Another of my ‘It’s my life’ column from the Irish Examiner’s Feelgood.
Do I hold grudges? Certainly not. At least that’s what I thought about myself. However, recently my children pointed out, that they don’t believe I’m the person I imagine myself to be. Really?
‘Mum, there are not enough bullets for the number of people you want to shoot,” said one of them.
It’s only when I heard that I realised how inappropriate my language can be on occasions, especially with all that’s going on in the world at present.
Of course, there’s no need to panic or put me on some special watch list. I don’t mean I’d literally shoot anyone, but I admit it is something I say all too regularly without even realising it. Certainly without meaning it.
‘I’d shoot that one if I caught him.”
Minor transgressions qualify for a shooting, such as someone not putting away their laundry or abandoning their gear bags in the hall. Even the poor dog is a target if I hear her barking outside.
Away from the home my rage takes a different form. Most commonly my reaction to a slight or rudeness results in my engaging in a silent protest or boycott.
One of my first such boycotts was of a large supermarket. On the day I was mortally offended, I’d intended running in quickly to buy three items. However, my speed was curtailed by the presence of six children under seven in my care.
As the three youngest were two-year-old’s, prone to running wild in every direction, I sat them into a trolley, one in the back and two in the front. The other three children were capable of walking beside me, for a short while at least.
We entered the supermarket, and I quickly picked up my three items, ignoring the children’s helpful suggestions as to what I might like to purchase, mostly along the lines of biscuits, cakes and drinks. I could feel my inner clock ticking, ever conscious of the fact the boiling point of these children was fifteen minutes. After this the younger ones are likely to begin poking one another or pulling hair, while the older ones tend to disappear down aisles at speed, without me.
Fifteen minutes were almost up as we approached the tills. Those that were open were filled with overflowing trolley’s. I about turned and made my way to the other door where baskets were accepted.
It was there we encountered, Ms Sunshine, a sour looking lady, with a face which screamed, “I hate my job.”
“Hello,” I smiled, but Ms Sunshine’s death stare stopped me mid-beam. Her eyes narrowed as she looked at my trolley of children, before emitting a long, chilling, groaning sigh. Wordlessly she pointed to a sign above her head.
“But…” I said, taking out the three items I wished to purchase.
“Baskets only,” she growled.
“I see that, but I’ve only three items?”
“And a trolley!” she replied raising her eyebrows and eyeballing me.
“But that’s for the children,” I said, “I’m not buying them!”
“I don’t make the rules.”
“So if I put what I’m buying into a basket you’d take them?”
“If you lose the trolley,” she said before roaring over my shoulder,
I thundered off, smoke coming out my ears. Accosting a rather young looking manager, I raged. He listened and nodded. Finally I paused for breath. He looked me in the eye and said,
“But Madam, you do have a trolley.”
Beaten, I flashed my queen of fake smiles and promised him faithfully I would never again be so stupid as to fill a trolley in his shop with either children or shopping.
So, it seems my gang were right. Twenty years on my boycott and grudge remain in place and I’ve no desire to remove either.