Cam and I were in Target this morning, to return (of all things) some brown sugar. No really, THAT was my excuse to go to Target this morning. It's kind of legit too, because I needed to purchase dark brown sugar for the over-whelming number of cookies I volunteered to make for our local homeless shelter (I must have lost my fucking mind when I agreed to make cookies for 60 people). Seems there is an actual difference between light brown an dark brown sugar. Who knew? No really, WHO KNEW THAT?
So we make our return, and get my $2.88 back and head on over to the Starbucks so teasingly placed inside our Target. The $2.88 barely makes a dent in my Tall Peppermint Hot Chocolate (YES I want whipped cream! Stupid question.). Because I am not content to actually shop for what I NEED, we make our way around the store the long way. Perusing clothes, undies, Easter themed socks (yup, I am THAT nerd, ever since Cam came home...holidays need to be done up right.), and into the baby section. Because my ADHD and depression meds aren't working worth a shit lately, my mind is a sieve, I forgot Cam's sippy cup. I have trained my 14 month old child to expect a milky treat (Organic Horizon Farms chocolate or strawberry milk) every time we go to Target. You can gladly laugh in my face when in 12 years I am bemoaning Cam's unhealthy relationship with food.
Anyway, see...that is ADHD, mind all over the place before I even get to THE story. I am in the sippy cup aisle all "what kind of cup shall we get..." when I hear a squabble in the next aisle over. I immediately stood stock still as I hear a woman's voice roar "IT DOES FUCKING MATTER YOU STUPID PIECE OF SHIT!"
I could picture the woman's face, because I had gotten a good look at them when we strolled past that aisle. I remembered their faces because I was cataloging them into my "assholes who block the aisle" part of my brain. She...very white trash, stringy black hair, TONS of makeup, nails that can't possibly let your fingers do anything, and skin tight clothes. She also had the little scanner out, so my brain also registered that she must be expecting. Egad. The man was unassuming looking. If I had seen him anywhere else, I would NEVER have put him together with her. There was also a little boy, probably about four years of age. Okay, so maybe the ADHD meds are working a little, THAT'S the kind of shit I can focus and remember, just not anything useful. Such as where I put the phone down 2 seconds ago.
After the woman started hollering, she didn't stop. For at least five solid minutes. At one point I told Cam to quiet down, that Mama was too busy being a busy-body. The man protested, and I have to say, he had a valid point. "We've been standing her for 40 minutes. They're bottles, just pick one." Oh boy. What followed even shocked my Navy sailor ears. She ripped liek I have never heard. "OH LIKE YOU WOULD FUCKING KNOW. IT'S ONLY OUR FUCKING BABY. OH YEAH, YOU DON'T CARE. YOU DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT OUR BABY. I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT AND YOU DON'T KNOW FUCKING SHIT. YOU STUPID PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT. I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT, AND YOU FUCKING DON'T. YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING. WELL YOU ARE STUPID AS SHIT. OH, SO IT'S COOL WHEN THE BABY IS ALL FUCKING CRYING AND THROWING UP, AND IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT FUCKING BOTTLE IT IS?!?!?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?????........."
Um. Dude. It was better than an reality show I can come up with. If she had hit him, we would be talking Fox TV reality. He smartly retreated, but not before telling her "you know, you don't need to speak to me like that. The cussing just makes you look stupid and you are an embarrassment." Heh. So he walks off, and she continues her venomous litany, all the while, presumably, comparing bottles. Cam and I finally leave the sippy cup aisle, and wander away. I made it two aisles away when the man came back, and her rage ratcheted up again. And my sick, perverted sense of decorum went out the window, and I found myself back in the sippy cup aisle. He came back to poke the bear: "you are still talking?" HA! "WHAT?!?!?! I AM TRYING TO TAKE CARE OF OUR BABY YOU STUPID SHIT. GOD YOU ARE SO STUPID!! YOU CAN'T EVEN STAND HERE AND PRETEND TO CARE. YOU ARE SO STUPID!!!" He retreats again. Cam and I leave again, and have picked up a few more essentials (squirt gun shaped like a cow, barrettes to go with the 454 that Cam won't let me put in her hair...) when my curiosity gets the better of me. We walk back, and this time I stop at the end of the aisle to get another good look, when I see the little boy. I'd forgotten about him, because he was so quiet. There he is, patiently sitting on the floor, when a toy or something catches his eye. He wanders off down a few aisles and calls for his parents to look. He's four so he asks about 10000 times. Because they are STILL talking about bottles, except now the man is all "yes baby, I see what you are saying", they ignore the boy. The 1001st time he says "look!", the woman looks directly at him and screams "JACOB, NO ONE CARES SHUT UP!!!!'.
I felt sick to my stomach. Like someone had just sucker punched me. The look on that kid's face said he had heard that a million times. Probably more. I caught the eye of a lady who was pushing her cart past, and she looked like she was about to cry. We walked a few aisles together, when she said to me "you know, we spend so much time trying to teach(nodding at her toddler boy) him not to speak to people like that. That little boy doesn't stand a chance."
Up until that woman screamed that at her kid, I was a tiny bit disgusted with myself for being such a voyeur into such ugly behavior. But, really, it did satisfy the very small, juvenile child that lives inside me. Listening to her scream at that little boy made me feel dirty, awful, and ashamed. I really wanted to smack the ever-living-shit out of her, and steal her kid. And that poor baby? Geez. Mostly I just felt powerless. As powerless as that little boy, because if I even tried to say something about her behavior, it would have just fueled her fire. And I'd be cooling my heels in the clink. I try to be a better person, but people like that don't bring the best in me out.
I struggle with being judgmental. I really don't like that part about myself, so I try to catch it. Part of trying to catch it is to put myself in the person's shoes. The only thing I could come up with is that she herself was raised that way. An unbroken cycle. Sad and disgusting, and an unfortunate reality in our world. Some people have shitty childhoods and work hard to overcome them. And some just suck. Continue to make poor choices. Continue to wallow in hatefulness. Continue as if the world owes them something.
I looked at Cam as we were walking away, and thought out loud: "you will never know THAT kind of crazy."