Tag Archives: Rude people

“Oh my God! You’re SO white!”

It’s safe to say I’ve met my fair share of lunatics. Some in real life, some online. My friend Gloria and I often joke that we could write a book entitled, “The Freaks We’ve Met” and we’d likely make a fortune on it.

I don’t know how I attract lunatics – perhaps it’s a vibe I give off, you know, like a fish in distress? Maybe nutjobs have some form of advanced echolocation and know how to hone in on the people least likely to tolerate their craziness? All I know is they find me. They’ll root through a crowd and find me. They’ll root through hordes of online personalities and find me. It’s not my red hair, in case that’s what you’re thinking. When I was blond, I’d lure them in, too.

This time, though, it was my skin…

It was last year. It was supposed to be a fairly quick shopping expedition. I needed a few things for dinner. I had planned on running in, grabbing items, and getting out in time to make it home for the start of a Yankee game. I had just rounded the end of the aisle and was making my way towards the dairy section when it happened.

“Oh my God! You’re SO white!” This was said by a blond woman holding a forgotten jug of kefir. She was looking at me.

I raised my eyebrows and turned to see if there was someone behind me. There wasn’t. I gave her a look which could best be described as, “Oh, joy, another nutjob.” Then I swung my cart wide and around her. I wasn’t in the market for kefir.

She would have none of my evasive maneuvers, however, and followed along with her jug of raspberry dairy product. “I mean, you’re really, REALLY white!” She exclaimed this with a sense of wonder, like Jesus had just shown her the way towards my pale self.

I had reached the relative safety of the eggs and grabbed my free-range, organic browns. As I contemplated her craziness, I peeked under the shelf, expecting Ashton Kutcher to come barreling out. No. No Ashton. I wasn’t being Punk’d. I glanced back at her and said, “I’m sorry?” in a tone that brooked no easy entry to a conversation. It was meant as a “Back the hell off you complete nutjob” and was said in a particularly fierce manner. I may have even furrowed my brow. This act scares the crap out of most people so I figured I was safe to move into the bakery section unaccompanied. I toodled away.

As a dessertatarian, I have great difficulty passing the baked goods section without loading up on items that will soon be dimpling my thighs and buttocks. That day, as I compared the various dimpling qualities of pies versus cakes, I heard, “Your skin is what I mean. It’s nearly translucent against your red hair! It’s SO white!”

I put the Boston Cream Pie down and turned to gape at her. Had she escaped from a local asylum and was now seeking shelter in the baked goods section of my supermarket? Was she dangerous? Was I soon going to have to put my foot up her ass? I tried a different approach.

“Yes, you’ve said that.” I may have put my hand on my hip and thrown her a scowl.

“I just want to touch it. It looks so creamy!” As she approached, now holding a Hostess Fruit Pie (Cherry), I weighed my options. I could either (a) chuck the Boston Cream Pie at her (b) ask her what the hell is wrong with her, (c) tell her she was being incredibly rude, (d) stick my foot up her ass…or,

“Yeah, I generally don’t allow complete strangers to touch me, soooo, off you pop.” Now I put my back to her and (making a rash decision on a box of 12 croissants) I quickly left the bakery section.

It was sometime later, while I was comparing the fat content of the light ricotta cheese versus full fat that I heard, “I just have to ask – do you go out in the sun?”

I dropped the ricotta (full fat) in the cart and looked at her. “WHAT?”

“It’s just that we’re here in sunny San Diego, do you ever go IN the sun? Are you one of those people who carries an umbrella with them when they walk?” She looked truly interested in my outdoor activities. Scary.

“You know, I have to say, this is one of the most bizarre conversations I’ve ever had – and that says a lot, I’ve got in-laws.” I moved down towards the aluminum foil.

“I’m not trying to be rude.” She called, pushing her cart after me. It had kefir, donuts (which surely counter out the healthy benefits of the kefir?), and the Hostess fruit pie (cherry).

“And yet you are…” I said, tossing in paper plates.

