Yesterday, I did our weekly grocery shopping. While standing in line at checkout, there was a gen-Zish, hipsterish couple (Assumptions based upon: Holding hands, neither was likely old enough to drink, both wore 1950’s glasses with plain glass in them, and the (presenting) male of the couple had a knit cap on that could easily have hidden a gallon jug of milk) in the line next to mine. I noticed them because they were carrying all their purchases in their overloaded arms and kept glancing over at me and my 2/3rds full cart and making disgusted-looking faces. Subtlety was clearly not their strong suit…
After a while (these were long lines), I began to really notice this, as it had gone past casual, and they were mumbling to each other every time they looked over. It seemed unlikely they were intending a physical altercation, given that I likely outweighed them both together, but it was making me anxious that something unpleasant was going to happen, so I decided to release some pressure before they boiled over.
“Is there something wrong?” I asked them, point blank.
“What? No. We don’t mumble, mumble, mumble.” Was their response.
A moment later, the one with the ridiculous hat (I presume purposely loud enough for me to hear) said to the other:
I didn’t take the bait. It would have been easy. I could have verbally hammered them with all the reasons that was such a stupid thing to say, like “You try to feed a family of four for a week without a cart of groceries!” or “Were you dropped on your head as a child? I’m a hoarder who only filled his cart 2/3rds of the way?” or just gone on the attack, like “Will you be carrying your groceries home in that used elephant condom on your head?”, etc. but I didn’t. No, I was possibly the most mature I have ever been in my entire life and just looked at them briefly like they were insane.
And then, the “little old lady” behind them, whom I hadn’t even noticed before, and who I now presume was related to one of them, smacked hat-boy directly in the souffle with her hand-bag and yelled, “Boy, shut your stupid mouth!”
I thought he was going to cry…
Schadenfreude for the win!