We live in a tri-state area. Which means we can drive from Ohio (home) into Indiana and then up to Michigan by driving about thirty miles total.
One Saturday a couple of weeks ago, I needed to go to Coldwater, Michigan to pay a bill. I know. In this day and age, one would think that one wouldn’t need to go TO THE STORE to pay a bill. Alas, I couldn’t find a way to pay that stupid bill online and so away we went. Road trip to Michigan for the win!
Ahem. So since we were all the way up there (thirteen whole miles over the border into Michigan) I decided we’d just buy our groceries at the Walmart in Coldwater rather than drive back into Indiana to buy them are our usual Walmart.
This Walmart is reminiscent of the one in Huntington, where we used to live. It’s laid out very much like that Walmart, bigger than the one we frequent most these days.
While we were there, Alyssa suggested we get a brush for Harvey, the stray cat that Tom started feeding around Thanksgiving. As we wandered the pet section, looking at the brushes, I found one just like the one we’d had for Orville. I asked Lyss what happened to that brush.
“Dad buried with Orville,” she reminded me in a soft voice.
“Oh,” I replied. “Yeah, I remember that now. That was really hard for him, you know.”
She nodded, pointedly looking at the brush selection.
“I think about him every day,” I continued. “Whenever I pull into the driveway and see the cross over where he’s buried, I tell him that we love him and miss him.”
Alyssa turned to me, tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, Mom.”
I realized I too had tears in my eyes and I pulled her to me in a hug as we both cried gentle tears.
Olivia looked on in confusion. I mean, hello, her mom and sister were hugging and crying in the pet section at Walmart for Pete Sakes! Because she’s very compassionate, Olivia wrapped her little arms around both me and Lyss, joining in our hug even though she actually loathed Orville and doesn’t mourn him even a little.
We finally pulled away and Alyssa found two tissues in the pocket for us to dry our eyes. We laughed at our emotional outburst and went on with our shopping.
Next stop was the jewelry section. O wanted to look for ear cuffs. Lyssie had gotten one at Claire’s the weekend before and Liv had coveted that thing for a week.
As we browsed the earrings, we could hear some other customers just one aisle over, at the jewelry counter. A little girl about to get her ears pierced.
Except, she didn’t want to. She was scared and her mom was trying to soothe her.
Her grandma, however, was berating the poor child for being a big baby.
This obnoxious woman was in one of the motorized carts that Walmart provides. She was hissing and booing the child for showing emotion and acting like it was the worst thing ever for this little girl (probably seven years old) for not wanting to let someone stab an earring through her earlobes.
It was incredibly unpleasant to hear this woman go on and on at the child. She kept saying things like, “You’re such a brat! This is the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever had to experience. I can’t believe you’re such a baby!”
I whispered to Alyssa, “She’s being horrible to that poor little girl who is just scared. What’s so important about getting your ears pierced that she has to treat that poor kid like this?”
Alyssa nodded wisely and replied, “Besides, who wants to get their ears pierced at WALMART!? That kid is smart to be scared.”
I stifled my laugh and we tried to ignore the vitriol that horrible woman was spewing at her granddaughter.
But she was hard to ignore. She was just getting started. Each word out of her mouth was worse than the one before it.
Finally, I sighed and said probably louder than I should have, “That woman is being a bitch!”
Alyssa raised her eyebrows at me. I rarely swear around the girls. Normally, I’d have said she was being a witch but witch wasn’t a strong enough word for that grandmother. Her bitchiness was spewing across the store.
She might have heard me. She might not have. She didn’t acknowledge my comment but did, soon after I declared her a hateful bitch, roll away on her motorized cart, continue to declare her granddaughter the biggest ungrateful baby in the world and the most embarrassing specimen of human excrement she’d ever been forced to endure.
Egads, she was horrible. I was glad she’d gone away. The little girl sniffled with her mom and they also took their leave, probably to follow in the wicked grandmother’s wheel tracks.
My girls and I continued to look for ear cuffs, finding none. Just as we were about to leave the jewelry department, the mom and daughter came back. She mom asked the jewelry associate if they could try the ear piercing again, now that Grandma From Hell was nowhere to be seen or heard.
The mom said apologetically to the clerk, “My mom can be a little intimidating.”
I said to no one in particular but this time not loud enough to be heard by anyone but my own children, “No, her mom isn’t intimidating, she’s a raging bitch. I’d ban her from ever being near my kids again if she were any relation to me.”
Of course, this is probably not true. I’m sure the mom (daughter of Cruella) was as browbeaten as her poor little girl. If I’d been raised by someone like that I’d probably be shell of a human being and unable to stand up for myself or my children too.
Thankfully I was raised by a lovely woman who shows lots of love and very little impatience and no hatefulness whatsoever.
Too bad not all kids in the world get that kind of upbringing. If they did, we’d probably be able to solve all the world’s problems. I mean, all you need is love, right? Love IS all you need.
And maybe a good cry with your best girls in the pet aisle at your local Walmart. That always warms the heart and spreads peace on earth.