Granted, it’s October, but I think we’re finally beginning to nail down the school/activities/dinner/bedtime routine. So I’m sorry for the lag in postings, but there’s just too much crazy to not share…. plenty to come.
Since our schedule has heated up considerably, alone time outside of the house’s perimeter is preciously few and far in between. But every once in a blue moon, I manage to dig my way out of the house and get some time out in the world. You know, alone.
Which I love.
But maybe I shouldn’t.
Here’s the thing. I don’t mind being alone in public; in fact, I rather enjoy it. But conversely, I love people. I really do- even though I can be shy, I’m an extrovert. I love meeting people, hearing about their lives, enjoying a few minutes of random conversation…
Unless it’s someone fresh off the Crazy Train.
I’m known for it. It’s a running joke amongst my friends and family that if they’re out in public with me, I’m bound to come into contact with someone who is, let’s just say, not playing with a full deck. It’s been a source of long-standing amusement for those around me, & has left me with good stories to share. These are a few from just the last couple of months:
- The guy in Panera who tried selling me shells. SEA shells. Then threatened to blow his brains out because his salad didn’t have enough apples. (he didn’t).
- The grizzled pervert jacking off in the public library, in the technology section. The COMPUTER book section, people.
- The guy in the little Italian restaurant who tried to buy my friend & I drinks, and when we declined, proceeded to aim his iPhone in my direction. All night.
- The mom who, while browsing for laptops in Best Buy, decided that I was a better temporary guardian/babysitter for her child, & proceeded to let him trail after me & my four kids like a demented Pied Piper parade, while waving to us over the counters.
- The over-enthusiastic grocery cashier that insisted on telling me about her ex-Army boyfriend that drags her out of bed every morning by her toes when the alarm clock rings. Then she giggled.
- The random Dollar Tree stockboy that noticed wings on my graphic T shirt & proceeded to ask me if I was an atheist (I’m not, but, um… WHY?). Then he railed against the how much he hated his job because of all the religious people he met, and asked me out. (He was like 16. I said no. For LOOOOOTS of reasons. )
It goes without saying that even the few times I manage to get out without my kids, I’ve grown to expect these sort of situations. The above is just a short list; these sort of shenanigans happen all of the time.
On a side note: did you ever notice how many people talk to themselves when out in public? Now, granted, we all probably do at times. And when WE do it, it’s ok. But when someone ELSE does it, especially when you’re alone with them in an isolated store aisle, it’s terrifying. And I tend to attract these people like magnets. But I’m too polite to be rude, or short with them, so I smile, and gradually back away into another aisle, only to enter the next one, and…
But when you gotta go, you gotta go… and on Sunday, I desperately needed to leave the house for a break. It’d been a long day, and The Captain was sensing that I needed a reprieve. Maybe it was the,
The Captain: “Do you want to get out of the–“
Me: (grabbing keys, sprinting to door) “Ok-bye-see-you-in-a-few-thanks-loveya…”
PANERA: I was jonesing for a nice, solitary cup of coffee, a muffin, and some silence. I end up on line behind an elderly couple with their daughter and the daughter’s two young boys. The boys were cute, but active. Or maybe the grandfather’s hearing aid was turned up too high, because all he could say, or yell, was “SHUDDDUPP!”. At the kids. At his wife. At the cashier. But maybe it was a family quirk, because his wife, the grandmother, gave it right back to him: “No- YOU shuudduupp!”
Such tension?? Over muffins? And panini? In a happy place like PANERA?
They paid, grabbed their food, and sat in a resentful huff. I then ordered, and waited by the food service counter. As I stand patiently, in a booth behind the partition was, of course, the Shaaaduup family. Standing next to me is a slightly frumpy, older woman, also waiting for her food to be prepared. She’s listening to the Shuuuups. I feel it. It’s coming…
Woman: (huff) “I swear to Gawd, if He had given me kids, I’d have blown my brains out.”
(Shaking her head with the “amirite??” look.)
Where does one GO with that?
This is my struggle. I’m nice to people. Too nice, typically. Not naive, but nice enough to not want to call people out on behavior that, well, they need calling out on. Why, Panera lady? Why does she, and countless others that I encounter, force me to be party to behavior that falls waaaaay outside the appropriate box?
These things don’t typically happen, thankfully, when I’m in the presence of my children. Case in point: the VERY next morning, I was accompanying my mother to one of her medical appointments.
(Before you think, “Wow, what a supportive daughter!”, I had ulterior motives. Again, I’d get to be ALONE. AGAIN!)
Mom heads into her procedure. I’m basking in the solitary glow of an empty reception room, that has 12 chairs, including mine. You know how I know?
Because when the only other patient came in and chose the seat RIGHT NEXT TO MINE, I questioned the sanity of anyone that would reject 11 other perfectly good chairs in order to violate my personal space.
But it’s ok; he wasn’t interested in conversation. Oh NO; he was very busy. Taking selfies. Not A selfie. Selfie. After selfie, and selfie…..
Not a couple. Not a dozen. Click click click click… twenty… thirty….
Needless to say, I couldn’t enjoy the book I’d brought, because his impromptu photo shoot was… unsettling. But finally he was called in, and the waiting room was once again MINE. Ah, bliss….
HER. Or rather, THEM.
Yup, the dog. Not a service dog; I empathize with those. Nope. Just a dog… in a doctor’s office…
Please, God. No.
Whew. Directly across from me. Near the TV, on which “The View” was on. Then the dreaded words:
Dog Lady: “Bella…. The View is on?? Wanna watch The VIEW??”
(I know you already saw it coming:)
The lady seemed to enjoy The View, but Bella was far more interested in staring at ME. And shaking. And staring.
I still love my bursts of freedom outside of the house. And I enjoy being able to mingle about the world,
with a few exceptions.© Copyright 2014 Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom