I really try to be kind and courteous and real and friendly, but I have this problem. And it’s called my mouth.
It gets me every time.
I am talking all the time. Day and Night. Even when I am sleeping. It gets me there, too, because I even talk in my sleep.
So, this is what happened. The other day I was at the grocery store in Gniezno.
It’s a rather large grocery store. It’s a French chain, I believe. So now I don’t know whether to blame the French grocery chain or the Gniezno store owner on this one…BUT…someone decided at this rather large grocery store to implement a one-line rule where everyone lines up in a single file line to wait for the next available cashier.
The idea isn’t bad—IF—it was a small store with few customers. But this is a huge and busy grocery store. It’s like we all line up as if to go through the cattle gate — our grocery carts and kids overflowing down to the chips and liquids aisle. Imagine trying to get into a busy sporting event with kids and a grocery cart to boot. It’s utterly ridiculous.
Yet, it’s what we all must do, and I am the one that chose to shop at that store, so I got in line.
One woman—out of the 30+ of us in line decided that as long as her cart was in line, she would keep shopping.
Duh, lady. Don’t you think we would ALL love to do this?!
Well, her cart was there but the line was moving forward. So, of course, there was a huge gap in front of her cart and the other customers in front of her.
Who was foolishly the customer/shopper behind this thoughtless lady?
Hand in the air. ME!
But what happens with this huge gap of air space and the missing cart lady? Why 3 new customers come along and hop in line.
The lady comes running back to her cart and says she was there.
Um. No, technically you weren’t. I am just a patient person and was waiting for you to move forward.
Fool count 1.
Well, after some exchanged words, she is defeated and now stuck behind 3 more people. But that’s okay, because she goes back to shopping.
Air space yet again. Because there is this thing called checking out and people do pay for groceries and lines do move forward in the grocery store. But where is this random shopper lady?
MIA, Missing in Action, yet again.
And again, I foolishly wait for her to find her cart and push it forward.
Fool count 2.
Finally on Fool count 3, when there is a mile of space between her cart and the cutting customers in front of her and the MIA shopper, I take my cart and go in front of her cart.
Boy howdy! You would think that this woman had a cart radar or something. No sooner did I put my cart in front of hers did I then see her come screeching at me, yelling, “THAT’S my space! I was there in line.”
Now, because I am a very mature 38-year-old mother of 3, I of course engaged in her argument, (in Polish), “No, ma’am. You were not here. And, this is the 3rd time that you have not been here. This was free space.” Yes, my Polish is lacking, so this is basically what I said. Not so intimidating but enough to let her know it’s not okay.
Ooooh, boy! She was steaming mad! And kept yelling at me how she was there. So, again, I engaged in this civil thing we were having (NOT) called a conversation.
“No, Ma’am, you were not here. Again, 3 times you have left and gone shopping. YOU WERE NOT HERE. This was a free space.”
Yes, I am a Polish force (smile and wink).
And, yet again, she flew off of the handle yelling at me. Imagine, “Yadda, yadda, yadda!”
There, lady. You went and did it. You brought out my English! And I started in again—this time in my Mother Tongue…
“No! You were not here! This is ridiculous. For 3 times you have left your cart to go shopping…(insert more)…This is not okay!”
After the shock wore off that I was no longer conversing with her in Polish, the entire line of people started to speak up, the lady that was now in front of the both of us turned around and said, “No, you weren’t here (in Polish). You can’t keep leaving and shopping.” The person in front of the lady in front of the lady spoke up. The husband of one of the ladies spoke up. And this fiery MIA shopper just kept getting louder.
It’s a good thing we were in a French grocery store. This small riot didn’t seem out of place, eh?! Haha.
Anyhow, after I started this small riot of vocalities, I realized that this lady was going to continue to throw her fit, so I pulled my cart out of line and let her go back in front of me, which she eagerly took and moved forward.
But, let me just say—she DID NOT leave her spot again.
And the check-out lady was super nice to me, too. Nice or scared? I don’t know which.
So much for showing the love of Jesus at the grocery store that day.