“What about hats? Do you wear hats when you leave the house?” She was standing in front of the Oscar Mayer meats. I couldn’t help thinking her skin matched the bologna.

I shook my head and walked away, again. You know, I’ve never considered myself to be anything other than pale but I’m no circus freak. In fact, I’m many shades darker than the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man:

I had had enough. My skin and hair combo doesn’t stop traffic. Clearly this woman was another whackjob to be added to my collection. As I motored off to the paper towel aisle, I began to seethe. I started to hope she would come back so I could rip her head off and kick it into the sushi display.

“I have several hats that I’ve bought, but you know, they just don’t look good on me. I bet you’re a hat person!” She gleefully proclaimed as she rounded the corner and grabbed toilet paper (Cottonelle) off the shelf.

“To be honest,” I said. “I don’t go in the sun because I have had 2 different types of skin cancer removed off half a dozen spots on my body. Painfully removed. Dug out, in fact. Now, you and your quasi-stalking and spurts of insults have irritated me enough.”

As I began to head to the check-out she said, “I’m sorry. It’s just really pretty.”

“THANK YOU!” I shouted as I pulled into the express lane (15 items or less!). I have no idea still to this day what the woman was banging on about. I’m freckled, and “creamy” wouldn’t describe anything about my skin. Some minutes later, as I was hoisting my bags in the trunk, she popped up behind me like a mad Jack-in-the-box and said, “I bet you wear a lot of sunblock.”

I sighed. The nutjob was parked two cars away. She drove a minivan. She was a mom. I returned my cart and spun. She was standing behind me, gripping her Coach handbag. “I bet you can’t guess how old I am,” she said with a sort of crazed smile.

“I bet I can’t.” Then I hopped in my car, shut (and locked!) the door, and peeled away lest she follow me home. I’ve seen her minivan several times after that. I’ve yet to have another run-in. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that someone I know put her up to it. It’s only a matter of time before I learn the truth. And, yes, damn it, I wear sunblock, OK?

Excuse me? Hi. Could you just back off?

I don’t understand people, I really don’t. Hello, readers, yes, this is the start of another rant. I can’t help it. There are some things that are just so plain annoying I have to bring them to your attention for two reasons: (1) to annoy you, and (2) to educate you.

Yes, that sounded pompous. Yes, I’m going to leave it just the way it is.

Let’s imagine for one minute you’re in the doctor’s office and you’re in the queue to check-in. Are you one of the people who stands inches away from the person in front of you? If you are, go stand in the corner right now. Seriously. Right this second. And don’t come out until I tell you that you can.

Why, oh, why do people stand so close to others in situations like that? Hello? Yes, it’s the doctor’s office, for crying out loud! The person in front of you is there for a reason. Did you really want to catch what they have? Alternatively, if you’re the one standing so close behind me that I can feel your breath on my neck, back off! What the hell’s the matter with you? Like I said, go stand in the corner. Just go. You’ve pissed me off.

The line has moved, you’re up at the counter now, the person helping you is presumably employed because they have some sort of people skills and tact in these situations. Therefore, announcing why you’re there to everyone queued up or lounging around reading crusty old periodicals, is just plain inconsiderate and, frankly, stupid. If you’re one of those people who feels the need to announce why the patients are there, you go stand in the corner, too. You should be fired. I don’t need to hear that the dude in front of me has come in for polyps in his colon, thanks. Just shut up! Also? Don’t announce to the general public that the woman behind me needs to leave you with a urine sample. Seriously. Too much information.

There’s a lack of boundaries in these situations and it’s deplorable. I’m a great fan of personal space and of private information being kept private. It’s one of the reasons I’ve recently unfollowed some people on Twitter. Look, I don’t care to read about your showers or the sex you’ve just had. Get a grip on social decorum. It’s not dead. Really. Go sit in the corner until you can learn some manners.

