Unmolested Shopping

Tired of being solicited to sign, donate or date during your local shopping expeditions?

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When did it get so durn hard to go to the grocery store?   In the past month, I’ve been the proud recipient of negative verbiage, tossed at me while either in or exiting my local stores.    Yes, I know, apparently, I must be in a ‘negative vibration’ and attracting all this to myself……..yeah, right.

The first incident happened  right after the anniversary of my son’s death and right before what would have been his 20th birthday.  You’re right –  I wasn’t in a good mood.  There I was, 10 o’clock at night, because cookies seemed like a good idea, since I don’t drink much anymore and chain smoking didn’t seem to be cutting it.

“Hi!  How HAVE you been?”   I turn from the on-sale cart, and do not recognize the person addressing me – not one inkling of who they are or how they must know me.   But they had greeted me like a long lost cousin, sooooooo…………….

“Fine.  And you?”

“I cannot find the milk.  Do you know where it is?”  I point him in the right direction and start moving off toward the cookie aisle, still trying to figure out why I suddenly have amnesia.

Inane chit-chat follows me in the form of a male person I do not know………I finally say, “I’m sorry, I don’t know you…?”   Hoping they will clue me in as to where we worked together, or a mutual friend or some in-common uncle.

Instead, “Oh, weeelll!!   Heaven forbid you can’t talk to someone you don’t know.   You must not have many friends, if you never talk to someone you don’t know.  I bet you don’t have any friends at all.”   And he turns his cart down the aisle and away from me.

(Did I mention previously I was not in the best of moods that night?) Something snapped.   “How dare you talk to me like that, you (insert every single one of the words your mother told you never to say)?”

(All this occurred while 3 cashiers/baggers stood watching, not one of which showed any inclination to stop the predator or the insane woman loudly protesting the verbal attack.)

I realized I was envisioning ramming him and his cart into the stacked canned goods.   Shouldn’t hurt him too much, should it?

But I got a grip, bought some cookies and stomped out to my truck.  Then observed my brain wondering if I could wait, run him over when he came out of the store AND get away with it.   In the end, I drove home, went to my room and cried.   Hubby thought I got attacked.  Sobbing, I told him what happened.   He tries to lighten my mood and make me see how some poor ole’ lonely guy (that probably lives with his mother and never had a date – his way of cheering me up) was just trying to get lucky.   I don’t buy it.

That was the first.   Now that my “Radar” is on, I realize it happens all the time.   Week later, exiting another grocery store –

“Are you a registered voter?”

“No”

“Please sign our petition for healthcare, yada-yada- yada”

“No Thanks.”

“Fine.  You know it’s people like you who are ruining our country with your lack of caring.  I bet you voted for Obama….yada-yada-yada”

I kept walking.   But I wondered if an officer would respond and write the fool up for the misdemeanor C.R.S. code that states, “…any gesture or verbal communication meant to incite or inflame…..”  (I swear there used to be a statute like that on the books.  Either it’s not enforced much anymore, or they repealed it, cuz there are folks that do this stuff all the time…)

And then another petitioner, who thinks since I’m not a registered Republican, then my mother and father weren’t married when I was born.

Tonight, I had a witness.   Hubby and I exiting the store. (I’m smart – I don’t go by myself anymore).   Right on cue, as we exited,

“Are you a registered Colorado Voter?”

I say, “No.”

Hubby keeps walking.

“You need to sign here to not allow violent offenders to get out on just a signature.”

No kidding, the guy is now following us, as we continue walking away.

“I bet you’ll wish you had signed this when something bad happens.   Bet you voted for Obama…yada-yada-yada”  (By now, I’m guessing I live in a community full of Republicans, not that there’s anything wrong with that……)

I start complaining and pointing out to Hubby what’s going on.   And add, extra loud, “They act like a$$%#@^s just because you aren’t going to do what they want you to.”

Petitioner is about same height as Hubby.  Hubby is wishing I would shut up.  But we are about 20 yards from Petitioner now, so I’m figuring he comes on over, perhaps we can get him on stalking charges, since rude and verbally abusing charges are no longer enforced……….

**********

Now, I realize I’m not always centered and balanced, radiating pure love and kindness.   And I’m sure, that at times, lost in my own little dramas and sadness, I’ve been short or rude in my interactions with others.   But c’mon!   I considered boycotting stores that allow predators outside their doors, but then I’d have to quit shopping altogether.

There is also a disturbing trend in being asked for a donation every time you purchase something.   I say no, just on principal.  (Also because there ARE good causes I contribute to, that spend their donations wisely)

Last fall, when I had been laid up with pneumonia/pleurisy and unable to work for about a month, the pharmacy cashier asked if I wanted to give a dollar to such-n-such.  I replied, “I really can’t.  But do you want to take a dollar off my purchase, since I’ve been out of work for a month?”    She didn’t want to donate either.

***********

I recently spent 7 days at a Benedictine Retreat house.   The other guests were on Silent Retreat.  It was, in a word, Awesome!   Any words that were spoken during my limited interaction with others, were kind and courteous.   Around there, the old adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” really holds.

My theory is that folks only keep doing less-than-acceptable behavior because its been working.   And so, I’m ready for the next one.   Instead of cursing (durned old bad temper!)   I will quietly explain I was thinking about saying yes, but because of their abusive, (pushy, aggressive) disgraceful verbiage, I think I will instead decline.

I’ll let you know if it works.

(I will say it’s been my experience that when I have the perfect plan of action ready, the Universe decides I don’t need those kind of opportunities anymore………)

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