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August 5, 2011

Express Lines, Personal Space, Stupid People & Meeting Weird Men

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/express_lines_personal_space_stupid_people_meeting_weird_men_20110804/

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Yesterday I went to the grocery store.  It was super hot out, had been a long day, my son left for a camping trip, I was sucked into stupid drama, had a headache, and wanted to get in and out of the store in a hurry.  I raced through the market on a mission, and ended up in the express lane with two people in front of me.

The first woman being rung up had more than the allotted 15 items.  It was closer to 25, but there she was, even though the cashier told her she needed to go to a regular lane.  The cashier apologized to those of us in line, which I thought that was nice, and though I was annoyed, her gesture eased me off the ledge.

The woman who can’t count is done, and the second lady is up.  Important to note, when the woman had too many items and kept going, the other woman turned and asked if I could believe how rude she was.  She said, loud enough for everyone to hear, that she thought the woman was ruining the express line.

She decides that she is going to use this moment in time to empty her wallet of all it’s change.  By wallet of course I mean her purse, and she starts digging around her rather large pocketbook for money.  She is laughing, and making small talk with the cashier about how heavy change can be.

I am looking at the cashier, she is looking at me, and we smile at one another. Her smile said to me, I’m so sorry about this, while my smile said, I am going to kick this woman in the ass if she does not pay and get the hell out of my way.  We both were very clear on what the other one was thinking, and at the exact same moment we laughed.

I am waiting, losing my patience, when a man approaches the line and bumps me with his cart.  I turn and he apologizes.  I muster up a fake smile and turn back to the woman who has now decided since she does not have enough change, she will write a check.  Who writes checks?  I felt like I was on a hidden camera show to see if I’d flip out.

I have now been in line for about 2 minutes although it feels like 20.  I shift my weight from one leg to another and in leaning back slightly, I find myself leaning on the man who hit me with his cart.  I was a little startled and jumped.  I turn around to apologize and he is right there, standing so close that I immediately felt violated.

I took a step forward to get away from the guy and he also took a step forward.  At this point I want to cut his face off.  I am praying for the lady in front of me to hurry the hell up so I can get out of there, but she is still chatting and writing her check.  I now feel like I’ve been there an hour, when I am in fact approaching 3 minutes.

The woman finishes her check, turns to me and says she hopes I have a nice day.  Really?  It’s finally my turn.  The cashier apologizes and tells me she is sorry for all the delays.  I smile because I’m just too tired and creeped out to do anything else.  As I am swiping my debit card, I can feel the guy’s breath because he is now standing on top of me.

I turn to him and tell him, in the nicest voice I can muster, that he is simply standing too close and can he please step off until I am done with my transaction.  He says he is sorry and steps back about an inch.  I look at him and again trying to be kind.  I tell him that he needs to back off because he is invading my space.  Dear Lord.

He smiles but does not move, I look at the cashier who now clearly has taken pity on me, and with the hope that I do not burst into tears, I grab my receipt, give her a smile, take my bag and leave the store.  As I leave I reach in my bag for my keys and drop my phone.  I pick up my phone and drop my keys.  It’s all just too much.

I gather up my things and head to the car, only to hear someone call out excuse me.  I turn and it’s too close man.  He tells me he is sorry for standing too close, but he was drawn to my perfume, and got sucked in.  He then invited me out for a drink.  I stood there, staring at him, unable to speak.  I had nothing for this guy.

I think I stood there for 5 minutes.  By 5 minutes of course I mean 5 seconds, then without a word, I turned and walked to my car.  I got in, pulled out, and started to cry.  The few minutes I spent in the grocery store managed to suck all of the energy out of my body.  As I pulled away I passed the man, who smiled and waved.

The one guy to ask me out in forever is creepy, I forgot to buy the one thing I went to the store for, my son is away with his dad, and all I want to do is cry.  Thankfully tomorrow is Friday and the weekend will allow me to rest.  I am going to attend services with the goal of finding peace, welcoming Shabbat, and trying to keep the faith.

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