The first fight was 5 years ago. It actually took place on a Catholic school playground, which makes it all the more pathetic. I was co-leading a Girl Scout troop and was accused by the mother of a girl on another troop, let's call her Mad Mom, of placing the "rich" girls on my troop and leaving the "poor" girls for her troop. Since I was brand new to the area, had no friends, had no idea where most of these girls lived, what their parents made, or even who their parents were, I felt the accusation was a little unfair. Side note: I actually was seeking out Mad Mom because I had heard she was upset with me. I didn't know who she was so I had to ask another parent on the playground if he knew her. Just my luck the parent I asked was Mad Mom's husband!) It got a little heated with Mad Mom calling me a snobby b*****. Our kids are playing just a few feet away and Mad Mom is calling me names! The sun beat down, sweat beaded on her forehead and pooled in her impressive cleavage. She glared down at me from her 6 inch height advantage and moved toward me to intimidate. Her face was red with anger and her words were harsh and bitter. Mad Mom said that she knew my "type" and that I disgusted her that I would use kids to play my snobby games. She said "don't worry, I know what you are and I'll make sure everyone else does too." She practically spit in my face.
She was the picture of class.
The second fight was 3 days ago. I was at the local warehouse club waiting in line at the U Scan. Side note: our warehouse club has discovered that if they open only one staffed checkout and then provide 5 U Scans they can herd us all to checkout our own purchases. On this particular day four of the U Scans all had the added benefit of their "HELP" lights blinking, something which the warehouse employees were working diligently to ignore. No surprise here, I was in line at the one working U Scan. I was next in line. The woman currently checking out, let's call her Rude Woman, was talking on her cell phone while she unloaded her cart. Side note: Rude Woman was talking on her cell phone very loudly. She was speaking Spanish. I have noticed that when people talk on their cell phones and don't speak English there seems to be no attempt to moderate their voices as they believe that the people around them can't understand what they are saying. Why is it that we need to hear your conversation, whether we can understand it or not? I don't mind the public phone use but could you practice a little volume control??? Anyway, as you can imagine, holding a cell phone in one hand and unloading your cart/checking out your purchases with the other is a slow process. I waited. The line behind me grew. I waited. One of the other U Scans actually received some employee assistance and the HELP light went out. Some people bailed out of my line. Others came to replace them. We waited. Finally the woman is done checking out. She has all her purchases at the end of the conveyor and is reloading her cart (one handed, of course). I step up to the U Scan. I scan my membership card. I scan 5 of my 7 items. It is at this point that Rude Woman has finally finished her conversation. She looks up. She notices that I have begun checking out my items. I have my daughter standing toward the end of the conveyor belt to keep our purchases from getting mixed up with Rude Woman's. Rude Woman looks at me and says "Um, you're going to wait til I'm finished!" I looked at the 2 remaining items in my cart. I looked at the long line of people behind me. I surprised myself by saying "No. I'm not." Rude Woman's eyes got wide. And she lost her mind. She began yelling at me. She was dropping F bombs with a liberal scattering of the B word. Her overblown lips were parted and her black lined, overly mascara-ed eyes were squinched nearly shut. She was breathing in gasps. She. Was. Mad. Well, I was mad too. I mean she is saying these things in front of my daughter! I told my daughter to switch places with me (I had checked out the last 2 items while Rude Woman ranted) and to pay while I reloaded the cart. As soon as I stepped toward her Rude Woman backed away, still spewing expletives like some demented fountain. I loaded my cart and by the time I looked up again Rude Woman was gone in a cloud of cheap perfume, her spike heels clacking, sheer tunic over black bra swaying while her gold metallic leggings gleamed in the fluorescent lighting.
She was the picture of class.
In neither instance did I fight back. I simply listened to what was said. Replied that I was sorry they felt that way. And walked away. (Well at the warehouse club I turned away). I didn't raise my voice. I didn't lower my standards. I didn't back down. I didn't escalate the situation. No matter the conflict, the reason, who is right or who is wrong. It is always important to me to be:
The picture of class. (Plus both women scared the heck out of me and would have beat me to a pulp).