Ah, that's better.
I'm friendly. I'm polite. I smile at people I don't know and chit chat with cashiers. I hold doors open for strangers. If I walk in front of someone I say "excuse me".
But apparently, that sort of stuff has gone out of fashion, along with corsets and parasols.
I made a trip to the library today. And yes, I had some things that were overdue. I'll agree, I am not the world's most responsible library patron. I got a card for my son so I wouldn't have to pay the fine on mine. And it took about 2 nano-seconds for me to rack up tab on his. I have lost a book...once. We always keep the videos longer than we should. And yes, there was that incident regarding Sister and a book in the bathroom. But after a Clorox wipe to the dust jacket, no one was the wiser.
In my defense, I keep that library afloat. They could build a new wing and name it in my honor with all the money I've given them.
They should roll out the red carpet for me.
But no. I get the cold, icy stare from the Library Nazi when I bring my hot, sweaty crew up to the desk with armloads of loot. "Would you like these all on one card?" she asks, in a monotone barely above a mumble. And that is all I get from her. She checks us out begrudgingly and silently. What is it about me that irritates her? Does she treat everyone this way? She hands me my long receipt with the names of the books and their due dates. "Thank you," I say, hoping for a smile, a grunt, an obscene gesture.
Next, the grocery store. That's always fun with hot, tired children. I am making my way down a longer, main aisle, next to the craft department at the Wal-Mart Super-make-me-go-insane-Center. Suddenly a speeding cart piloted by a grown man with three children zooms in front of me, narrowly escaping a collision. "Excuse me," I say, though he is clearly the one who should apologize. No matter. He doesn't even glance my direction. He's too busy pretending to be Mr. Cool Dad of the Year by turning the cart into a race car, complete with engine and screeching tire noises. And as if pulling right out in front of me isn't enough, he tries to run me over on his way down the aisle.
I seriously considered chunking my box of 80-count unscented baby wipes at his rude, obnoxious head.
I get through everything on my list and have one more stop. The deli. I've only had to say, "Stop that", "Don't touch that", "Don't sit there", "Don't run" about 700 times, so I'm really ready to go. I arrive at the deli counter and park my cart close to, but slightly behind the lady who was there first waiting for her order. There is about a cart's width between us. While I stand there, patiently waiting my turn, a sassy little twenty-something in a sports bra and gym shorts pushes her cart between ours and sashays her tight, little hiney right on up to the counter, in front of me. I don't say anything, thinking she surely will ask if I've been helped.
I mean, I'm standing right there.
I was there first.
I have three loud, hyper children.
I completely look the part of the tired, bedraggled housewife.
Not today. When the lady behind the counter asked who was next, she piped right up and took my turn. My turn.
HEL-LO!! Am I INVISIBLE??!!!
I push my cart out of there in a huff, hoping she notices, but I'm pretty sure she didn't.
That's it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. I've got the Library Nazi's number. See if she gets another smile from me. No more holding open doors. No more "please" and "thank you". I'm through being nice.
And tomorrow, I might just kick the cat, too.