Persons of a certain genetic combination are destined for a lifetime of outspokenness, humor and potential trips to the pokey. For instance, an Irish temper and English frankness often result in a controlled, stinging wit. Not only do I fall from just such a fruitful and fabulous family tree; I think it’s safe to say I’m the plumpest peach on the branch. And today, my innately volatile genetics took a turn toward the dark side in a favorite Mommy haunt; Target.
Stupidity, my friends, is a wide-spread epidemic. An ugly virus overtaking what appears, at first glance to be rational adults, but upon closer examination reveals nothing more than a dim-witted juvenile wrapped in a 40 plus jiggly spray tanned body. (OK – that was mean, but you’ll see….)
I wish this conversation were fictional. I wish Jiggly Target Woman (JTW) was a figment of my over active and often frightening imagination, but no – she exists, and she needed a good smack of common sense.
The Scene: NERF toy aisle. (Another of Dante’s rings.)
Characters: JTW, JTW Child (no more than 3 yrs old) and little ole’ Me.
JTW: “Would you stop you’re crying! I am not getting you a toy! We’re here for your cousin!”
JTW Child: Escalated screaming and floor fist pummeling. Un-natural oozing amounts of mucus and saliva.
Me: Hidden smile – soooo past this age group, and loving it!
JTW: “Stop that right now! Do you want someone to come by and think you are one of those retards with Autism or something?”
Me: Jaw hits floor. Anger hits ceiling.
JTW Child: Louder, longer more in need of Super Nanny.
Me: (And here’s where it gets ugly.) “Excuse me JTW, I know you’ve got your hands full, (proof in the screaming Satan spawn), and God knows I remember that age, but as a mother of a child with a special needs I find that remark not only offensive but very hurtful.” (Yes, those exact words; go me! Truth? I wanted to grab the nearest Wiffle Bat and go Piñata on her.)
JTW: Eye roll and smirk; no response, no remorse, no apology.
Me: “I’ll leave you alone, but I thought you should know how uneducated those remarks make you sound.”
JTW: “Go mind your own business; stupid (female dog – potty mouth version).”
Me: (Must keep Irish side on leash.) “Have you heard the expression an apple never falls far from the tree? (Blank, hateful stare.) Well, you may want to scoop up your spoiled little McIntosh before he smashes his skull into the tile enough to become as small minded as his mother.”
And…I left, quickly. Kind of ran, actually. Yes, I know that was risky. JTW could have a hit the appliance aisle for a sharp cheese grater and jumped me in the parking lot, but it felt good.
A personal plea, and one I’m sure those with an intelligent and compassionate soul already fully comprehend. Not all disabilities present with visual cues, not all struggles come with simple to follow definitions. Tolerance, education and a kind heart – that’s all it takes to rid the world of JTW’s. (And the occasional Wiffle bat.)
*Disclosure: JTW was not a Target employee or in any way linked to the store. Please do not sue me!