Saturday, June 10, 2006

Mr. Grammar versus Like, Yoga Chickie

So, last night I stopped by CVS to pick up a prescription. Unfortunately, it was not waiting for me as I thought it would be.

"When was your doctor supposed to have called it in?" the cashier asked me.

"Hmmm," I thought for a moment, "It wasn't today, so, it had to have been like yesterday," I answered.

"Not 'LIKE' yesterday," said a male voice from behind me.

I smiled. Cute, I thought. Correcting my grammar. OK, fine, I figured, how about if I turn around and correct him, correcting me? I turned around and saw a middle-aged man in a well-tailored suit. His skin was tan in that "I've just been to the Carribean" sort of way. His eyes were shining amiably. Still smiling, I answered him: "Actually, I believe it was 'LIKE' yesterday, since by 'like' I meant, 'approximately', as in, I don't know if it was, in fact, yesterday, or if it might have been the day before."

But instead of the bantering response I was expecting, what I got was a snarl and a further correction: "No," he said, not even cracking a smile, "you mean "yesterday'. There's no such thing as 'LIKE' yesterday. It's either yesterday or it's not. Which is it, because it's not LIKE."

My eyebrows went up so high, I am still trying to pull them down from my hairline. However, I decided it was best not to get into any sort of confrontation, and so I quietly turned away and smiled at the cashier. "So, anyway," I continued, "Let's figure out what happened to my pills."

But apparently, Mr. Grammar wasn't finished with me. "Like," he muttered haughtily, "Like, yesterday! LIKE!" his voice growing louder. I turned around to see whom it was he was addressing. It was a woman, rolling her eyes away from him. I looked at him carefully, trying to understand what the hell was going on. It seemed inconceivable to me that someone I had never met could regard me with such hostility. Maybe he was only kidding but having a hard time getting that across...? I quickly assessed the situation and decided, no, he was definitely NOT kidding.

I turned around once again to continue dealing with the cashier only to hear Mr. Grammar snarking, "It's like, you know, yesterday!" I told myself to get a grip, to stay calm, to ignore him. But by now the cashier was rolling HER eyes, a show of solidarity which, sadly, rather than calming me, only served to agitate me and to question why I felt a duty to stand there quietly, allowing myself to be mocked by some suit-wearing stranger who seemed to think he was in a position to condemn my manner of speaking.

At the point where I was biting my tongue so hard, it was practically bleeding, I finally decided to do the anti-Yoga Chickie thing and stand up to the bully. "Like," I said, turning around to face him, "I like don't like appreciate like your like making fun of me, LIKE! So like SHUT UP you asshole. LIKE."

My heart was pounding. I felt clammy, whipped-up, out-of-control. I paid for a magazine and got the hell out of there. The entire walk home the scene played out in my head, over and over again, sometimes in real time, sometimes in slomo. I wanted to wash the experience off of me. I wanted to talk about it to someone who would high-five me and tell me that I had done the right thing.

But the truth is, I didn't. Mr. Grammar may have been crass and hostile and offensive. But I became his victim only when I allowed him to whip me up into a violent frenzy. Besides, as my mom pointed out when I relayed the story to her: who knows whether Mr. Grammar was simply waiting for an excuse to pull the gun out of his pocket and open fire?



samasthiti said...

What if like, you like pulled your gun out first.
That would have been like funny, like who'd be laughing then!?

What a jerk.

Maybe his prescription for Viagra ran out.....

Anonymous said...

Best to ignore that Meshugnner.

Texas yid

Debpc said...

Watch it. Bus Uncle is everywhere. I think that guy was CVS uncle.

yoga chickie said...

Oh! I get it Debpc...duh!! I didn't realize that was you until you said "Bus Uncle"!!! Like, ohmigod.

Sergio said...

This was like, a bit surreal, wasn't it? Try "Mind your own business" next time. It won't make you feel guilty but it will be "rude" enough to make people like him shut up. If unsuccessful, further, more drastic measures might be required ;)

The Shoving Leopard said...

I think we have all found ourselves in that kind of intimidating and frightening situation. It is difficult to know how to react, but I don't think you did a bad thing.

Worrying that there seems to be a tangible fear that someone would pull a gun in that situation. Fortunately, in the UK we don't have that gun problem, by and large.

Best wishes.

Richard said...

Hey, I've got pressure.

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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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