Now, personal space and private information invasions aren’t just reserved for doctor’s offices, although lately I’ve experienced it in these places more and more. No, I’m sad to say I’ve also encountered these violations while waiting in line to pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy. It makes me want to scream. At our old pharmacy there used to be a sort of barricaded area where you stood until it was your turn. In this barricaded area, there was a stop sign. You were not to go past the stop sign unless there was a pharmacy clerk available to help you. I even think there were cut-out footprints on the floor with another stop sign printed on them. This barricaded area was many feet away from the individuals up at the counter speaking to the pharmacy staff. The reason for this was simple – you don’t need to know what they’re picking up and how it will help what they’re suffering from. The reason? It’s none of your damned business. If you want to know why the stooped little old man at the counter is here, you’re a nosy busybody and should go stand in the corner, too. Go.

Sadly that pharmacy with the stop sign was taken over by a new one. They’ve redone the whole store. Now when you wait in line to pick up your prescription, you have people standing immediately behind you as if they’re trying to conserve warmth. This is San Diego, dude, back off. It’s not 50 below outside. What the hell?

What I’ve found is people need the stop sign. People need rules. They need to be told, “STOP! WAIT HERE! DON’T GO FORWARD OR YOU RISK BEING AN ASSHOLE!” The world is, sadly, littered with clueless assholes.

Clearly the people who redesigned the pharmacy thought the stop sign and footprints were patronizing and they decided they’d make it a more open environment. Well, it’s more open all right. Unfortunately, the privacy dividers between each register at the pharmacy counter have also been taken away. Perhaps in a bid to make it seem more friendly, who knows? Now while you’re waiting to be rung up for your prescription, you get to hear all the side effects everyone around you will soon be suffering. Because of this I now know the prescriptions that Bentley, Porsche, Mercedes S Class, Honda Pilot, and Toyota Highlander are on. We all walked in together, we all lurked together, we all left together. I know that some of them can’t take any alcohol while on their prescriptions – that includes Listerine – and they now know I’m allergic to Penicillin. Where are the boundaries, people? For God’s sake!

I know you’ll think about this the next time you’ve got to take your kid to the pediatrician and the woman behind you with her nineteen coughing, snotting, wheezing children stand so close to your kid that he’ll develop new symptoms before you’ve even left the lobby. And, if you’re the mom with the nineteen snotting kids? You’re not cool!

Now, for those of you who have been stuffed in the corner for this post – you may come out now, go back up to the first paragraph, and read and re-read this post from the beginning. Do not click out of this window until you’ve realized what it is you did wrong and you can promise me and all the other defenders of personal space that you won’t do it again. There’s a line between you and me, let’s keep it that way.

The Post in Which I Tell You How to Walk Your Dog

Another week, another rant, or so it seems. However, this one was requested by one of my childhood friends, so I must deliver. (She knows things about me.)

This last weekend, over drinks at the pub, my friend Annie went into a dog diatribe. Really. I don’t remember how it happened. Or why. We were sitting quietly (no, not really) giggling about men, when all of a sudden she switched to dogs. No joke. (I will gloss over the train of thought and any comparisons out of respect for my readers.) She begins this story about walking her friendly juvenile pit bull through our beautiful green and winding streets of Olde Del Mar. (According to later accounts, her story was “continuously interrupted” by me “banging on the table” and pointing at the Sports Center replays, squawking, “I can’t believe we lost to the Mets. THE METS! Oh, the humiliation! We might as well be the Astros!”) Eventually she was able to weave the following tale of dog walking horror.

Annie’s dog, as I’ve mentioned, is a juvenile pit bull. She’s still quite young and in that hyper stage all young dogs are prone to. In our tiny village, we have one area where all dogs can go without a leash. It’s across from the Del Mar Racetrack on the beach (Yes, Bing’s Del Mar: “Where the turf meets the surf.”) at Rivermouth. There you can let your dog run amok through surf and sand. It’s a doggie free for all and I adore driving down Highway 101 and seeing them bound through surf (usually in hot pursuit of some smaller, passive dog). It never fails to make me smile, and why wouldn’t it? Dogs are such joyful creatures. Where else in life do you see such pure elation from the simple act of butt-sniffing? Really. It’s a life lesson for us all. I’m humbled. But I digress.

