Dial 1-800-Get-a-Damn-Spine!

I am nice. I am too damn nice. And I don’t know how to say, “NO!” to strangers. I don’t know how to say no period. Seriously, it’s a miracle I haven’t been knocked up yet.

*scurrying to knock on wood . . . be right back . . .*

What’s the number for SpongeBob’s abrasive side? Because I desperately need to order one. He was so mean and nasty, he actually made Squidward cry.

From SpongeBob SquarePants "The Abrasive Side" ©Nickelodeon
From SpongeBob SquarePants, “The Abrasive Side,” ©Nickelodeon

Because that’s what I need—to be more like Squidward. To be rude, disinterested, self-absorbed, uncaring of other people.

I want to make these con people cry. And not because they’re running a con, but because my growl made them quiver, because they peered into my snarl and saw the wrath of God, because they opened their mouths and I palmed their foreheads with Holy water, shouting, “GET THEE BEHIND ME, SATAN!”

Crazy Christian lady alert . . . take three steps back . . .

I know it was a mistake going to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving, but I wasn’t getting that much . . . I wasn’t even getting “Thanksgiving” ingredients.

Well, I did buy cranberries to surprise my brother with some homemade sauce. Unfortunately, I didn’t put enough sugar in it, so it was extremely tart. But my mom and I love tart things, so we enjoyed it!

But back to my grocery store nightmare, where people constantly beg me for money. Do I look rich? I don’t think I look rich. Sometimes I walk up in the grocery store looking a hot damn mess. Maybe it’s my innocent face; I look vulnerable, like there’s a “Doesn’t Know How to Say No” sign flashing above my head the minute I step through the sliding doors. I seem to find the assertiveness to turn down my brother every time he asks to borrow five dollars, but don’t let there be a little old black lady turning the corner, wearing a hospital wrist band, saying, “Do you believe in helping people?”

Sucker!

I should’ve ignored her. I tried to, but the bitch followed me! I should’ve told her, “Leave me alone, I’m not interested,” and if she kept at it, a more aggressive “Get the fuck away from me!” but my voice sounds like a three-year-old child. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get people to take angry you seriously when you sound like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum because mommy wouldn’t give you any cookies?

d83597ee0b6baf355fecee9254b655ba1d6658267208970715daa527cdfda744This is the main reason why I don’t shop at Wal-Mart anymore.

I’ll suck it up and pay Amazon shipping.

I’ll spend the extra 45 minutes walking circles in Harris Teeter (because that store is like a maze, and I can never find what I’m looking for, and when I do find it, it’s a dollar and a half more expensive than in Wal-Mart).

I’ll reluctantly pinch a penny and buy the Food Lion brand because Food Lion never carries the brand I really want, which seems to only be found in Wal-Mart, but I’ll do anything to avoid the Wal-Mart beggars who follow you to your car at night in the pouring down rain, who ask you for money to buy baby formula (because baby daddy skipped out on paying child support this month), and when you give them a twenty, they ask you to drive them home ALL THE WAY IN BROWN SUMMIT!

Bitch, I just gave you bus fare!

I thought I could get in and out hassle free—even on the day before Thanksgiving—at the grocery store closest to my job on the safer (see “white”—don’t get offended, we’ve all said it, we’ve all thought it) side of town. I’ve been approached for money there too, just not as often (the last time, it was a white couple sitting by the shopping carts, saying, “We’s poor. We’s so poor”).

I wasn’t so lucky on this particular day, however. I made the mistake of turning down the baking aisle (hunting ground for Thanksgiving con people), looking for some honey. She spotted me, followed me, started quoting scripture (“GET THEE BEHIND ME, SATAN!”), then wanted me pay her $40 motel bill.

Why didn’t I walk away?!?!?!

I gave her half. And it frustrates me because I had that cash in my purse specifically for groceries. I did not want to use my card. I spent that whole morning budgeting out my paycheck so I would not have to use my card. UGH!

I came home to vent to my mom (who was at that same store earlier that day), and lo and behold, she told me about the woman’s partner who was working the front of the store. I think he might have been that toothless guy who approached me when I first walked in, and said that if he had a penny for every pretty girl he saw, he’d be rich.

So when the con lady started her speech on Mom (“Do you believe in helping people?”), my mom simply said, “No,” and walked away. God, I wish I could be mean like her!

But I do believe in helping people. I’m a very charitable person; I give money all the time, and I’m usually happy about it—the Bible says God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). One time I gave a man on a corner five dollars, and he was so happy—he already had three—he told me he was going to Subway, and right there at the stop light, we were laughing and talking and going on and on about how much we both loved the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich. Giving to people should always feel like that; it shouldn’t feel like a burden; it shouldn’t feel like your credit score just dropped 150 points because you handed somebody all of your pocket change.

There’s nothing I can do about it now. The money’s gone—I just pray I won’t miss it this week. The bad thing is, I didn’t even get everything I came for, because that grocery store never has what I’m looking for, it’s always in Wal-Mart.

I did get an idea for my next grocery venture, though. While perusing the shelves, I walked by this kid wearing earphones, rock music blaring, and it suddenly came to me! Plug in music! A tried and true method for ignoring bothersome people.

JJ Watt in Bose Headphones commercial
JJ Watt in Bose Headphones commercial

I think I’ll even go the extra mile and talk to myself. Maybe they’ll think I’m on the phone, or just bat shit crazy, either way, if they ain’t Salvation Army, or fellow Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki lovers on the side of the road, they’d better flee from me in seven different directions . . . IN JESUS’ NAME!

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