Since this country shuts down as it commemorates Holy Week, I decided to do my last-minute shopping Wednesday afternoon, to stock up on any essentials we may be needing. I have two supermarkets to choose from, and decided to go with the one that rewarded loyalty by earning points, translating into a cash equivalent.
Having made my purchases, I proceeded to line up, and saw that before me, was an old woman (just about ready to get her senior citizen's card in a year or two), and a middle aged man with what looked like a gifts for his daughter or niece.
The cashier motioned for the old(er) woman to move ahead, since she was now meaning to attend to the man before me.
Senior-a stood there, motionless, as if she heard nothing.
You know the type: too much time, and feeling privileged.
(Courtesy of ideasplace.org.au)
The cashier then called on the man and said, "Sir, please give me your purchases." The man had no choice but to siksik (squeeze in) with the woman, still oblivious. She then started barking orders to the bag attendant, asking him to add more plastic bags, lest her purchases should collapse under its' own weight.
The man then moved ahead of the woman, since she seemed rooted to the spot. I could tell that the bag attendant wasn't happy with Senior-a, since he opted to attend to the man's purchases first, and sent him on his way, while muttering under his breath for being asked for a do-over by the old woman with how he "bagged" her purchases.
And now, it was my turn.
The cashier then looked at me in an apologetic manner, and also asked for my purchases, and yes, oldie decided it was her spot, so she stayed on. I resolved not to make a scene and stood beside her, while handing my purchases to the cashier. Unfortunately, I paid with my credit card, which meant I had to sign the charge slip, and presented a problem since oldie was standing at the spot where I was supposed to sign. (They didn't have one of those portable hard, small sleeves that you see in restaurants.)
"Excuse me," I began my conversation with the lady who looked like she stayed at the lunch table a little too long. "Would you mind moving so I could sign for my purchases?"
Lunch Lady turned her head (I got a whiff of her senior citizen perfume), eyed me from head to toe, then said imperiously (and in a rather loud voice), "Oh, my GOD! Can't you just sign over there?!?"
"There" meant the next counter, where another customer was being served by a different cashier. You can, of course, guess that my resolve to be non-confrontational was thrown away that instance.
"No. I won't. I'm the one being served now, you should be standing farther along, ready to take your bags. Now, would you mind moving? You're holding up the line."
"Oh, my GOD!!!" She repeated, with eyes wide open in horror, probably having difficulty digesting the fact that anyone would dare talk to her that way.
"We're waiting." (I then showed her the line that formed behind me, about three other people, and because of her voice volume, people were now staring our way.)
"Oh, my GOD!!!"
"You've said that already. Anything else?"
"Oh, my GOD!!!"
"Yours, mine and everyone else's...you want to do one more round?"
At that point, the cashier, the bag attendant and some onlookers started chuckling and smiling. The attendant then pushed her purchases in her face, with a smirk, and said "Here you go, Ma'am!"
The woman then desperately looked around, apparently for her husband. He was silently watching the whole time, and he looked like the type of man who was totally resigned to a living hell, having to go home to this creature every night.
She then looked back at me, and started stammering, "Why! You...I..."
"What's the matter? Forgot to take your memory pills this morning?"
"Oh, my GOD!!!" She then pushed her shopping bags to her husband, and said "Halika na! Di ko na alam sasabihin ko!" (Come on! I don't know what to say, anymore!)
"Have a happy Holy Week," I hollered, but I don't think she heard it, since it was drowned out by the giggles of everyone who witnessed Old Frumpy storming off in a puddle of shame.
I guess this deserves a Mea Culpa?