As in other towns, your dog must be on a leash when out in public. Not just for its safety, but the safety of others. These are remedial Doggie Lessons 101, people. Now, I don’t do the dog walking in my family. I leave that to The Husband. Well, that and taking out the trash. But I do know the rules and they’re fairly simple. Leash your dog. Pick up its poo. It’s a no brainer. In our case, The Husband likes to take our dog out into a deserted section of coastal wetlands and up through canyon trails where he seldom runs into other people. This way he can let her off the leash to sniff everything ’til her heart’s content. Common courtesy dictates, however, that when you see another person (with or without a dog) you leash yours. Now our dog has an invisible sign on her that says, “Kick my ass.” She’s never met a dog that hasn’t done so. She’s very sad about this, as you can see.

To avoid conflict among dogs, you leash yours and rein it in. Again, common sense. Well, Annie has to go one better because she does have a pit bull. People see pit bulls and freak out. “Oh my God, will it bite my face off?” No. No it won’t. She may lick your face off, but that’s beside the point. Pit bulls aren’t evil, it’s the people who breed them for dog fighting that are. (Don’t get me started.) On this particular occasion, Annie was jogging up a hill with her baby when coming over the crest was a dog running off its leash on the right side of the road. It was unaccompanied. Moments later, two women appeared on the left side of the road. Being out of breath from said jog, Annie stopped and reined in. She cast a meaningful glance the way of the ladies but neither seemed particularly concerned that her dog was about to be accosted by a rogue butt-sniffer. As it drew closer, her dog was becoming more and more squirmy, she clearly felt defenseless andĀ  unable to escape. Well, the inevitable happened, Rogue Butt-Sniffer got a few sniffs in, and then there was some nipping, barking, and frantic canine and human behavior involving leashes and shouting.

Eventually the two dizzy women approached and tutted (actually tutted) at Annie and her dog. This wasn’t acceptable, and Annie logically returned their stupidity with a tirade about dogs needing to be on leashes. Look, I’m sure Rogue Butt-Sniffer was a nice dog, if perhaps just a bit forward. The owners were clueless. In fact, I can honestly say I’ve only ever met one dog who wasn’t nice. He killed (and ate) an entire brood of baby squirrels at the local elementary school – in front of my ten-year-old son, who came home crying. Yes, I flew over there so fast it made the owner’s head spin. I don’t think I’ve ever screamed so loud in my life. “HEY, YOUR DOG IS AGGRESSIVE AND SHOULDN’T BE UNLEASHED ON SCHOOL GROUNDS!” The old woman (yes, old woman) claimed she didn’t speak any English, so I kindly led her over to the remains of squirrel guts spattered all over the play structure and said, “NO! BAD DOG! BAD! IF I EVER SEE THAT DOG OFF THE LEASH AGAIN ON SCHOOL GROUNDS, I’M CALLING ANIMAL CONTROL!” Then I walked around and gathered up the little bodies and buried them in my backyard. The parents stood nearby, in front of their now empty little squirrely domicile. It was tragic.

I know you’re now all wondering, “Did she do it again?” Yes, the dog’s been off the leash again, chasing my neighbor’s cat across our very busy road. A mini-van and a Volvo nearly hit them as they shot into my driveway. Slowly meandering my way was the owner. She greeted me with a look that can only be described as sheer terror, as if I were one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. That dog is bad. Period. But these incidents wouldn’t have happened if she knew her Doggie Lessons 101. There are only 2 rules, people! Say them with me: Leash your dog, pick up its poo. Easy peasy.

Oh, 3 rules. Pay attention to signage:

If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

This post was to be about something I’ve actually learned, a little lesson I wouldn’t have noticed or cared about when I was younger because I was too impulsive, impatient, and hot-tempered. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t mellowed in my old age, I still throw tantrums that can halt a herd of stampeding elephants, but I’ve accepted a few things here and there.

