It was 11:45 AM on Tuesday November 25, 2014. I was at work at the bookstore. The store was busy, and I was alone on the cash register as the other cashier was on break.
The customer was old, maybe in her seventies or eighties. She was maybe five feet tall, counting her Q-tip hair cut. She was round as a bowling ball; wearing a shapeless black sweater. She bought a single book, one of the inaccurate history books written by Bill O'Reilly. her face looked like she'd been weaned on a lemon.
I rang up her purchase like I was supposed to be, being polite and chipper, as I'm supposed to be. She was grumpy and curt with her answers.
I finished the transaction. She snatched the bag and started walking away.
Me: "Thank you and have a happy Thanksgiving"
Customer: "Thanks... Whatever you are."
My jaw didn't have time to drop as the next customer stepped up to my register quickly, and I had to provide them with the best possible service. In fact it was a good twenty minutes before I had helped all the customers in the ever replenishing line and I had time to reflect.
Everyone knows that Transition is hard. Everyone gets their share of remarks and comments (remind me to tell you the story of my trip to Popeyes the other day.) And we who are full time have to have very thick skin, or we fail. Transition is not for the faint of heart.
And my Armor IS thick.
That one got to me a little. So I posted it on Facialbook, and received an avalanche of wonderfully, viciously funny replies. I'm not posting these replies without the writers' permission. But they raised my spirits.
One person pointed out what I already concluded- that I should expect no less from someone buying a republican book. But many people buy republican books and while many of those give me looks, most do not comment. Most. (Usually, the comment would be to call me "sir.")
This woman was just mean. Sour. And I pity her. She has to live in her hate. I however am living my life.
That said, she has given me the title for the book I'm writing: "Whatever You Are."
So I guess I owe her thanks. Or at least publicity.