About once a year, sometimes twice, I encounter a uncomfortable shopping experience.
Last night was one of those incidents.
I was at Walmart.
I was looking in the craft section when a middle aged woman, late 50’s was heading my way in one of those Walmart ‘ride along’ buggy things…
She pulled up right in front of me and asked me if I was a God fearing Christian.
I didn’t think much at the time, because this is how they witness to people here, down South.
I’ve had people approach me and ask me if I knew that when I died I’d burn in the fiery furnace.. Unless I repented right away..
For real! That incident took place in a laundry mat.
Evangelists are hard-core down here! Fire & Brimstone all the way.
My mistake is, that I am engaging. At l day that’s what my family tells me.
I admit, I walk around with a smile, and I am a bit more friendly then I should be, probably. It’s become a blessing and a curse.
After being asked about my faith, I told the women that I was a Christian.
She then out of the blue, asked me if I would buy her a Vacuum cleaner. A shark, specifically.
She said she didn’t have the two-hundred dollars and needed a vacuum cleaner that night. And that since I claim to be a Christian, then it is my duty to give to charity.
HER, being the charity.
I became like a deer in a headlight. At first I thought she was pulling my leg. Or that I was being recorded for some social experiment.
Then she repeated her request to me in a more assertive manner.
I responded to her where she could purchase the vacuum at a cheaper price. And that the store Ollie’s, is cheaper then Walmart. At least I could offer her that information, despite her rudeness.
But that didn’t sit well with her and she told me that unless I was going to drive her to the other store and purchase the vacuum for her, then she didn’t care.. And that if I was really a Christian, I NEEDED to buy her a vacuum as a charity.
I became annoyed, but still wanting to be respectful, I told her that 90% of my purchases are second hand.. and that if she needed one that bad, she should try a thrift store.
She then became down right mean and stopped another shopper who was walking past us.
She told the random stranger that “this women” (while pointing at me) was claiming to be a Christian, yet, would not bless her with a vacuum cleaner.
The lady shrugged, said sorry.. and kept on walking.
Exactly what I should have done. I hate that I always feel the need to explain myself. Especially to strangers. 😔
It was now just the two of us again….
I ended the conversation by telling her that I have five kids, and I am putting one through the Uni, so I simply can’t help her… and then I walked away..
Of course even if I was a millionaire, having random strangers demand gifts or money, would not be charities I would give too.
Feeling distressed after walking away, I texted my husband and told him what had just happened.
He said I should have just told her from the get-go to leave me the hell alone, and get lost!
But I’m just not that kind of person though. But I know that I need to grow a pair…. sort of speak; soon though.
I finished my grocery shopping and went to cash out.
I always look over all my purchases while standing in line to estimate the cost.
While doing this, I didn’t notice that the crazy lady was a couple carts in front of me.
As I was scanning over the items in my cart I heard some commotion in front of me that caused me to look up.
There she was! Still in the riding buggy, and yelling at the cashier.
She was telling the cashier that she still owes her. $20 back.
I then noticed that she had a watch in her hand.
Then another cashier came over and they straightened it out, it seemed. The crazy lady was in the wrong.
The cashier cashed out the woman in front of me, and then it was my turn.
While ringing me out the cashier asked me how I was, and if I found everything I was looking for. I told her that the lady in the riding buggy that just left, approached me in the store, more-less demanding that I buy her a vacuum cleaner.
I told her what happened and she told me that that woman got the lady that was in front of me, (behind her) to buy her a $40 wrist watch.
Apparently, while she was in line she turned around and asked the lady behind her if she was a God fearing Christian.
The lady told her yes, and then the crazy lady asked her if she would buy her a TimeX watch as a charity.
The lady said alright. They both left the line, and came back with the watch.
She paid for the watch, and then the crazy ladypurchased her couple of items.. and that’s when I got into the line. 😳
The cashier told me that the lady was either a con-artist, or had a mental disposition. Then she apologized that I had a bad shopping experience. She then told me that this time of year is always challenging. She shared a few horror stories that she’s encountered in the past couple years around the Holiday season.
After I cashed out I went out to the parking lot and noticed that the crazy woman was standing up with two other ladies in the parking lot, and laughing.
She was showing off her new watch to one of them. Then they high fived.
Then the ladies were approached by a Walmart employee who was getting all the carts outside. They all started talking. It seemed to be getting intense.
I got into the car and we left!
Today… I’m upset at myself for not being more assertive in that very awkward situation.
I’m very curious how others may have responded in the situation I just shared. Please share!
We all like to think we would not engage in crazy, but when it happens to us… many, like myself, simply freeze. 😔