I’m not what you would call…..how do you pronounce it?
So rarely will you find me down the spice aisle of any grocery store.
But I needed to find a couple of ingredients for a keto meal I wanted to prepare for my daughter and myself.
I usually go early in the morning because it’s quiet and hardly anyone is there.
(Avoiding people in real life is a fabulous hobby I never get tired of indulging.)
Unfortunately, I didn’t have that luxury this time.
I saw her creep up on me from the corner of my left eye.
For a split second I didn’t think anything of it and continued perusing the various forms of maltodextrin begging for release in the water slide of my slushed arteries.
Then she was literally standing inside my personal space. She pushed her cart to the middle, blocking the aisle (because why would anyone who has a personal space depth perception problem care about crowding out and blocking other people from getting by?)
I don’t want to go into her physical description because it isn’t really relevant except to say she looked remarkably similar to an old middle school bully of mine, Charlotte Rae Hawkins, who’d grown up with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, two kids by graduation, and by the looks of it about a hundred and seventy pounds of karma plopped onto her arse. (Karma’s a beech, kids.)
And now she was intimately close to me and my preference of food spices-- neither of whom wanted anything to do with her or people in general.
My cheeks burned.
This has happened several times before and it’s one of my worst pet peeves.
Why are people so rude?
In the past, I would get pissed off and move, reasoning if they wanted that spot bad enough they could have it.
NOT TODAY, CHARLOTTE RAE!
Not this time. I wouldn’t be taken advantage of any more!
I’ve always been accommodating.
Without the gesture ever being reciprocated.
This time I would stand my ground!
Not just for me, but for all the other poor souls who have been pushed around and pushed out of their rightful “I was here first” perusing time by the Charlotte Rae’s of the world.
You stole Tommy Pacetti from me- my only true sixth grade love- FINE! You can have him!
You rounded up your gang of Lemmings to scream obscenities at me everyday when I got off the bus-- FINE! I can find a ride home!
But as GOD AND WALMART ASSOCIATES ARE MY WITNESSES…🙌🙌
On this day….YOU. WILL. NOT. TAKE. THIS. SPOT. FROM. ME!
I watched her as she ignored my existence and instead, bent down in front of me to look at a pack of marshmallows.
The voice in my head, who’s usually better at verbally articulating my feelings, began to do just that.
It doesn’t require a crime scene investigation.
I know what she’s doing. She wants to see if she can get me to move. She thinks the awkwardness of her being in close proximity to me will cause me to flinch and then SHE will have center stage in front of the Dixie Sugar selection.
This was probably a game she enjoyed playing with people. Skulking around random Walmarts, invading invisible safety circles and then standing there with a dumb blank look on her face until people scurry away in fear and/or confusion.
This must be her little power play, her ace-in-the-hole she could wield anytime she was feeling particularly weak.
And it is worth noting that at this point, she still hadn’t selected anything to put in her basket.
She’s just standing there like one of those friggin red-caped monsters in “The Village” who didn’t move until you did.
I’m pretending not to notice her despite her head resting 47 inches from my crotch in a poor attempt to read a Jello pudding mix label.
You could say excuse me, you know.
It’s not like you don’t see me standing here.
It’s not like you couldn’t...oh I don’t know… WAIT until i’m finished!!
And by the way, haven’t you heard of personal space?
IT’S A THING!!!!
How can you not have any situational awareness?
How can you go through life completely oblivious that other people exist and deserve an equal amount of consideration and courtesy?
How many times can we bite our lip until it bleeds waiting on the family of five’s who are entertaining themselves in the middle of a Walmart aisle with a screwdriver value pack and glow-in-the-dark fishing lures before we say something?
How long will we allow this madness to continue?
Not this time.
YE SHALL NOT PASS!
Then a thought gripped me.
And my rage dissolved into a deep satisfaction with a splash of lunacy.
Without moving, I slowly turned my head like that creepy ass Chucky doll and chiseled a broad smile on my face, the whites of my eyes bulging in her direction.
“Hi there…. how….. are... YOU…. today?”
My voice was calm, low and even. It was terrifying.
She returned my greeting with a meek smile and a quiet “fine, thanks.”
I kept my bulging gaze and freakish smile on her. “That’s great... Hope... you have…. a GREAT... day.”
I emphasized each word and drew it out slowly.
She no longer seemed interested in the Jello pudding mix, as she returned it to the shelf, stepped back, grabbed her cart and walked around to my other side, briefly hesitating before rolling her rickety cart down the aisle and out of my life forever.
I picked out the spices I needed and merrily went about my day, laughing at the foolishness of my rage. I should have remembered sooner that you can’t compete with crazy.
And I’ve got a Sam’s Club membership with unlimited access to a whole lotta crazy.😜😜😜
KEY BUSINESS TAKEAWAYS:
❤️When they’re trying to crowd you out, stand your ground.
❤️You deserve to claim a stake in your business, so CLAIM IT!
❤️Don’t let anyone push you around. What you desire you can achieve (and you don’t need anyone’s permission)
❤️When all else fails, turn on the crazy. Be willing to go down with the ship when you know what you’re doing is right.