Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Old Men and Shopping Carts

I will be the first to admit that I can have a temper from time to time. I've always been that way. Part of it is just my personality, the other part I like to blame on the fact that I am Scottish--full blooded Scottish at that--so I like to think it gives me a little bit of a free pass. I realize that it doesn't, but I still like to think that it does. It takes a lot these days to really get my blood boiling and believe me it used to be much much worse. But for as much of a temper I used to have--and the one that still lurks under the surface--I have rarely ever lost it in public or taken it out on total strangers. It really doesn't seem fair to unload on total strangers. I like to think that although I can have a temper I can and do control it. You know who DOESN'T control their temper? Grumpy and crotchety old men who nothing better to do than lash out at innocent and unsuspecting citizens like me.

Oddly enough old men seem to always get mad at me in grocery stores.  A few years back while we were living out east in Boston, an old man called me a stupid wench. Yeah, that happened. I wish I could remember the circumstances leading up to the stupid wench comment, but it seems my memory has failed me. Regardless, I know I didn't do anything to warrant such rudeness. This time, Chris and I were at Safeway doing our grocery shopping. I had sent Chris back to the other end of the store to grab something we had forgotten while I continued on the path up and down the aisles in the order I like to do.

As I was approaching the aisle I wanted to turn down, there was an older gentleman walking very slowly in front of me carrying a basket. I decided I would pass him and then turn down my aisle instead of continuing behind him at a snails pace. So I passed him on the left (and put on my imaginary cart-blinker) minding my own business, looking over my shopping list and thinking of the things I may have forgotten. I slowly took the right turn down the aisle but before I knew it, I was having to catch myself from falling and hitting head-first into one of the glass doors in the frozen aisle!

Had I tripped on something? Had I lost my balance? (Full disclosure, I have fallen in a Target before.)

As I turned around and fully realized what had happened, I couldn't believe it. That older gentleman I had just passed and turned in front of had stuck his foot out to try and trip me! And no it wasn't an accident--he had stuck his foot right between my legs and his intent was blatantly obvious. WOW!!! I was stunned. I turned and looked and him and said, "excuse me, sir!" He replied by angrily stating that, "well you turned right in front of me ma'am." In my shock all I could do was laugh, shake my head and yell, "whatever!" in his direction.

As I turned and walked away I thought to myself, WHO tries to trip someone on purpose? I am very confident in the fact that I did NOT cut him off. He was plenty back from me when I turned down that aisle. And even if I had misjudged my timing, he obviously saw me and had time to slow down so as not to "crash" in to me. Yet somehow he thought something I did on accident was justification to try and trip someone. Had I actually fallen I could've really hurt myself by hitting my head on any number of things. I was livid! When Chris met up with me after retrieving what I had sent him to get, he couldn't believe it either. We never saw the man again, so Chris never had an opportunity to let him know you don't trip people on purpose. True story.

I imagine people lose their tempers like that in everyday situations and lash out at total strangers with no regard for anything. I just wonder why the angry old men of the world seem to find me. Or maybe it is just a sign I should send Chris to do the shopping from now on.

How about you? Anyone tried to trip you in public or called you names? Any old men ever make you want to punch them so hard in the face they would never know what hit them?


Andrea said...

LOL! Crazy old men.

Anonymous said...

You, my dear, attract the craziest of all people. Next to old men, late comers to sporting events and those who can't sit still in their seats. I'll admit that I tried to trip some of them.