The Little Old Lady

Scarlett and I were picking up a couple things from Wal-Mart one day after daycare. We were both a little tired and Scarlett was fussy and just wanted to go home. Understandable, it had been a long day.

We’re in line waiting to pay and Scarlett keeps trying to grab my poppy. Which naturally I don’t want her playing with it, it’s a sharp pin. She grabbed it a couple times. I kept telling her NO, sharp! I put the poppy in my pocket so she couldn’t hurt herself.

This lady behind me, older lady, I’m guessing in her 70’s, makes this noise of disgust and disappointment. I turn and look at her, she rollers eyes and pretends that she doesn’t see me.

Scarlett was trying to stand up in the cart, but was unsuccessful because she was strapped in. I said calmly to her, you need to be patience and wait.  Scarlett wanted the poppy. She was grabbing my coat pocket. I took it out to show her that I still had it and explained to her that she couldn’t play with it because it was sharp and dangers.

Again, I hear this noise from behind me. I turn around and ask the little old lady if she had a problem? I asked politely.

Here was her response.

“It makes me so angry when young single Mothers don’t show any respect for the people that have surved. You don’t even show yourself respect, raising a child on your own is no easy task young lady. Do you know what the poppy represents? Do you have any idea the sacrifice that men and women made, for you?!” (she said that last part with disgust).

She went on her rant for a little while longer, I honestly stopped listening. I was shocked to be honest.

“Makes me sick to see such disrespect.” She said, I thought she was going to spit on me.

I was  shocked.

I looked at this little old lady, I wanted to yell at her and maybe push her a little. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This person did not know me (clearly). She had no right to attack me like this. But I couldn’t response the way I wanted. I wanted to set a good example for Scarlett, but I was not going to take this.

I turned to the lady and said,

“Excuse me, but I am not a single Mother, my husband, who is a proud serving member of the Navy, is currently away sailing right now.  I was taking the poppy off so that my daughter wouldn’t hurt herself.”

I could feel my temper rising. I took a deep breath.

I finished by saying, “You really shouldn’t insult and scold someone until you know all the facts or maybe there name.”

I was was still in a state of shock and disbelief, that someone would make such a horrible assumption. I could do that same right back to her, make guesses as to why she is so bitter. I decided to chalk it up to she was having a bad day and had seen so maybe ‘young’ people disrespecting the meaning of Remembrance Day.

I went to the cashier to go pay, I stole a peek at the little old lady to see if she was embarrassed or a little bit ashamed that she had verbally attacked me. Nope, didn’t phase her one bit, she looked like it was business as usual.

I suppose people are going to be who they are. The little old lady has probably long forgotten her Wal-Mart attack on me, but I certainly have not. I don’t think I will any time soon either.

I am proud of myself for the way that I handled it. I was calm. I wasn’t cruel. I stated the facts. I set a good example for my daughter.

As Ellen would say, “Be kind to one another”

xoxo Ashley



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