Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Audacity of Some People

River had so much fun at the park last week. Despite the cold he enjoyed the mud puddles as well as running around after the big kids.

The above picture has nothing to do with the rest of this post, but it makes me smile, unlike the experience I'm sharing below. It was one of those experiences that just make you wonder about some people and I internalize too much and need to get it out of my head, so I'm sharing it here.

Here's what happened:
I was in Whole Foods, which was busy, so all the checkout lanes had lines. I picked a register that didn't look too bad and moved forward. There was a lady in between that line and the neighboring line, but she was pointed at the neighboring line so I thought that was the one she was in. So I said "excuse me" and moved forward into the line I'd decided on. She moved, but then said she was waiting to see which line to go in. I responded, in a nice tone of voice, "well, you need to pick a line." She didn't like that and said I should wait behind her. I didn't agree and told her "I'm sorry you feel that way" and turned away from her. At that point she continued to make comments about I don't know what (I was trying not to listen because confrontations make me very uncomfortable), but one of them included calling me a word that rhymes with witch (a first for me). I ignored her and didn't look her direction as we waited in line for our turns at the registers.

As the cashier scanned my items we chatted about the cold weather and such and I thanked her and went on my way. Unfortunately my way took me past the neighboring checkout with the lady (in the loosest sense of the word). As I walked past her, she said "It's so nice to see your attitude matches how you look." I ignored her and kept walking out to my car, all the while thinking "what the what?! what does that even mean?!" Once in the car I promptly called Mr M to vent. And then I called one of my sisters too :)

Here's my thoughts:
Everyone knows you can't keep switching between register lines when someone's behind you. At that point you pick a line; you don't expect everyone to stand behind you while you make up your mind or wait and see which will be quicker.

She must have been looking for a fight and it must have galled her so bad that I just turned away and ignored her. And she must have been really upset when I got through the checkout before her. When I was talking to Mr M, I finally thought of what I could have said to her after her last comment: "I'm sorry I'm not as pretty and well-dressed as you think you are." On the other hand, as my sister brought up, at least I don't have to worry about finding her and apologizing to her when I repented of saying that, since it was rude and I would have been stooping to her level. In the end, I'm glad I didn't say anything and just turned away. Being a non-confrontational soul came in handy for not saying something I'd regret later.

I'm just really glad the kiddos weren't with me. If she was willing to be this nasty to a stranger, what would she have said to or about my kids? Because let's face it, they don't enjoy shopping and are rarely on their best behavior at the grocery store. Not that most kids are, but I'm sure she would have ignored that little fact.

I know I shouldn't let this experience bother me, and most of it is fairly easy to brush off. But the rudeness of her last comment really bothers me. What gives her the right to make rude comments about what I do or don't look like? It's one thing to say things behind someone's back, but to say it straight to my face? We'd never met before this, and I really hope to never meet her again. I may not be some skinny, well-made-up, fashion forward barbie doll, but I'm also not a complete slob. I was wearing my Keen boots, khakis, and my Columbia ski parka with matching beanie. Before I'd left the house I'd commented to Mr M about how we'd gotten our money out of that jacket since I bought it 11 years ago. It may not be a trendy puffy coat (which I actually think are kind of ugly) like she was wearing, but it's clean and in good condition. I'm clearly overweight, unlike her, but there's reasons for that, and again, that's none of her business.

Since when did it become ok to make rude comments about a stranger's appearance to their face?

When the woman first talked to me it took me a minute to realize she was being mean because she wasn't speaking in a mean tone and she had a bit of a smile. Though as the interaction proceeded I realized it was not a nice smile. She was being mean and nasty, but if you went off her tone and appearance, you wouldn't have guessed it.

My sister is of the opinion that she must have some major issues, and I agree. We also figure she's got some practice being mean to people since she was able to be so mean without raising her voice. She's like a grown-up mean girl (she looked to be about my age, maybe a bit older). Only she's not grown up, since she was showing such juvenile behavior. My sister and I both lucked out in not having to deal with mean girls in school, but we've encountered several as grown ups, though not one this mean.

Have you encountered any "grown-up" mean girls lately?

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