witty about an everyday commonplace situation. I laughed and I would not be doing that if I was the one experiencing these scenarios.

I sometimes carry a cane due to an arthritic knee – you would be surprised at what kindnesses that creates. Men hold doors open, women too. People smile kindly with goodness showing in their eyes. My infirmity tells them they are superior to me. Our societies breakdown is that we have no codes, no boundaries, no respect. Sometimes that is called “free speech”. I feel most of the blame is on the education system which teaches everything except the importance of being civilized. A story you might enjoy is about the old lady driving a huge old Cadillac, when a young man in a small car raced in front of her to take the parking space she was about to enter. He got out and smugly said.”that’s what you can do when you’re young”. She smashed into his car demolishing it and said to him…”that’s what you can do when you are old and rich…” Call the police if you want – I will buy you a new car, but you will wait awhile.

Tammy - Joan, I so enjoyed your story! You are right, of course, there seems to be pity little consideration for manners and civility these days. A sorry state to be sure. When I was a kid I was taught from knee high to a grasshopper (yes, I really said that) to respect my elders. I know that not all elders deserve it, but respect and manners should be doled out in abundance. It would be a better place to live if they were. I can’t say I behave all that well myself. We all have our breaking points and I experienced mine. I’ve been asked what would have happened if that young man had not moved his car. I’m not sure, but I know it would not have been pretty and I’m fairly sure I would have come out on top. Enough said. Thanks for posting, great having you here!

Tammy - Shirleen, Thanks for your comments….we are laughing together. I think if I had my phone number on my car I would probably behave a little more cautiously myself. Note to self: never, ever put my phone number on my car!! This day really truly happened and I was just beside myself. I think I was spitting bullets and the sweet demure person I visualize myself to be was long gone. I look back now and see the humor. Thought it was worth sharing….so glad you shared too, love it when you chime in!

Maureen - Hey – you could’ve taken him – no prob! This younger generation needs to learn – do not mess with us old broads!

Tammy - Maureen, you have my solemn oath that I would have died trying! The older I get … the crazier I get. Ooops, was that my outside voice?! Thanks for posting … love having you here!

Jenny - Once I was behind a teenage boy who was so impatient with the clerk. She was a woman in her early 70s. She was counting back his change and had to do this 3 times. She was sweet, smiled the whole time, it just took her longer than 5 seconds. He was tapping his foot, sighing very loud, obviously annoyed. I finally said to him “you too will be that age someday, mellow”

Liz - I laughed my head off when reading this Tammy. You are hilarious. I’m so sorry you had a bad bad day. But lucky us, we get to hear about it – thank you for the laugh.

Tammy - Liz, it’s wonderful to share my city life adventures; a day in the life of a former Denver-ite and native Californian who is simply having a hard time adjusting. God help those around her … I mean me. How much you want to bet if I ever see this kid again he runs like hell? As well he should. Ya never know, maybe he learned a little bit about manners that night – or fear of what a crazy middle-aged woman might dish out if you don’t have any. Hey … that’s good enough for me. Thanks for posting!

Tammy - Jenny – great post. I hope that kid went home and thought about it. You know that it wasn’t that woman’s life plan to be a clerk making change in her 70’s. We all have a story, best we all be mindful of that. I wish you could have seen the expression on this young man’s face … it was almost as surprised and terrified as the look on mine. There was no backing down for this broad. There is a dark side to all of us, even me (hard as that is to believe). Thanks for the post, I’m going to go mellow.

Jeff Davidson - I am not so sure that I would have been quite so patient as you without letting management know about the sales situation etc.

Once in a large store that I will not mention, (the first part sounds like where you live and the second part of it rhymes with another term for a train station), I was looking for some hardware and could not find anyone working the floor. After several attemps to page for help, I yelled out in my loud voice several times – “does anyone work here?” Got a lot of positive attention from other shoppers and lo and behold, an incompetent employee came to help.

Tammy - Jeff, I tried to be patient without success. I think I ended up being sarcastic at best, but still wound up leaving very unsatisfied and frustrated. I’m pretty sure the squeaky wheel on my shopping cart put me over the top. You just never know what is capable of pushing you over the edge. I love how you talked about getting the attention of an incompetent employee – isn’t that the truth?! Whatever happened to customer service?? But that’s a whole other blog.
PS- I’m not a fan of HD either but ironically I’ve always had good luck at getting help there. Go figure!?

Peter Bartkiw - Hi Tammy, I,m so glad that i found your page! You are one really funny person!!! I know that you were frustrated but i,m still giggling! 🙂 . Trust me here in Canada , customer service seems to be sorely lacking big time ! Please be safe while out shopping ~ LOL and thanks for posting your ordeal.
Take Good Care,

Tammy - Peter, I feel like I know you … but I’ve never been to Canada. I’m SO GLAD you found my page too! How did you manage it? Is all of Canada abuzz about my fabulous writing? (you could lie to me here, it wouldn’t hurt). My story is true to the core. Sometimes real life supersedes fiction. If we don’t laugh about some of this stuff we might go stark raving mad. So happy to have you here and I hope you subscribed to this little blog and will join us in future rants. Thanks for posting!

Suerae Stein - Wow – you held your cool way longer than I would have. I would’ve lost it at honking-big-wheel-boy. I’m not sure where you’re going to shop, eat, get your groceries, shoes, and gas now, but I love the moral of your story. And my favorite part is how you tried to help the dogs – a woman I admire! Great post that made me laugh and I am not laughing at your bad day (for that I am truly sorry), but at your writing!

Tammy - Suerae, I will always be an outspoken advocate for critters … whether the critters like it or not. Haaa! But I have to say that the pet owner encounter was beyond embarrassing. Good grief. You can bet I double check these things now. Everyone has a bad day. Clearly I tend to save mine up and I always make sure the freezer is stocked with chocolate brownie ice-cream. It’s called survival. Thanks for being on the other end, Suerae. Always enjoy your posts!

Kesha Brown - Ha, you were short of clocking somebody that day eh Tammy?! LOL

Sometimes people do need someone to tell ’em like it is (like the guy at the gas station). I dislike when people jump in front of others (anywhere)…it’s so irking!

Next time, I’m sure I’ll think of you and ask if he/she wants a piece of me 😉

*hopefully it works like your situation did or else my next blog post will show me with a black eye* LOL

Tammy - Kesha, Oh, my darling, I was so very brave … and stupid. I’m still not quite sure what came over me. It was not my finest hour, or perhaps it was in the making. I shall continue to be resolute in mannerly responses and sustaining dignity. If that fails, well, evidently all hell breaks loose.

Cheryl - Loved your humor in spite of all kinds of rudeness. Been there———I prefer Rocky Road——the whole half gallon!!!!!

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