I am, at heart, a non-confrontational person. Yeah, I'm guilty of offhand sarcastic remarks and quips when things annoy me, but most of it is meant in jest. For me to really get aggravated -- and speak out about it -- things really really have to bother me.
Today, I was bothered.
On my way to pilates, I stopped at the UPS store to drop off a package. I was returning one of many, many catalog purchases of late. Apparently, one of the ways I dealt with not getting a birthday present from my mother was to buy new clothing and shoes. But I digress.
The package was prepaid. So, I just wanted to run in and run out of the store so I could get to my class, but there was no parking, so I wound up driving around for a couple of minutes looking for a spot. When I finally parked and ran up to the store, large box in front of most of my body (The box was 2 feet long -- no joke), I noticed that there was a very long line of parents and kids, most of whom were holding red and green balloons.
I quickly gathered that none of the people in line were actually there to conduct business in the store. You see, as luck would have it, the UPS store is in a neighborhood that was having its annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, and the store itself hosted Santa. So after exchanging brief words with some of the parents, I decided to bypass the line and go straight to the door.
Of course some blond woman yelled at me, "How rude! Don't you see that this woman with a stroller and a baby is trying to get out? You should have let her out first."
In my defense, I didn't see the woman with the stroller and the baby. The box was obstructing my view, especially while trying to hold it while keeping the door open. And in all honesty, all of the people and all of their kids seemed like they were moving into the store, not out of it. But on some level, I was not being very observant. I mean, I was surrounded by all of the kids and the noise, and all I wanted to do was drop off the stupid giant box.
I said, "Oh. I'm just trying to drop off this box and I didn't see her." I continued walking into the store, handed the clerk my box, and proceeded to exit. The transaction itself took 5 seconds.
On my way out the door, the woman started with me again. She said "You are so rude."
I was halfway out of the store, but I got annoyed. I spun back around and said, "Excuse me?"
She didn't say anything, so I started walking again.
Of course, then she said, "I guess some people don't understand Christmas."
I stopped again. "You really want to do this in front of your children?"
She glared at me and said, "I can't believe you are so rude."
I got a little defensive. "First of all, I didn't see the woman with the stroller because I was carrying a very big, very heavy box. And second, if anyone has the right to be mad at me, it's her -- not you. Mind your own business."
She said something else, but I don't even remember what it was. All I know is that by this point, I was fuming. So as I turned and walked back to my car, I said, "Well, I guess your kids are learning that the true spirit of Christmas is to be judgmental and rude."
The woman with the baby and the stroller? She was long gone by that point. But if she had said something to me, I probably would have apologized.