I have been struggling all week to write something worthy of posting. Until today, I have felt terribly uninspired. But today I received an early Christmas present from the writing gods. So, to the woman featured in this post, thank you. You gave me exactly what I needed. (By the way, I am listening to the Pistol Annie’s while writing this. Yep, it’s been that kind of day!)
Let me set the scene for you:
This afternoon, I ran by CVS. I selected my one item and then walked to the front of the store and stood next to the sign that read Wait here for the next available register. To my immediate left was a round table full of last minute holiday treats. As I waited for the customer ahead of me to pay for her photos, a woman crossed behind me with a full cart and three pre-teen boys in tow. She planted herself on the other side of the round table, parallel to me in front of the cashiers. From the second I saw her; I knew what she was. She was a line-jumper.
She was snarky from head to toe. Sneer on her face, tight t-shirt, pajama bottoms, and slippers, or “house shoes” as we call them in the South. Yes, that was the outfit she chose to be in public wearing. She also decided against wearing a bra. (That fact was considerably unfortunate due to how heavily God blessed her in the boob department.) From the looks on the boys’ faces, I could see that her nasty attitude was a family trait. I took one look at her and knew what was about to happen.
“Am I next in line?” the woman asked and gave me “the look.” You know the look. It was the same look the lioness gives the weak gazelle right before she strikes.
“No, ma’am. I am.” The words politely came out of my mouth before I could stop them or reconsider.
“I think I was next,” batted back the woman. She expected me to cave, to cower to her bullying expression and aggressive posture.
“No.” With that, I looked straight ahead and waited for what felt like an eternity for the woman ahead of me to finish her transaction. On the outside, I appeared strong and confident, but inside I was praying that the snarky woman wouldn’t hit me. I was also secretly doing the Snoopy dance because I had stood up to her so calmly.
The snarky lady then preceded to engage the other customers standing behind me (and behind the Wait here for the next available register sign) with comments such as “I guess ya’ll think your ahead of me, too” and “I don’t know why she thinks she’s first.”
As I waited, I considered letting her go ahead of me. I considered being the bigger person just to keep the peace. (It is the Holiday Season, after all.) Typically, I do what is considered nice, but every time I do, a little piece of me dies. Every time I allow a self-entitled bully to have her way in CVS or Wal-Mart or wherever, I feel a little smaller. Today, I didn’t want to feel defeated. Today, I was no weak gazelle. I silently stood my ground, quickly paid for my one item, and then got out of the store as quickly as possible. (I’m no weak gazelle, but I’m also not an idiot.)
So, now, let’s take a poll. In the comment section below, please tell me how you would have reacted to this situation. Would you have been nice and allowed her to go ahead of you? Keep in mind that this woman had a full cart and probably coupons. Or would you have stood your ground and risked her wrath? Keep in mind also that, from the looks of her, she could throw quite a nasty right hook.
I look forward to hearing from all of you and hope you have a wonderful and peaceful Holiday Season!