For instance, some people just suck. Really. I used to sit around agonizing about why somebody would say or do something that could be hurtful to someone else. Now? “They suck.” It’s a pithy observation, isn’t it? I can’t be bothered to dissect the vagaries of their personality. There really is no more to add. We all know people who suck, but why do they?

The ones who suck do so because they’re toxic. For whatever reason, no matter how nice you try to be, or how cheery, they will crap on your day. Really. No matter what is making you happy, they’ll attack it with rabid joy. If they do so on Twitter or Facebook, I hit block and defriend. Marvelous! I, if you haven’t noticed, am an Eeyore. I believe there is a black cloud that looms over me (yes, my Twitter handle is ironic), but I won’t sit around trying to pull you down with me. Nor will I expect you to be as outraged as I am about whatever is causing my latest rant. The toxic ones cannot abide someone having a good day. I used to get really upset about these phone calls or visits with them, but one calm evening, while having drinks with a friend, it was pointed out to me that to be around toxicity is to absorb it into your life. Who needs that? It’s like requesting an asbestos wrap at the day spa. Friendships are built on goodwill and love. Why keep them in your life if they can’t support you in the bad times and celebrate with you in the good?

My friend was right. Since then, I pared my interactions down to a manageable limit. I still come across them on Facebook, at the grocery store, or get their “blocked” calls on my cell phone, but for the most part, I’m happier without dealing with their negativity. And that’s what describes these people perfectly: negativity. They’re the envious ones, the ones who make light of what you’ve got to celebrate, or who say belittling things behind your back. I’m a Leo, believe me, if I’ve a problem with you, you’ll get it to your face. Cowardice, negativity, and envy do not make good friends. They make toxic people. Rise above and move away from them. You’ll be happier.

The Post in Which I Tell You How to Drive Your Shopping Cart

Please understand that I’m actually sad this needs to be written. These guidelines, if you will, for controlling your shopping cart, and yourself, at the grocery store. Consider the following a Public Service Announcement.

For starters, let’s imagine the supermarket aisle much like the road you presumably drove on to get there. In this country, we drive on the right. Therefore, keep to the right. Obviously people going in the opposite direction (and there will be some – this isn’t your personal aisle) will be on the left. For those of you in Britain, reverse this.

You can stop and shop, this isn’t a marathon. You should be allowed to pause without fear of having some woman dressed in crop yoga pants with a cart full of organic beet juice ram you in your Achilles tendon. Yes, this has happened to me, multiple times, always at the same supermarket. In fact, I avoid the place because clearly the women that shop there are mainlining Botox, which has atrophied their brain muscle. The aisles are not your personal workout. Go outside and run through the parking lot, get it out of your system. Some of us are in there to buy food, real food, to provide sustenance for our families.

If you’ve encountered a friend going in the opposite direction, and you’re both clogging the aisle, please be kind enough to pick one side, thereby allowing traffic to flow freely.

Next, I don’t care what you’re buying. The fact you feel the need to look in my cart or comment on the amount of produce I’m buying makes me think you need a new hobby. Go do another lap in the parking lot.

If you’re a man, don’t do what Chatty Dude did the other day in the dairy section, which was offer to let me pass. This was a wide aisle. Much like the rules of the road, I don’t need permission to pass you. You needn’t pull over next to the Twinkies twenty feet ahead of me, and make a show, telling me I can pass. All I’m thinking is you want to stare at my ass. I lingered by the soymilk, and shooshed him away. I noticed later, in the bread aisle, he was doing the same to another woman. The dirty bird.

Don’t damage the produce. Look, we all cop a feel with the tomatoes, but we don’t squeeze the hell out of them. Someone wants to eat that. If you can’t tell what’s ripe, ask for assistance. There’s no shame.

Don’t load your cart like an utter moron, putting your bananas, eggs and bread on the bottom, then get to the register and express shock that they’ve been mashed to bits under your ten pound bag of Russet potatoes. Don’t even consider asking the bagger to get replacement items for you. If you’ve a child taking up the top portion of your cart, purchase these things last.

