Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"C" is for Confrontation

If I was to alter my name slightly, it would become Patty PeaceMaker Poulsen.  I never pick a fight and go out of my way to avoid people who do.
Maybe I should add intentionally to that sentence.
I never INTENTIONALLY pick a fight....
... but it seems like every time I'm out in public there I am face to face with a stranger...fighting.
There's the Winco Bagel Non-Tongs User Confrontation
The University Bookstore Confrontation of 2011
The Summer of the Wireless Internet Debacle

They just come up.  I can't help it.  Something about me must scream "PICK A FIGHT WITH ME!"
It happens every single time I go into our Blockbuster.  Which, by the way, is about the lamest video store I've been in.  They actually have bare shelves.  Ken says they are bankrupt and going out of business- so maybe this store is just like what's left.  But it's so sad in there.  And smells really bleach-y and butter-y.  Which is the perfect recipe for vomit-ty bile.

A couple months ago I went to get Captain America.  (You can cross it off your rental list if it's on there.  Not that great.)  I went over to the scanty New Release wall and just saw all these Captain America post cards lined up.  I picked one up and stared at it.  Maybe they are keeping them behind the counter?  Is this movie that good?
Beside me was a woman in her 60s also examining a postcard.  She asked, "Do you know what this is?"  I told her I didn't but certainly would find out for us.  So!  I marched up to the counter and asked the clerk.  "We put those there when a movie is totally checked out." 
I was a little confused.
"Oh.  So we can like go on a waiting list?"
"No.  Just so you know we do carry it."
Still thinking it's a dumb idea I said, "Oh!  Cool."
See how non-confrontational I am?
The clerk then says, "I did just get one back though.  Do you want to rent it?"

At this moment I felt torn.

Yes.  I did want to rent the movie.  I also wanted to let that old lady know what the postcards were for.  But there were people in line behind me- I didn't want to hold up the whole store.  So I just told the guy 'yes' and figured I'd stick the movie in my purse and explain it all to the granny when I was done.
But wouldn't you know it....
...she came walking right up next to me.
Like we came in together or something.
"Did you find out what it was for?"
"Yeah.  It means they are sold out."
The woman looks at the counter, sees a copy, and realizes a transaction is happening.
She says, "It looks like you managed a copy."  And she said it with all this gooey emphasis on you.  Real snobby, you know?
"Well... um... I came up here to ask him what it was.  And he told me.  And then he said he just got one in."
"And you think YOU should get it?"
"Why wouldn't I?"
"Well, I want to watch it too."
"Well I was here first."  (I felt myself stooping to a kindergarten playground fight over who gets the tire swing.)
"Well we both had a post card."
"Well you just stood by the wall.  I'm the one who came up here and turned my postcard in."
"You practically raced up here!  You didn't give me a chance to say I wanted to come and find out."
"Uh!  Yeah right.  I was doing you a service.  Trying to be helpful."
"Stealing a movie I want to watch is helpful?"

The exchange continued for quite sometime and ended when I sorta yelled an invitation for her to come over to my house that night and watch it with me and my husband. 
And you know... SHE had the nerve to storm out.
Some ball-sy grandma.

What did I do so wrong?

THEN!  Just two weeks ago I was in there and there was a mother with like 4 dirty, sticky, yelling kids standing about 15 feet away from the register.  They were discussing which movies to get.  I was hesitant in going right up to the register wondering if that would be considering "cutting" and therefor removal from the park.  So I waited off to the side for 2 or 3 minutes.  The clerk looked at me and I looked at her and mouthed, "Are they in line?"  She rolled her eyes and motioned for me to come up.  So I did.
THAT was a mistake.
The over-tanned mom dressed in her "I Love Pink" VS lounge wear went off on me.  For... yeah... cutting in line.  For setting a bad example for her children.  Not being patient.  Collapsing the economy.  Creating weapons of mass destruction.  (The Dub MDs)  It was insane.  I was blamed and scolded for pretty much everything that seemed to be wrong in her life.  Except that dreadful hot pink outfit.  And Uggs.  If that had come up... I would have said something.  But I didn't. I didn't even have to egg her on.  She just took off like a jack rabbit. 
I stepped aside and gave the grand arm gesture to "Please, ma'am.  Take my spot.  And shut up quickly."
The worse part was... after she gave me my "talking to" she went back to arguing with her kids about which movie they wanted.  And I just stood there waiting.

Ken always tells me (and I'm starting to believe him) that I bring out the best in people.
Or maybe it's Blockbuster.  Maybe I should stick to RedBox.


Jeannie said...

You need an Uzi.

Juli said...

Funny. The entire post I just kept thinking "R is for Redbox"


I also get in trouble standing still. Seriously, a woman at work tried picking a fight with me today because I was TOO nice.

Aurora Celeste said...

I'm like you, always standing there waiting on other people but not wanting to butt in for fear they'll yell at me :(

Aurora Celeste

Damyanti said...

I hate to be pushy, but I ain't no pushover. Sometimes we all have to step out there, I guess.

Look forward to your challenge run…
--Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Misha Gericke said...

Ugh people like that just make me insane. I just would have stepped around and taken out the vid anyway.

If she started again, I would have pointed out what a bad example she was to her children, screaming at strangers in public for no reason at all...

Kar said...

Unbelievable. I really think you have some kind of weird "fight with me if we don't know each other" karma. Like I have the "the cart that doesn't go straight and the checkout line that is the slowest in the entire store" karma.

Mary Johnson said...

This happens to me all. the. time! And you were not wrong - absolutely not - in either case! ;) Good for you for sticking to your guns but maybe redbox would be better. :D

Aubree said...

no way in hades i would have let Ms. Hot Pinky step up! You, ma-lady, are a MUCH bigger person than I. Much. my hat's off to ya.