There is nothing more fascinating to me than the way people conduct themselves in public and the factors that make us act, or not act, in a particular way. Sometimes we are kind, sometimes we are abrasive and sometimes we are just plain ridiculous. And this Sunday, as my husband T and I enjoyed one of those rare do-whatever-the-hell-we-feel-like days together, ridiculous seemed to be what was on tap.
After our coffee and morning news I convinced T to finally take me to see Revolutionary Road (Revolutionary Road (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Vintage Contemporaries)) by announcing, "You're taking me to see Revolutionary Road at 11:15." As expected he hated it (partially because he was determined to hate it and partially because he actually hated it), I loved it and we had our usual post-movie let's-pretend-we-know-something-about-the-"cinema" discussion.
We had worn our gym clothes to the movie and only had to make a quick pit stop to pick up bottles of water on our way to work out. It was during this pit stop that ridiculous set in. After searching around Duane Reade for five minutes before finding where they had hidden the bottles of water, we worked our way up front and got on line. There was one person checking out and we were next. As people who generally observe the unspoken rules of social-distance we stood two, maybe three feet behind the person checking out as not to press up against her and give her flashbacks of getting grinded by over-age guys who snuck into teen night at a nightclub in the New Jersey town she grew up in (Hunka Bunka anyone?)
As the cashier scanned her items, we stood there, clearly next on line, having abandoned our "intelligent" movie conversation for more important matters like gas. Just as the transaction ahead of us was wrapping up an old woman swooped in, half looked at us and stepped in front of us on line. The girl left and the woman placed her items on the counter and instructed the cashier to check her out.
Utterly confused as to if this was really happening, I looked at T with the same confused face that I looked at my Maid of Honor with when someone farted during our wedding ceremony. My eyes darted between T and the cashier and I lost it (again, in the same way I lost it when the gas was passed under our chuppah). My face turned reddish-purple, my body shook and I couldn't stifle the laughter. Nothing I did could stop the hysterical laughing and I was literally cracking up with tears coming out of my eyes and gasping for breath between "ha-ha's." Between laughs, I gasped to T, "Is this really happening?" and the cashier did all he could to to keep it together and not start cracking up too as he tried to convince grandma that he wasn't over charging her for the cat food. I kept laughing, the cashier counted the pennies that she was paying with and T just stood there dumbfounded.
She was lucky I was having a good day, because normally I am the first person to call someone out when they behave in a manner that defies common courtesy. Just last week, some woman first, told off the person behind the deli-counter, then yelled at me to get out of her way in the grocery store so I turned around and told her, "You need to be nicer to people lady!" To my surprise, she actually responded by yelling back at me, "Yeah, you're right!" Which was basically contradictory since she yelled it at me in a the nastiest tone possible.
But on Sunday, the old broad in Duane Reade lucked out. She finished counting pennies, took her receipt and after cutting us in line with not so much as a glance back, she headed out of the store, but not before knocking down the display of tissues on the counter on her way out. It's a good thing that I can count on my husband to toss in the appropriate snide remark when I'm too busy laughing, because he yelled after her, "Don't worry lady! I got it!" (in reference to the tissues) as she made her way out the door.
I always joke that when I hit my late eighties I'm going to do the following:
1. Eat whatever the hell I want and get really fat.
2. Start smoking a pack of Virginia Slims a day.
3. Set new standards of daily wine consumption.
4. Say and do whatever the hell I want.
Maybe I'll even take up stealing, fart out loud in public and be as cranky as I want to be to "youngsters". I've always planned to do so under the guise of, "I'm old. What do you expect?" I always say this jokingly and truly hope to be healthy, vibrant and attractive (not smelly, wheezing and nasty) until they hammer the nails into my coffin. But after witnessing this woman get away with utterly ridiculous behavior and go about her day like she's entitled to do whatever the hell she wants just for hitting 70, maybe I'll meet myself somewhere in the middle...
P.S. In completely unrelated news, don't forget to get your St. Patty's Day Shirts here.