Don’t go through the express aisle with more items than they accept because you’re “in a rush.” We’re all in a rush. It’s called old age. It’s bearing down on all of us. Get over it, and follow the guidelines.

Don’t stand behind me huffing and harrumphing because I have a full cart. Pick another aisle.

Don’t ask to go ahead of me because you’re “in a rush” – see the two points above.

Don’t wait until the last item is rung up before you get out your wallet (women, I’m sad to note, do this the most – they’re always surprised they need to pay). In this day and age, most people pay by debit card. Have it ready. If, by some small chance, you’re paying by cash, be aware what coinage in this country looks like. Please, dear God, don’t stand there acting like you’ve never seen a dime before. Have your money ready. This also applies to coupons. Know how many you have, and to which items they apply.

Don’t pull your car up into the red zone to load your groceries. That’s the “FIRE LANE,” not the VIP Zone.

And, lastly, please put your carts away. Don’t be one of the lazy ones that leave it standing in the middle of a sloping parking lot. It’s OK to be considerate and walk the 100 feet to the cart return. You’ll burn another calorie, and you may meet Chatty Dude on the way.

There Ought to be a Special Place

Yesterday as I was doing weighted jumping jacks in my living room (thank you, Jillian Michaels), I was accosted. I saw it coming but there was very little I could do as each of my arms was moving at a fairly substantial speed towards the sides of my body with heavy metal rods. Before I could stop it, the aggressor had latched onto my chest. I screamed, though, according to my eldest, it was more of a “squeal.” These “squeals” of mine no longer alarm. Apparently that loud sound of sheer terror which spontaneously emits from my mouth is only a casual sound, like a yawn, and requires no immediate action on the part of my loving family. I dropped the weights and ran for my best friend, the insect vacuum. That’s right, I vacuumed the winged bloodsucker up. He was a big boy, too. As he spun angrily about in the tube, I gave it a wee shake, a sort of “thank you” if you will for leaving me with the blotch that had already begun to itch.

As I released the little craphead outside, it dawned on me that there ought to be a Special Place where crapheads go after they die. I’m not going to say “A Special Place in Hell” because who am I to condemn anyone to the fiery pits? No, just an inconvenient Special Place where they sit interminably (think doctor’s office lobby) until someone wise and forbearing can see them in a special examination room. There all theĀ  inconsiderate things that have been done by Craphead will be explained. Things that have led them to such an ignominious title. For instance, things like attacking a woman while she’s working out, sweating and breathing like a water buffalo with emphysema. “That wasn’t very considerate, was it, Mr.Mosquito?”

This Special Place wouldn’t just be for insects, though there would be a preponderance of them: the spider that launched itself on me the other day; the tick who, nine years ago, dropped from a tree branch and crawled about on my four-year-old’s head until I, petrified, had to call my husband home from work to deal with it; the grasshopper the size of a Buick who flew at my face while I was trapped inside an SUV; the flying cockroaches of Hawaii who cause me to sit on my feet in the finest of dining establishments; the woman in the white Volvo who swung her passenger door into the side of my car, denting it and, when I gasped, had the nerve to say, “WHAT? It didn’t leave a mark!”; the Hummer driving, Botox-riddled, bleached blond, orange-skinned, silicone-loaded hag who nearly ran a child over in the parking lot the other day just so she could get to a parking spot before anyone else; the insurance company who decided that my “seasonal” allergies are worth a 25% raise in my premium every month; people who leave their cell phones on during school performances; and, rude Red Sox fans.

These short-listed crapheads will all gather in the lobby, sit on uncomfortable chairs, flip through three-year old magazines that have the last page of every good article ripped out (Why does this happen? Who does this?), and be ignored for months on end until they can be seen and lectured. Only then, when they understand the Magnitude of their Crapitude, can they be released from the Special Place, as better, kinder beings. Think of it as a wastewater treatment plant.

Well, I’d like to fantasize further about this but Waffles the Cat is batting at something crawling up the wall. I have to go grab the bug sucker. This won’t end well for anybody.