Dear woman behind me in Walmart yesterday,
You taught my sons a lesson.
I thought and prayed on our encounter, and felt moved by the spirit to write, in the hopes that you will see this.
It was maybe fate that put us in line together at Walmart that evening.
You had been trying to engage my boys in conversation while we both waited patiently for Josephine, the high school drop out checker to get the 20 items or less line moving as express lines are intended to do.
You didn’t mind that my five year old asked why you smelled funny and pointed and winced at that goiter on your neck. You told him it was nothing, but it was the size of a softball for fuck’s sake, so it was definitely something to him.
You were patient and kind and probably hard of hearing, because G$’s screaming didn’t phase you at all as you stood there smiling stupidly at nothing in particular.
I noticed your “I Voted!” sticker and asked you if you had taken the time to vote. You looked at me funny and said, “No, I don’t have a boat.”
“No, I said DID YOU VOTE?!”
“Oh, no, dear” you said. “I don’t like goats.”
“What the fuck,daddy?” Cool asked.
“Cool!” I said. “That’s not appropriate language! Where do you fucking learn such terrible shit?”
“Sorry, daddy. From mommy,” he answered.
“Did he say fuck?” You asked out of the blue.
“Oh, THAT you heard, lady?” I responded.
The line mercifully moved forward, and when it was finally my time to checkout, I offered to let you go first because you only had two things of yogurt and a box of Depends Diapers, while my cart was pretty full.
You graciously declined and insisted that you were enjoying your line standing time behind my little ones.
When the cashier rudely announced to everyone within earshot, “Uh, this card don’t work, sir,” you didn’t have to make eye contact with me, but you did.
You smiled at us and I at you. You looked at my cart filled with diapers and cases of Bud Light Lime and Doritos and Lucky Charms and nodded your head yes.
“I have $34 in cash,” I said. “If you could get the rest, that’d be great.”
You suddenly looked up from my sons, seemingly startled, and said, “What?!”
“You’re going to pay for my groceries, right? Haven’t you read those letters to good Samaritans and Facebook posts about people being nice and paying shit forward? Don’t tell me you’re going to make me have to put my kids’ cereal and diapers away so I can cover the bill for my beer and Doritos with what little cash I have?”
You looked down at your shoes and twittled your thumbs as you clutched your purse straps with both hands. I sensed that I was not going to be the recipient of a kind deed that day.
“Ugh! YOU SUCK YOU OLD BAG!!” I yelled into the air.
You walked away, muttering something about having forgotten to get the prunes you wanted and left me there alone
It was just me, my boys, a cart filled with lime flavored beer and snacks as well as Josephine, the judgy looking bitch of a cashier.
She sneered at me as I tossed diapers and cereal boxes into her return to the shelves bin until I had under $34 in beer and nacho cheese Doritos.
As we left, Cool looked up at me and said, “That woman wasn’t very nice to you, daddy. G$ and I are still hungry.”
“You’re right, son.” I had to tell him. “Let that be a lesson to you. Never count on old people, buddy. They fucking suck.”