I was having a really bad day on Mother's Day this year. I had been stopped by a cop because the car I was driving resembled one they were searching for. My boss Riff had been extra-specially abusive to me on the phone that morning. I was about to deliver to a rude customer, who sounded as if they were going to be a challenge at minimum. I needed to hear a friendly voice, but had called Karen and Lisa and could not reach either one of them. Also called some other friends, but no luck.
The root of my feeling down probably had to do with the loss of my Mom. She and my brother died ten years ago while driving when a very drunk driver slammed into them. I still think that I'm not over it, and don't know if I ever will be.
I decided to cheer myself up by finding a place to eat here in Topeka, KS. There was a chicken place that looked similar to Boston Market, so I drove in and parked. I walked in and saw some people lingering a little bit away from the counter. It was an older man and two kids, and they seemed to be in no hurry. I slowly stepped around them and walked up to the counter.
Halfway through giving my order, I heard, "Hey. Hey you!" I turned to see it was the man with two kids, and he looked really pissed.
I smiled and nodded. "I'll be done in about five seconds, then its your turn."
"It's my turn right now, and you're taking it."
"You are, and you know you are you mofo."
"Did I cut in line in front of you? I sure didn't mean to."
"Shoulda, woulda, coulda... you are a line jumper, and you need to be punished."
I felt badly. "Why don't you go ahead and order for your family, and I'll finish up after you're done."
He looked at the kids. "Who says this is my family?"
"Well I... forgive me, I assumed."
"Yeah, you assumed, and you keep right on offending me, you mother."
I held up my hands. "This is a misunderstanding. Go ahead and order, please. I certainly didn't mean any harm."
"But harm you caused. The damage is done, letting me cut in front of you won't fix it. Besides, I ain't a line jumper like you."
"I am truly, genuinely, sincerely sorry, and I hope you can accept my apology. In the spirit of Mother's Day and goodwill?"
"Oh damn, just like you mentioning Mother's Day when my children lost their Mother. How do you feel about that?"
I looked at him gravely. "I lost my Mom, too."
"You think I care about that you motherducker?"
I scratched my head. "Did you just say motherducker?"
"You know I did. And you know what I meant by it. Just trying to protect the virgin ears of my children."
There was nothing more I could say. Continued attempts at conversation were only making things worse. So I cut my losses and went to the car, guessing I'd find another place to eat just down the road a piece. I was feeling low, and didn't need this man and his attitude to bring me down further. But I did say a little prayer for him as I drove away.