Dear Annoying Little Kid in Line in Front of Me at the Grocery Store Tonight:
I realize that while your mom is chatting on her cell phone--loudly and at length--about her upcoming pap smear, and not really paying attention to what you're doing, it must be an irresistible
temptation to pull all the pretty boxes down from the shelves and leave them in a big pile in the middle of the aisle.
Please don't do that. Why, you ask? Well, for one thing, it makes it impossible for the rest of us (who are keeping our lips zipped and minding our own goddamned business--oops! I swore in front of a child) to make our way around and make our purchases.
For another thing, well, those things just aren't yours to play with. See, the way the store works is this: if you want to own something there, you pick it up and, in a very orderly fashion, put it in your basket or cart. You take it to the cashier, give him or her some money, and presto! the item is yours. And you can then take it home and step on it, open it and smear it with boogers or just scatter it around like you were doing tonight. But not until you've gotten it out of the store!
And when you're in line in that cashier's lane, and your mother (who by this time, has called yet another nameless, faceless girlfriend--they sound interchangeable, really--and is gabbling on about the shoes she bought at Payless), notices you playing with the conveyor belt and actually interrupts her conversation to tell you to stop, it would behoove you to do so. (Why she didn't notice all your other
antics--in the produce aisle, in the meat department, and in the snack aisle--well, we'll just chalk up to slight absent-mindedness. Or a single-minded mission to find just the right shampoo for her--er, shall we say--unique
highlights. Or just plain apathy. But at least she did
finally notice and react. For a while there, I thought she was a Stepford Wife-in-Training. No, scratch that: they'd never let her dress like that.)
It was pretty plucky of you to smile right at her and keep doing it after she grabbed your hand and said no. You little dickens, you! Do you think you're just so darned cute you can get away with it? Are you autistic? Or are you just hopped up on sugar from all the Capri Sun she gives you to slurp down while she's painting her toenails? In any event, you're lucky you were with her
and not with me
. Because if I
told you not to do something and you did it right in front of me, brazenly daring me to respond, you'd learn, quickly and painfully, how swiftly I do
. To the detriment of your derierre. If I'd done that to my
mom, I wouldn't have sat for a week.
Also, if you were mine, I'd limit your fluid intake to water, chilled green tea and the occasional barley water. Just because I can. You'd have brussels sprouts and lima beans every goddamned meal, too. Just for shits and giggles, and your regularity. Oh, and your favorite stuffed toy? Going to Goodwill. What do you need it for? You have a loving parent and shouldn't have to transfer your affections that way...
***scene shimmers and dissolves amid dreamy vibraphone music***
Oh! Goodness me, I got carried away with my reveries! I don't want to cause you too
much misery, so we'll cut this vignette short before we get to the daily doses of castor oil. But I'm sure that I'm overreacting, anyway.
Because I'm charitably hoping that your mother isn't always as lackadaisical as she was tonight. I'm sure that, when she's not busy shopping at Walgreen's for Scuncis that match her pedal-pushers and crop-tops, she must lay down the law. She must get some tips from Judge Judy. (No beauty
tips, though, please: the world can't take yet another
woman who looks like Leonard Nimoy.)
If she doesn't, then I wish you good luck in school and in life, kid. You'll need it.