Crazy lady on aisle 3

I went into Randalls yesterday, a grocery store at which I rarely shop, and came across the strangest, angriest, kookiest lady I’ve ever seen.  I’m still wondering if this really happened, or was a crazy-train dream.

Here’s how it went down: I was behind Ms. Crazy in the checkout line. Her roast or whatever cut of red meat had dripped bloody juice all over the floor where I needed to walk, and was also all over the conveyer belt of the checkout area. I didn’t say anything even though, as a non-meat-eater I was sicked out big time.

Ms. Crazy noticed it on the conveyer belt and griped at the sweet elderly cashier to clean it up. Hearing how she talked to this service provider was the first clue that Ms. Crazy is, well, crazy.

When Pat the sweet elderly cashier rang up Ms. Crazy’s assorted box of individually wrapped cookies, Ms. Crazy complained in a loud & ugly way that the store flyer advertises that product for $2.99 but it rang up for $3.99. Ok, mistakes happen, and I’m pretty sure sweet Pat isn’t the one responsible for programming the sale prices into the cash register, so back off Crazy Lady.

Pat consulted the flyer and found that yes, that product is on sale but Ms. Crazy got the wrong variety or wrong size or something. Ms. Crazy’s response was to bark at Thomas, the bag boy, to go get her the right kind of cookies.

Yes, ma’am.

He came back with what he thought was the right variety, but it wasn’t the assorted box, it was all Chips Ahoy, and Ms. Crazy and her family need the variety and excitement that only Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butter, AND Mini Oreos can bring. Did I say they need the variety? Pardon me, they deserve it. She didn’t say that, but I could totally tell that’s the kind of person she is.

So Ms. Crazy sent poor Thomas back to the cookie aisle to do her bidding. While he was gone, she looked at me, waiting ever so patiently behind her hot mess self. I was making an effort to be patient, for once, and didn’t huff or look at my watch or otherwise complain. But when Ms. Crazy rolled her eyes at me, as if to suggest the Randalls employees were disappointing her high expectation of — and God-given right to — exemplary service, my patience quickly evaporated.

That was when Ms. Crazy noticed the bloody juice all over the floor. She asked me, Is that blood? I said, I don’t think it’s blood but juice from the meat you’re buying. Again, I didn’t say one word about how disgusting that is, or what a potential health hazard it is, or inquire about her feelings toward the innocent cow that gave its life to appear in her shopping cart or lecture her in any way about all manner of evil represented by that styrofoam tray full of flesh & muscle.

Not one word.

Fat lot of good all my restraint did me.

When Thomas had yet to appear with the holy grail of cookies, I jokingly told Ms. Crazy that I would give her a dollar if it would help speed up her checkout. She didn’t think I was one bit funny, and told me to, and I quote, “Shut the F*%# up.”

Yes, you read that right. She told me to shut up AND used the F word. In the grocery store.


That is some serious insanity.

I was stunned, for sure. I kept my cool and told her that she had no right to speak to me, or anyone else, like that. She replied in a nasty sneering way, “Oh  no! Did I offend you? I doubt it.”

Ok. Right. I’m not even sure how to respond to that, so I took a step back and said, ok, back off, I was just joking anyway. She yelled something about how Randalls needs to fix the computer and correct the price right because what’s going to happen when the next person comes along and has the same problem? I told her I’m not real concerned about the next person, because hopefully by then I’ll be home and have my groceries unloaded and be on to the next task.

Well, Ms. Crazy didn’t like my answer one bit. Not one bit. She screeched at me (yes, she really screeched), “You’re in your Sugar Land bubble and just want everyone to hurry up, get out of your way because you’re next.”

I’ve often joked about the Sugar Land bubble, where all the kids are above-average thinkers, the moms all have perfect figures and keep a perfect house, the dads all have high-paying jobs and coach Little League and everyone drives a gas-guzzling SUV. God Bless Sugar Land.

But I’ve never suggested that the “Sugar Land bubble” entitles me to preferential treatment.  So there, Crazy Lady.

After she screeched at me, I held up my hands as if to say, Ok, whatever, and to signal my official disengagement. Thomas had returned with the offending cookies by this time, and it was time for Ms. Crazy to pay for her cartload of processed, trans-fat-laden crap. And she didn’t even have her credit card out, ready to swipe.

I swear, some people. Sure lady, hold up the entire line so you can get your cookies and be unprepared to transact business. Egads.

But that’s not all — when Ms. Crazy finally got around to digging her credit card out of her wallet, she suggested my shopping cart was in her way. And she said, “Move your cart or I will move it for you.” Wow, again. I asked her if she was threatening me, and she said it sure sounded like it. So I decided to treat her like the child whose behavior she was modeling and said, “As soon as you ask nicely, I will happily move my cart.”

Ms. Crazy clearly doesn’t like people who establish boundaries. She told me to move my f-ing cart and then she shoved the cart a little bit. Pathetic.

I really wondered about the right parting shot. I chose to let it lie and didn’t say anything, but I kinda wish I would have told her how sad it must be to be her. Or that it’s not nice to talk to people that way. Or that there’s lots of good mental help available, even without comprehensive insurance.

After she left, Pat the cashier apologized to me, and Thomas said the Ms. Crazy comes in there all the time and is always like that. I joked to them both that if she was waiting for me in the parking lot, I was going to call the police. They took me seriously, though, and Pat made sure I had my cell phone and asked Thomas to walk me to my car!

And people say nothing exciting ever happens in the suburbs.

5 Comments on “Crazy lady on aisle 3”

  1. Ed says:

    Thanks for an entertaining read and kudos on keeping your cool. Arguing with idiots only gets you angry and in a bad mood, even when it feels good at first. You get the last laugh as she obviously envies your “Sugar Land bubble” yet is stuck being her. Too bad you didn’t take picture of her for those really bad days so you could look at it and remind yourself that at least you’re not her.

  2. Amy H. says:

    People like that make me know there has to be a LOT more going on in their life to have it come out in CRAZY inappropriate encounters with strangers. Some CRAZY lady gave me “what for” when I was accidentally idling on the crosswalk for carpool…..then had to have a CRAZY encounter with the crossing guards about my apparently inappropriate choice of idle spots! AND all this in front of her impressionable preschooler plus a bunch of miscellaneous bystanders. CRAZY! I say let the rest of us spend our energy on other things, like recovering from a massive infection and such. And hopefully we won’t be going CRAZY and setting CRAZY examples for our children to mimic….but rather showing them how mature folk tackle tough situations with grace and calm. Good job, Nancy! I’m with Ed, when I see my particular “CRAZY” lady, and I do fairly often, I am glad I don’t let the little things get to me (most of the time!).

  3. elizabeth connolly says:

    Nancy, I’m glad I checked back with you about your blog. I just read about the crazy lady at the market and it put a smile on my face as your blogs so often do. And I could just picture you trying to be patient ( it’s such a strong point of yours, when faced with idiots) Love ya, Bettyanne

  4. Lisa Wheeler says:

    I think she was a regular Walmart shopper it seems the few times I go to that store there seems to be a person like this fine lady there. I just had to laugh since I know that’s what we would have done in college days!!!!!! Thanks for your post they make my day.

  5. […] the Crazy Lady I ran into in the grocery store a while back? I think I met her sister today. She was a hot mess […]

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