A few months ago, I was standing in the check-out line at the grocery store. You know, the self-service lines. There were two lines. One line had two registers, the other had one. I was standing in the line with two registers. I saw this young lady, out of the corner of my eye, trying to cut across into my line. She was standing in the middle of both lines as though she might go to either register. I told her that she was confusing people by not making up her mind and choosing one line. Each line was clearly marked on the floor. She looked upset because of my statement. I asked her if she wanted to go in front of me, she said, “no”. I sensed she wanted no favors from me, since I had called attention to her indecisiveness.
As I was scanning my groceries on the register, I heard her say to her young son, “People who want to stay out of trouble ought to mind their own business!” I knew she wanted me to hear her. The next words I spoke set her off. Big mistake Burt! I said something like, “I’m sure your mouth has gotten you into plenty of trouble!” She immediately became angry and raised her voice and told me she had two daughters who had finished college. She told me she would kick my butt, “Old Man!”. With a smirk, she told me, “Oh yeah, you’ll think before you say something next time!” She then informed me her husband was outside and he would kick my butt. Her telling me that she would kick my butt didn’t offend me as much as her calling me an “Old Man.” Vanity struck me hard, I was hurt by her words.
As we walked out the door I asked her where was her husband. I wanted to apologize to him for making his wife upset. She continued to pace back and forth, arms waving up and down. She looked like Mohammed Ali standing over Joe Fraser. She looked like a little guy, but she meant business. Her son, who looked about ten years old, never said a word. He was very polite and looked off as his mom continued in her tirade. I saw a truck off to the right. I knew it was her husband. I stood at the front of the store for a moment. She continued to threaten me. I looked around, heart beating like crazy, as I walked to my truck. Her husband never left his seat. He didn’t say a word. She angrily walked back to her truck and I got into my truck and drove off.
A homeless guy, who I had befriended, was standing a few feet away. I knew he saw what had just happened and I felt ashamed. Why did I say anything to this woman? What I said, made her want to fight. To this day, I can’t figure out what her daughters being college grads had to do with anything.
The lesson I learned from this? Always be courteous, kind, and understanding towards others. Last but not least, the old saying, sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt, isn’t true. People will fight over words.
I'm a young senior, recently married, after raising 5 kids. I'm a christian and love to capture videos and tell stories with the camcorder. I love to skate and sing. I love to learn new things. I also love to garden and plant new kinds of veggies. I find it fascinating that people can communicate through blogging the word of God.