Sunday, December 12, 2004

Next in Line

I lead a charmed life except for three areas. I am unlucky at gambling (although that doesn't stop me from gambling), I am the person in the group who orders the thing on the menu that they just ran out of and I am absolutely horrible at picking lines. It doesn't matter if it's at the bank, the grocery store, the car wash or WalMart. I always pick the wrong line. I have learned to accept it.

When the person in front of me turns to me and apologizes because someone has to run off for a price check, I always tell them, "It's not you. It's me." Invariably, the cash register will run out of tape, the cashiers will change shift or the idiot in front of me at the drive through has three transactions and hasn't filled out their deposit slip. As car after car drives away, I'm still sitting there staring at dipshit's bumper and wondering if anyone would believe me if I said my foot slipped off the brake as I send Logjam Louie's car into the next county.

If I said this happens to me every time I get in line, that would be an exaggeration. If I said it happens to me 99% of the time, it would not. I don't even try to analyze the situations in front of me anymore. The fact that there is a man in Line A with three items versus a woman with three kids in Line B with a basket full of groceries would seem to present an easy choice. However, I know that if I go to Line A, the guy's wife will call him needing diapers and he will have to run to the back of the store to get them. It's not him. It's me.

Today, I had one of the worst waiting in line experiences of my life. My mom, my niece Katie, my sister Bonnie and I went to get ice cream. We stood in line for about twenty minutes because there was only one girl working. This ice cream parlor is one where they mix in your add-ins while you stand there so it takes forever. There were five people in front of us and I was tempted to say forget it and sit down but it was my mother's birthday so I decided to suck it up.

While the girl was waiting on my mother, an old lady came into the store and got in line behind me. The girl behind the counter waited on my mother and my sister and then looked me in the eye and said, "That lady was here before you," speaking of the lady who was standing in line behind me. I looked at her in disbelief and said, "No, she wasn't. I'm with them," pointing to my mother and sister who were right in front of me. The old lady looked at me and said, "I went outside so the ice cream could get soft."

I'll give you a minute to think that one over.

I looked at her and said, "What?"

She said, "The ice cream was too hard, so I was waiting in my car for it to get soft."

The girl behind the counter said, "She was here before you."

I could not believe my ears. The people in line behind the old lady looked at me with their mouths open and with fear in their eyes. I know they thought they were about to witness the strangulation of a little old lady in the neighborhood ice cream parlor when all they wanted was a couple of Pecan Praline waffle cones.

I am a patient person but that was b.s. I went and sat down and when the girl behind the counter asked me what I wanted, my passive aggressive nature flew into gear and I told her I didn't want anything. What I wanted to say was "Molly Moo's can kiss my ass." The fact was I wasn't even mad at the young girl behind the counter or at "Molly Moo's." I was mad at the old b***ch. She should have told the girl to go ahead and wait on me but she didn't. That's what pissed me off. If you have a special request like soft ice cream (!), you come in and get in line behind everyone else and wait your turn and shut the hell up.

So, I ended up making a scene over what would have been a delicious Creme Brulee Sundae with warm caramel sauce, whipped cream and nuts and I didn't even get my damn ice cream. My sister, Terry said, "Screw passive aggressive. I would have been aggressive aggressive and would have kicked the old bitty and the counter girl's asses."

She probably would have gotten free ice cream, too.


Lorna said...

It's a shame you got your lovely nose out of joint. I share that line choice problem with you and I'm OK with it, unless my daughter Sarah, also known as The Shopping Witch with Attitude is with me. Then I try to look like we're not together when she says things like "That's why you have a shopping cart, so you can do your SHOPPING before you get in line." If that doesn't work, there's always the bag-over-your-head-thing or the run out of the store crying thing.....

Zina said...

I don't think I would have stood for that. Come on, waiting for soft ice cream...If she waited that long then a few more minutes would have helped her out don't you think? I think she's a little soft in the head.
The employee too.

Laurie said...

Lorna, I would love to have seen what Zina and Sarah would have done with the soft ice cream lady.

Jen T. (that's me) said...

That's it, Laurie! Damn the (ice cream) man!