February 13, 2007

You Crazy Old Woman

I bit my tongue and didn't say this. Apparently it's offensive to the mentally ill, elderly and womynkind. Anyway here is the story:

I was shopping. I'm pretty sure I only bought two items, cheese and cereal. But I think it turned out I bought noodles and vegies for a stir fry (in my new wok)... ahh... sidetracking... (this why I avoid really i.r.l. posts)...

Anyway... I'm going into the express lane. Not unsurprisingly at about 3:15 pm on a school day, the line is extended more than usual. I head to what I think is the rear of the line behind a mother and her kid sifting through the DVDs that they place there to trap mums with kids, or weak minded young adults. Behind them is a trolley that to me looks abandonned and is sort of blocking the passageway. I look around, can't see any immediate owner or stray kids attached, so push it against the merchandise stacks, and smile to myself at my conscietious charitable nature at unblocking the passageway, and hop into line behind mum-and-kid.

Out of nowhere (I'm suspecting the aisle) comes some short older women (between 30 and 50) who grabs the trolley and curtly says, "Thank you!". I smile. And get out of her way. I notice the line is moving. But mum and kid aren't. It vaguely crosses my mind that this older woman might be in line, but she has gone back (leaving her trolley partially blocking traffic) to perusing the goods in the aisles in the vicinity of where the end of the express lane line is. Except it's not there anymore, it's definitely moving. I nicely ask mum-and-kid if they are actually in the line. Oh, you're not, you're looking at DVDs. Cool. I smile again to myself. Try to forget about curt older woman and get in line where the line actually is.

Line moves forward. I look back at mum-and-kid looking at dvds to see if anyone is also lining up behind them by mistake. But, by now the gap between where they are and I am, it's pretty obvious they aren't in the line. I notice the short older woman is smiling at me in a really weird way. Weird smiles from strangers tend to creep a lot of people out (don't they). So I might briefly smile back, but I turn around and again try to forget about weird creepy smiling. As the express lane moves up, and now I'm just waiting for a register to free up. I notice something hitting me. Maybe it's an accident, so I move a couple of inches. Still getting hit, move a couple of inches more, and I still get hit. I grab the offending trolley. And someone is trying to wrest it from my grip, someone is definitely hitting me on purpose. I turn around and tell the old woman, "You're hitting me". She snarls, like I'm trying to find the correct synonym of "say" to use and it's either snarl or gruffly says or glares, but you don't really talk in a glare, it's an absence of saying, whicheverway it was "I seen what you did" (me thinking: wtf) "You pushed in front of me. You think I'm blind".

Now, the thought did cross my mind, that I had inadvertantly put this woman behind me in the line. But it's hard to think rationally when you are getting gypsy cursed (that's what it felt liked) and assaulted with a shopping trolley in an express lane when all you want is to buy your stir fry goodies and eat some pie. If this lady had spoken to me, like seriously, just said anything, it could've been rude as what she did say then, but before she started assaulting me with a shopping trolley, and continue to try to when I moved and grabbed the offending machination, I would have gladly stepped aside and let her in and apologised for the whole misunderstanding. But, honestly, how rude and immature is it to just accost some stranger in a supermarket. Not to mention dangerous. I know a lot of 20 somethings who would have told her to Fuck Off, or even thumped the bitch. But, no, I was going to be strong. I shake my head, and turn back around.

Then she tries to swipe me again. I realise that saying nothing means now I'm refusing to communicate, so I start to say "Look. I'm sorry. But you weren't in line. The line wasn't even where you and I thought it was. If you tried to actually talk to me rather than hitting me with your trolley, I would've given your place back straight away. Instead you act really immature..." I don't think I got past "You weren't in line..." before I got off by another gypsy curse: "Have a nice day!"

Okay, I'm not mature. This cracked me up. I had to turn around very quickly before I just cracked up laughing in her face. I didn't realise the phrase was such an insult. The registrar attendant smiled at my big smile and I got my service and left. And tried to forget about crazy old woman with ramming shopping trolley.

Sadly, I couldn't.


At Thu. Feb. 15, 12:21:00 pm AEST, Anonymous Viks said...


Try not to let it bother you too much, there are all sorts of rude people out there... ;o)

Isn't it interesting that often it's the elderly/older people that are really rude?

Take care (beware of old menopause suffering ladies!)



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