We were in the mall today looking at new shirts for my husband. The shirts weren't Father's Day gifts. They were "just because he needs them" shirts. The girls came with and each had a small bag of trail mix to snack on. If you have small children, you know how it goes. They are always hungry, and a snack in a store goes a long way towards a happy shopping trip.
We moved from one section of the store to another to look at different shirts. A few second later, a woman walked up to me and said, "I believe your children dropped these." I held out my hand and she put three almonds in my hand. I stared at the almonds for a minute as she walked away. At first I didn't understand what was going on. Why would she give me almonds? After a few seconds, I realized the almonds must have come from the girls' snack mix. A second later, I looked at my husband and said, "Why didn't she just say that our daughters are slobs?" I was angry now. Another woman next to us saw the whole episode. She just shook her head and laughed.
I couldn't believe it. This woman was so offended that the girls accidentally dropped three almonds that she took the time to follow us to make her point? Really?
I'd like to say it ended there, but it didn't. I still had the almonds in my hand when we made it to the customer service counter (aka the check out). The woman happened to be standing in front of us. I made a point of asking the cashier if I could drop the almonds in the garbage can because our children accidentally dropped them the floor and someone kindly returned the almonds so we could dispose of them.
The woman glared at me and said, "These things get ground into the carpeting and make a mess. Children shouldn't be...oh never mind."
Maybe it was the look I gave her that stopped her. Maybe it was the fact that I wasn't properly apologetic for our uncivilized behavior. Either way, I kept thinking she was lucky the girls were standing so close to me. Their presence kept me from telling her what I really thought about her.