I think it is generally agreed that I have my share of bizarro encounters while out and about. I have that kind of aura, I guess. You know how it goes – if there’s an unhinged person in line at Starbucks, I’m 100% sure to be the one they unload on. I’m especially a sucker for the high – functioning types. I’m generally a few exchanges into small talk with a normal seeming stranger before the crazy rears its head and it’s too late for me to back out and pretend not to notice.
Like the time a few years back when some guy at the car wash asked if I liked driving my Saab and what kind of mileage it got? And he seemed nice, if a little immature. Until he busted out a water hose and started spraying me down with it.
Then there’s the creepy drive – thru guy at our Dunkin Donuts that acts like I’m his long lost love – interest every time I pull around to pay for my iced vanilla latte. “Oh I didn’t know it was YOOOUUUU. So……girl…..how you been, eh???” Picture him leaning half out of the window and looking all bedroom – eyed and you get the idea. I’m pretty sure he does this to all the ladies, but it’s still annoying when my kid’s screaming in the back seat and it’s raining into my car and I just want my damn latte and he thinks it’s time to bust a move. Note to corporate DD: I’ve stopped going there because of this.
So today’s crazy encounter didn’t seem to be out of the ordinary. At first.
I had to run to Food Lion for some lunch items for the kids and I didn’t want to be out very long because Oona was melting down.
I got my basket of things and found an open register where a woman with a few vegetables was just paying. I thought.
She was paying for something, but not the veg. So when she finished (and I had all my items on the belt) the cashier looked at her and said “So….we’re just waiting on him then?”
And the girl nodded her head and I thought great. But, it happens quite a lot that people will walk away like that and make the rest of us wait. I learned a long time ago there’s no point in getting upset over it. So I started playing with my phone.
And waiting. And waiting some more. And then more. I tweeted that I was waiting, but I didn’t look up from my phone. The cashier was obviously in a state of annoyance and I didn’t want there to be a fuss so I pretended all was well.
Then he shows up. I pick up my head as he’s saying “Sorry I just needed this” and for some reason I will never know, he gives me the most wicked, “I love that I kept you waiting” grin. Not knowing what to do, I smiled back feebly and looked back at my phone while he paid. Or, while his woman paid. At which point, while the cashier is bagging everything and making change, the guy walks around behind me, grabs a few packs of gum, walks back around in front of me again and hands it to the cashier.
The cashier says “I’m sorry, did you want to add that to your order?”
And then. And then he says “NO. I want to make a new order with this”. And gives me that smile again.
And that’s when my phone rang. Neve wanted to know if I would be home soon. “Well”, I said, “If I ever get out of here”.
I didn’t make eye contact, but I said it clear enough to be sure they heard me. And I looked straight at the woman as I said it.
Then they left. And this is where it should have ended. With me saying “What a bunch of inconsiderate assholes” and them saying “Wow what an impatient bitch”.
But this is me, and I live in crazy - people land.
So after I paid and left the store and got to me car I noticed another car pull up behind me. I was just opening my door to get in and I can see it’s them. Pointing at me. Obviously. And the girl is laughing with that same wicked look on her face that her male counterpart had had earlier.
I GOT IN MY CAR AND SHUT THE DOOR.
They very, very slowly, they pulled next to me, then in front of me, then left. I didn’t look at their car to get a tag # because I had the distinct impression they were trying to pull me into something I had no desire to be a part of.
I drove home a bit rattled.
What could I have done differently? Would it have mattered if I had not answered my phone and said anything? I promise you if I ever kept anyone waiting in line like that someone would have read me the riot act.
Bottom line is, of course not. They had something not right about them from the get – go.
I can tell you with absolute certainty it won’t be the last time something like this happens. I can only hope they all turn out hilariously so I can at least write about it.