Born Angry

, , , , | Friendly | September 19, 2019

(My husband and I are out shopping with our toddler during our first day on vacation, stocking up on essentials for the week. We’re standing in the yogurt aisle, trying to decide whether to get a quart of yogurt or a couple of individual sizes for our son. Finally, we settle on a quart, pick it up, and go to move on to the next aisle when we notice a man standing next to us, glaring.)

Angry Man: *as we move past him* “FINALLY!”

Husband & Me: *exchanging confused looks* “Oh, sorry?”

Angry Man: *muttering under his breath but plenty loud enough to hear* “F****** oblivious. I’ve been waiting here for five f****** minutes waiting for you to move. F****** ridiculous…”

Me: *snorting in disbelief*

Husband: *murmuring to me* “He could have said something…”

Angry Man: *shoves past my husband, banging his cart and shoulder* “Move your a**!”

Husband & Me: *left in disbelief that this just happened*

(But the story doesn’t end there! Later that day, my husband was driving up to a stop sign on a side street. He had to pull up over the crosswalk to see whether it was clear to turn onto the main road. When a man came walking up with his dog, my husband reversed to allow him to cross. The man started making rude gestures and angry faces toward our car and the crosswalk, clearly trying to articulate, “How dare you be on the crosswalk, I’m trying to walk here, what is wrong with you,” etc. As he got closer, I recognized his face. I kid you not, IT WAS THE SAME ANGRY MAN. There’s no way he recognized us behind our tinted windows. He was just that rude to everyone!)

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“Able” To Bring Her Down

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 15, 2019

(My uncle is considered by the rest of my family to be a “child-whisperer” because he can easily manage five children at a time by himself. He can take five of us — his kids and my siblings and our other cousins — on outings and manage to keep us all safe while we have fun. We all love him because he is very easygoing and patient but also can be silly with us. We go to the zoo when I am nine, with my ten-year-old and four-year-old cousins — his son and daughter — and twin six-year-old cousins — his nieces. We overhear two old ladies speaking. One of them points at my six-year-old cousin who has one leg.)

Rude Old Lady: “It is fitting that they brought that freak to a zoo.” 

(Her companion laughs. My uncle overhears this comment, as does my cousin, who starts crying. While her twin and the rest of us are attempting to cheer her up, my uncle walks over to the ladies, smiling.)

Uncle: *in a jovial sort of way* “Hello. Would you kindly repeat what you said?” 

(One of the women looks apprehensive, but the other doubles down on what she said before.)

Rude Old Lady: “I said that it is fitting that you brought your freaks to the zoo.”

Uncle: “Freaks? That’s a bit harsh, isn’t it?” 

Rude Old Lady: “No, it’s accurate. You’ve got two kids wearing glasses — that ought to be child abuse, especially when you’re doing it to a little girl — and a kid with one leg. Plus, that kid has another kid who looks just like her except she’s whole.”

Uncle: “Oh, the twins? They don’t look that similar. For a start, she has blonde hair and she has black hair. I might consider it child abuse to not let children wear glasses, regardless of gender.” 

(So far, my uncle has been very conversational in tone. Now, he spreads his arms out like he’s making a grand speech and starts speaking loudly. The other people near the bear exhibit — and even the bears themselves, probably — are listening now.)

Uncle: “Understand this, O ableist hag! I do not appreciate you calling my family freaks, O she-who-made-a-kid-on-crutches-cry! I have nothing more to say to you, O demon-in-a-woman’s-body! Begone, I say!” 

(While my amputee cousin starts laughing at the absurdity of the statement, the rest of us cheer, and the woman, publically humiliated and shamed, stalks off, her companion saying, “Well, you were a bit rude, don’t you think?” to her on the way out. I bring this up now, years later, only because while visiting our grandmother during the summer, the oldest of my cousins and I go to the grocery store. My cousin nudges me in the ribs and says:)

Cousin: *just loudly enough for her to hear* “Hey, it’s the demon in a woman’s body!” 

(She scowled at us and kicked in our general direction before walking away.)

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A Sad Sign Of The Times

, , , , , | Friendly | September 13, 2019

(I am at the water park with my older brother, my fianceé, and her two younger brothers. Her youngest brother is deaf and speaks primarily using ASL. While we are waiting in line, my fianceé, her brother, and I are speaking to each other with ASL, making jokes about how hot it is. Behind us is a woman who grows quite huffy with us throughout the thirty-minute wait.)

Woman: *to us, raising her voice in a very angry, “motherly” tone* “How dare you make those signs with your hands?! I didn’t know [Park] allowed gang members into their parks! Despicable!”

Fiance: “We’re speaking sign; my brother is deaf and he can’t hear us.”

Woman: “I don’t want your excuses! I want you out of here!”

Fiance: “For talking with our hands? Lady, you’re off your meds if you think they’re going to kick us out for speaking sign language.”

Woman: “We’ll just see about that!” *stomps out of the line, presumably to find a security guard*

(We go through the rest of the line without seeing her, nor a security guard. We do see her when we get off the ride, however, being told by security that they won’t do anything.)

Woman: *at the top of her lungs, so everyone around the ride can hear* “That’s it! I’ll be speaking to Mr. [Park Founder] about this!”

Me: “I hope she has a ouija board!”

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Aisle Be Leaving Now

, , , , | Friendly | September 12, 2019

(Flying on short notice one trip leaves my young daughter and me seated separately; I am in an aisle seat in one row and she is one row back on the opposite side in the center seat. My daughter gets airsick. After I inquire about changing seats to be together, the flight attendant says to wait until boarding is complete and then ask the occupants. A businessman sits down in the aisle seat next to my daughter.)

Me: “Sir, would you mind changing your aisle seat for my aisle seat so I can sit next to my daughter?”

Businessman: “NO! I requested this seat and if you can’t manage to plan your trip to be seated together, then that’s your problem.”

Me: *rather taken aback at his obvious attack at such a simple request* “Okay.”

(I get up and collect three “barf bags” from my seat pocket and those next to me, and I stand in the aisle next to the businessman and reach over him to hand said bags to my daughter.) 

Me: “Here you go, honey. Use these on take-off; I’m sure this ‘gentleman’ will help.”

(Then, I smiled sweetly at said businessman and went back to my seat. I’ve never seen someone change his mind about a seat change so fast. The flight attendant got a good laugh out of it, too!)

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I’ve Ordered A Babysitter’s Club

, , , , , | Friendly | September 11, 2019

(I am eating in a fast food restaurant in the mall when a family comes down and sits at the table next to me. The dad strikes up a bit of small talk, along the lines of asking what I am reading, and then both of the parents wander off, I assume to order food for their kids. I finish up and head out, heading towards the bookstore. I’ve made it about halfway across the mall when the mother suddenly comes bustling out of the store.)

Mother: “Where are my kids?”

Me: “How the h*** should I know?”

Mother: “You were watching them!”

Me: *jaw-dropping at her audacity* “I’m not your f****** babysitter. I’m guessing they are back at [Restaurant], assuming they haven’t been kidnapped.”

(She looked at me, let out a short screech, and started hurrying back towards the restaurant, while I decided to just cut my losses and come back another day. Seriously, who the heck just expects a random stranger to watch their kids for them?)

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