Dear Old Cranky Woman at the Cable Store:

I wanted to say thank you for reminding me that while everyone else I ran into yesterday was sweet and kind, there are still people who will be bitchy to strangers for absolutely no reason.

While Ari and I were minding our business, waiting our turn, you decided to ask my shy toddler a series of questions. Easy questions, yes. Like, “How old are you?” to which, he responded, “free.” Which is shy toddler speak for “three.” After he politely said hello to you and answered your serious of questions, I repeated what he said, for clarity purposes (I recognize that young parents are generally the only people who can properly translate toddler speak… plus he was being shy so it was a near whisper).

After you asked a series of other questions, you said “Maybe you can answer instead of MOMMY doing everything for you.” I ignored you. ‘Cause ain’t nobody got time for that. And? See above.

But when my very well-behaved toddler asked to watch a movie on Mommies phone (after waiting patiently in his stroller for 15 minutes without so much as a peep), I decided to abide. I pulled up the sweetest and most educational show on Netflix, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Another patron noted that her niece loves Daniel Tiger! I told her that we’re watching the episode about Daniel getting a new baby sister, in hopes to prep him for ‘the big change.’

Dear, dear, old lady… this is where you piped in, “I don’t think he’s going to care about his sister when he has all the TV to watch!

Dare I say it, but oh-so-typical, old lady judgy talk… just days before Christmas, at that! YOU, dear lady, are the exact opposite of the person I try to be everyday.

And although I owe you ZERO explanation, here is what you DID NOT see:

  • My 3-year old has a cough from his Reactive Airway Disease (aka toddler asthma). He’s not been sleeping well; thus, his parents have not been sleeping well.
  • Despite his cough (and his Mommy getting only 2 hours of sleep), we both awoke at 7am to tackle the day.
  • The very well-behaved toddler you saw had already endured a trip to the grocery store and a doctors appointment without so much as a peep! That was two hours before our encounter.
  • This was the single errand I was dreading, since it was to my former employer (albeit, not the location I worked) and I had just been “let go” several days prior, at 35 weeks pregnant.

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So thank you, mean old lady. You served as an example for my child; an example of how rude and condescending a person can be; an example of how NOT to behave to strangers.

Lucky for you, I just brushed our encounter off without a word. Because, let’s face it, you would have thought my behavior to be “typical” if I had said anything rude to YOU. Right? “Typical young person being rude to the elderly.” But no. No, that’s not the case. Let’s just call it the Christmas spirit. Or lack of fight. Regardless, I hope whatever miserable existence you have for this week is nothing like our encounter. If it is, I feel very sorry that that’s the kind of life you lead.

Sincerely,

A stranger with a lot to be sad about, but the one you see with a smile. Also known as The Mom who is doing a damn good job.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

tammigirl December 22, 2015 at 9:56 am

I’m with you – engaging with the meanies on their level is never worth it. There was a rare time at Sam’s Club I put an exiting member in her place because she was being AWFUL to the elderly gentleman who was doing. his. job. and checking receipts. Don’t like it? Don’t get a membership.

If people are difficult with me personally I kill them with kindness and a smile you couldn’t wipe off my face with those new great smile sponges. Let it annoy them all day that I was so happy they couldn’t even register their case of the yuchy with me.

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Rachel December 22, 2015 at 10:15 am

See I have a history of “righting the wrongs” and putting people in their places. ESPECIALLY when it’s happening to someone else and I am merely a witness. This time it wasn’t a matter of “Man, I should’ve said THAT!” which is usually the case. This time, I just let it roll…. I’m proud of myself for that! LOL

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