Back when I was pregnant and feeling pretty awful all the time, M started having to do the grocery shopping all alone. He would take PJ with him to give me a break (and give the kid a chance to go “bye”). We started noticing after several of these trips that he came home with at least one interesting story every time. That continues to this day. To give you an idea of why we’re so eager to leave this horrible area where we live, here are a few of the stories he has come home with:
–Last night while waiting in the check-out line, he had a kid run up and stick gum from his mouth on the lid of our milk. It was not the first bit of recently-chewed gum he found in the store. The kid belonged to the woman behind him in line who merely chastised him for going through the gum so quickly. When the checker asked her to keep a better eye on her kid, she got all huffy. M also had to avoid running the kid over in the parking lot because Mom wasn’t watching. Yes, these people were of a different race (I only mention this because of some of the stories that follow).
–My favorite story is a cell phone conversation M overheard on his way out of the store. An elderly woman was saying to who was apparently a friend, “I can’t believe they called me racist! My own grandkids are [derogatory term for Hispanics] and [derogatory term for African-Americans].” (Notice I can’t even bring myself to use those terms. Interesting, considering how many times I hear derogatory names against myself.)
–Around Halloween, M and PJ encountered a group of teens who had apparently just gone to a costume party. The two girls were dressed as Catholic schoolgirls. One of them was leaning down to pick up something off a bottom shelf, and M cleared his throat as he passed her to warn her of the creepy guy standing behind her trying to get a peek under her short skirt. In the next aisle, which happened to be empty, she approached M, gave him a coy look, and flashed him. Nope, not that. Yep, that. It seems that the costume came without any underclothes. And that’s not the end of it. To one-up her friend, the second girl found M in another empty aisle and flashed him as well. And this was with PJ in the cart!
–M came out to the car with a load of groceries to find a group of guys leaning up against it. They didn’t move as he unloaded the groceries or approached the car to put PJ in his carseat. One of them rudely yelled at him, “Hold on! Damn it, white guy!” Yes, really. Fortunately they moved when they saw PJ with him, but how rude is that?
–M has witnessed all-out screaming fights at the check-out counter over the stupidest things. The old lady was probably the most shocking. I wish I could remember what she was upset about, but it was totally pointless. She had blown it totally out of proportion. A manager had to step in just so that M and the other customers in line could check out. M said she was practically foaming at the mouth.
–It cracks me up how many times M comes home with stories about females at the store hitting on him. He swears PJ is a chick magnet (and I tend to agree with him). The kid, the wedding ring, and conversations about me and both kids don’t seem to deter some of them. I don’t know that I’ve ever met girls that forward.
Many of the stories have something to do with racial issues. We are clearly in the minority around here, and we are constantly reminded of that fact, often quite rudely. That’s why I mentioned when race came into play. I hate that I have to, but it explains better why some of the stories are that shocking. It’s getting to the point that I’m getting more shocked when we are treated like equals by members of these other races than when we have experiences like these.
M is supposed to hear from that job he interviewed for sometime today, maybe as late as Monday. I so hope they offer him a job and that it’s a good offer. I can’t wait to get out of here.