I’ve been spending too much time in doors of late, so I went out today to do some errands. Much to my horror, I found myself in the Garden State Mall. I’ve lived here for 11 years and I know better than that, but I needed a suit. Syms has closed and Educated Consumers everywhere are shuddering with terror. I also tried Lane Bryant, only to discover that it has become a kiddie casual store. They had ONE suit in the entire store. Good Gawd…
It took less than 30 minutes of tooling through the hordes of mall-happy shoppers to recall why I generally stay away. The pushing, the shoving, the mad-baby-stroller drivers who think a carriage is a license to speed and try to bully people out of their way. You know things are bad when you see folks nimbly jumping out of the way of an oncoming stroller. Not to mention, running, skipping, skidding, shrieking children, whose parents are conveniently miles behind them..
And the heat. I tell you, hundreds of people are simply not meant to occupy a closed building in winter.
I finished my purchases and we descended on the only safe place in a mall, the movie theatre. I was just jazzed at the thought of Sherlock Holmes, and was filled with equal parts horror and delight at the $18.75 we paid for a Chicken finger, curly fry combo. Just consider, it’s almost the price of two adult tickets SMH.
Unfortunately, my delight was short lived. Imagine my horror, as we came down the hallway and a woman barreled straight into me, knocking the platter of food asunder. Three quarters of the food, flew out my hands, as I determinedly clutched a corner of the container. Would you believe that the woman turned, looked at me and with nary a word KEPT WALKING?
I’m a nice woman. I believe in manners and am courteous to everyone. In fact, I give away food and money to strangers when I have barely any myself because I feel for others. BUT, I don’t take shit and it enrages me (yeah that right there) when I see people who just don’t give a damn.
At the sight of her retreating backside, I FLIPPED. The words came rushing out before I could even think about keeping them in.
“Excuse me! (she turned) You’re REALLY gonna just knock my food out of my hand, see it all over the floor and just keep walking without even saying you’re sorry? Seriously? What the fuck!”
She froze in horror staring at me but not ONE word escaped her.
I said to no one in particular, “Excuse my french, Goddamnit”, threw the what was left into the wastebasket and stalked off to our seats.
Art left me to go to the restroom and I sat their in the chair fuming. All I could think was, the privilege, the unmitigated gall, the disrespect and the waste. When you’re struggling to make ends meet every dollar counts and your pleasures are hard won. What has happened to common courtesy? Are people REALLY this stupid and clueless? Le sigh.
A woman came up and sat behind me, tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Ms. Are you alright? I saw the whole thing and I just wanted to say you shouldn’t let that woman bother you. She was an inconsiderate idiot. I saw you over here and you look very upset. This is how people get strokes and high blood pressure, don’t let her do it.”
I nodded at her and said thank you, somewhat dismissively. I was kinda through with people at that particular moment lol.
But she persisted, “It’s Saturday night and you’re at the movies. Have a good time. Don’t let her spoil it for you. Karma takes care of lots of things, what goes around really does come around.”
I looked in her eyes and found sincerity and kindness there and I smiled.
She had broken through my rage and I thought, who are you? Even I, as nice as I am, can’t really imagine approaching some stranger steaming with anger and trying to comfort them. She was the antithesis of the woman in the hallway. And poof, I was calm again.
A little while later, Artie returned from the bathroom with a new platter in his hand. After he told the staff what happened, they gave him another platter for free! Go figure.
But the unknown woman impressed me so much more. For half the movie, I clutched my business card in my hand, hoping to catch her before she left because I couldn’t shake the thought, “I don’t know many people like you, but I would like to know a lot more…” And besides, she likes Sherlock Holmes ;). I hope to get the chance to thank her properly because she exemplified something I find worthy of emulation. Then again, Angels don’t often hang around for accolades.
On the way home, Artie pointed out to me that I failed to absorb the cinematic moment which had occurred at my outburst. Apparently, the hallway went dead silent and a path around us cleared LMAO. In my rage, I was completely unconscious of that and finally, I remembered the skit below and had the best laugh I had all day.
SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE WARNED HER 😉 …