Costco conflict


The lady was rude; there was no doubt about that. She was rude in a way that made me physically hurt for the person the rudeness was directed to. My much younger companion, the victim of the remark, swallowed the bait and bit back, with a snotty retort, more to assuage her wounded pride than anything else. I wanted to hide under my shopping cart.

“Just walk away, I pleaded. It’s not worth it, she is an elder, and she may have recently lost her husband or something equally traumatic. I didn’t raise you to behave this way.” Alas, there is only so much you can say to an adult child.

My youngest responded, loudly enough for everyone on the same aisle to hear her “Well, I will report her to management for how she is treating customers, then.” I was mortified as I felt the stares. I loathe confrontation to begin with, and I certainly didn’t like the unforgiving spirit I saw in my precious woman-child. She continued to mumble and complain about Costco and how it’s too full of people and she was never going back as I wondered who she really belonged to and how I could get her out of there before she blew a gasket.

Gently and cautiously, I continued to suggest reasons people behave insensitively and how we give them the benefit of the doubt. She calmed down but when we got close to check-out, she said, “I’m still reporting her”, but I noticed she smiled when she said it. Then she said, “I tell you what, Mom, buy me a hot dog and I won’t say anything.” I said, “Done, while I reached into my wallet and grabbed a bill”.

This was her way of pleasing me without having to admit she had lost the zeal to persecute. This made it look like I had to bribe her to keep her from doing the deed, but she knows I would have bought her the $1 hot dog, either way. I’m calling it a win.

The little foxes

English: Common foxes in the snow. Français : ...

English: Common foxes in the snow. Français : Renards roux dans la neige. W.Kuhnert. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mom used to repeat that long-ago penned slice of wisdom originating from The Song of Solomon; “It’s the little foxes that spoil the vines”. In my younger days, when I had never yet set my gaze on a real live fox much less these vineyards he desired to spoil, it didn’t make much sense to me. A lot of things didn’t then.

But, oh have I found that saying to be accurate and worth adding to my arsenal of proven truths.

We expect trials and tribulations to manifest in some big, easily recognizable way. We presume that when we enter throes of temptation, we will always show up, eyes wide open, prepared and completely alert.

However, it starts with the little things…

That one phrase spoken in a sugar sweet voice, laced with black, dark, hate.

That tiny wound that rages red, becoming infected with revenge.

That look of contempt, the kind where a disgusted shaking head follows.

Sometimes it starts as a barely noticeable disengaging from life, a slow giving in to despair.

A pinch of jealousy, fertilized with just the right mix of self-loathing and insecurity can turn into an ugly beast, hard to control.

One small plank thrown up to shelter a tender heart can turn into a fortress.

Yes, I am confident that a lot of the “little things” become very big things if we don’t catch them and deal with them immediately.

The little foxes do spoil the vines, but only, if we let them.

Mitch Teemley

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