Sunday, September 11, 2016

I'm 44 and Too Old For This

Today I was asked to fight.
Let me remind you that I am a forty-four year old mild-mannered woman who has a steady day job. While I am a quarter Irish, I am not a member of a street gang or in a mid-life fight club. I was just minding my own business, walking to my car, when a young woman came up behind me. I was about to open my car door to get in, when I noticed she wanted to get into the car right next to me so I offered to let her go first.
"No. Go. Get in." She scowled at me and waved her arm at my car. "Go!" She practically shouted.
I raised my eyebrows.
Wow. Really?
Okaaaay....I said under my breath and got into my car. I closed the door, put down my purse and looked up to see this twenty-something year old blonde sticking her long middle finger as close to my face as she could get without touching the window. Behind her finger she is mouthing the words, "Come on. Get out!" Then she starts beckoning with long exaggerated "come here" gestures to get me out of my car.
Is this really happening?!
She is actually challenging a forty-something-year-old woman to jump out of her small SUV and "throw down" in the parking lot?
I am shocked.
And then I start to chuckle.
I can't help it. This is hilarious!
My laugh makes her friend very angry. Yes, her friend. Her friend is a twenty something year old who is sitting in the same car this girl was about to get in. Now this girl is yelling and gesturing at me from inside the car to get out. I can barely hear what both of them are saying because my window is up, but I can read lips. F Bombs are being dropped left and right and they are egging me on by repeating "Let's go b****!"

I am still smiling. In disbelief actually. It's probably making things worse, but I cannot believe that this woman is trying to start a fight with me! All I did was offer to let her get into her car first! I showed some good old fashioned manners for heaven's sake! Granted, when she rudely declined, I did raise my eyebrows and sigh an extended Okaaaaay, but I certainly did not say or do anything to suggest that I wanted to exchange four letter words and fisticuffs.
If this sets her off, my goodness, how does she get through the day without throwing a punch? I sure hope she is in a high-energy boxing or karate program somewhere where she can work out her anger issues. I backed up my car and drove away, windows up, with both of them still begging me to fight, and smiled.
OK, and I blew a kiss.
Bye ladies. Sorry I don't have time to rumble today. I have somewhere else to be. 
I was headed to my favorite thrift shop.

I am an admitted thrift-aholic. I LOVE thrift shops--they are a yard sale I can always find.  As someone who is direction-ally challenged, it is nice to be able to find all kinds of used goodies in one spot instead of trying to follow crooked cardboard signs written by eight year-olds in strange neighborhoods.
Once I got to the thrift shop, I head to the bric-a-brac section. (I'm pretty
sure "Bric-a-brac" means "Grandma's junk" in Olde English.) As I perused a shelf full of unicorn statues and old coffee mugs, I hummed along to the hit song playing on the store radio. Then I got down on my knees to see some Disney glasses on the bottom shelf and continued to sing along. While I did not know the artist, I had heard the song before---a super catchy dance ditty with simple enough lyrics that I was able to get most of the words right. I mean if it is meant for teens in love, it is pretty easy to tell that love is going to rhyme with above and night is going to rhyme with right. I was singing along when this little girl came up to me. Since I was kneeling, we were at eye level.
 "You KNOW this song?" Her eyes were as big as saucers.
"Yes, I do." I smiled at her for a moment and then added, "Do you?"
"Yes," she said with a little smile on one side of her mouth. She was wearing boys basketball shorts and a dirty white t-shirt. A total tomboy. She sprinted off somewhere behind me.
"Dad! That lady knows this song!" I heard her yell. I was sure at that moment she was pointing at me; her eyes expanding from saucers to dinner plates.
"Really?" Her dad responded. He didn't sound as impressed as she did.
"Yes! She was SINGING it." I laughed.
Yup, little girl. I'm pretty cool. I'm up on all the hip songs.
Shoot. Did I just use the word 'hip'? I meant dope. Or crunk. Or tight.
Even though my knees hurt from kneeling and the Disney glasses were all dirty, my smile expanded when I thought of how I could have called her back over and whispered:
Hey, guess what?
Her eyes would widen again.
I'm so cool I almost got in a fight today.
Instead I just wondered how I was going to get up.

-Hope A. Horner
Contact the author on hotmail at hopeh1122

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