We talk a lot about our guts in our family. In this instance, I’m not talking about probiotics or food allergies, but the God-given gift of gut instinct. One of the issues that comes with raising obedient children is teaching them who deserves that obedience, and who will manipulate it for their own advantage. So, I give a great deal of lip service toward listening to your gut and practically throw a party when I witness them recognizing and obeying it, especially if it goes against their typical tendiencies. All of this discussion is what made yesterday’s minor incident so crazy.
A couple of the girls were home sick, so I had gotten them some movies from the Redbox outside of my former favorite grocery store. It is my former favorite store because I just don’t feel safe there anymore. There has been an increase in crime around it and the clientele has definitely taken a nosedive, in terms of commom courtesy. For example, the girls and I were getting in line there last year, happy as can be, and a man started SCREAMING at us that I thought I owned the world just because I had a lot of kids, and that I thought I deserved to go in front of him. Ummm, no, I just had no idea that you could be in an aisle, leave not so much as a person or cart to hold your place, and expect people to know that there was someone in line. I told him that he could absolutely have “his place” back, but could he please stop because he was scaring the kids. That angered him more. No one from the store came over to stop his tirade, and although they were not responsible, I really did not feel safe. There were a few other times when some odd stuff went down, so I just took my business elsewhere, until yesterday.
I was returning their movies and was going to get ‘The Descendants’ for Dave and I. Usually, we just watch whatever is streaming on Netflix, so our idea of a new release has been ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’. As a quick aside, I want to know who came up with the plot of that gem and shake their hands. Kudos on coming up with it, having the gall to pitch it, and finally selling it. Bravo. Back to the story – I had pulled the car right up to the box, left the girls in it, and almost left it running. I never leave it running, so it was odd that I almost did even as I told them that I didn’t like to go to this store because they don’t have a handle on security. As I was scrolling for the movie at the Kiosk, a man carrying two big grocery bags came out of the store and yelled something at me. I jumped. He said, “Now why you jumpin’?” I told him that he had scared me. He then came over to the other side of me, completely in my personal space and said, “I’m not scary”. Call me superficial, but his four missing teeth seemed to conflict with his party line. I continued my browsing, but moved my purse to the shoulder on the other side of him becuase I felt as though he may try and grab it. I kept browsing, though, because I wanted to see ‘The Descendants’, damn it! He then asked me to give him money for the bus. Not only did he reek of alcohol, but he had bought 2 bags wirth of “goods” from the store, so he obviously had had money just moments earlier. I declined to give him any and he got mad, and began shouting things as he walked away. This was when I ended the lunacy and got back in my car and locked the door.
For this next part, you must know one thing – everything you’ve heard about girls being superverbal is true. And I have three of them. Getting back into that car was how I would imagine it would feel standing before the White House Press Corps the day a huge scandal breaks. There were questions coming so fast and furious, I couldn’t even begin to single one out as my opening inquiry. I just pulled the car into a parking space and told them that I had just given them the world’s best example of making bad decision after bad decision and ignoring my gut. We took turns naming the mistakes I made. I think they regretted not having AV materials to illustrate the bullet points at the time, but luckily, it is emblazoned in my mind to share with all of you. Here we go:
- I went to a place that I had previously acknowledged was unsafe
- I actually verbalized that someone had scared me, yet I did nothing to end our interaction there
- I felt my personal space was invaded, yet i did not move
- I thought my purse was about to be stolen, moved it, but not myself
- I was preoccupied with my mission and did not adapt to my surroundings
- I continued to let him engage me, and did not leave until after he walked away
They could not believe that I had handled the situation so poorly. They just kept saying “Why?” I have no idea. Dave makes fun of me that I have neither a flight nor a fight respose. I do have a strong response to freeze when I am scared, though. I don’t think this is what happened here, though. I think I was distracted and ignoring every intuitive sense God gave me. The prospect of watching George Clooney can do that to a girl, right? While I wish my little audience had seen me remove myself from a situation that frightened me, I’m just telling myself that a bad example can be a good teacher, too.
After we had dinner I went to a different Redbox, got my beloved movie, then fell asleep halfway through. It was good, I was just tired from my altercation and the inquisition it inspired. Serves me right!