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Thursday, August 10, 2006The bitch slap heard 'round Pathmark
We were grocery shopping at Pathmark early yesterday. Mom had left me with both shopping carts parked in front of the dairy section while she grabbed some orange juice. I had head phones on listening to some tunes when I was approached by an older Caucasian woman. I guess I should tell you that when people meet me in person they have a tendency to think that I am any where from 15 – 17 years old. It was obvious to me from the way she approached me that this woman thought I was a child.
Woman: tapping me on the shoulder Excuse me…
Mia: removing one side of my headphones Yes?
Woman: Why is it that kids do that to themselves? pointing to one of my tattoos….angry tone in her voice Why do you mark up your body like that?
Mia: I was taken aback and chuckled Well for me it was just a matter of preference.
Woman: Why do you mark your body like that?!! That is disgusting!
I was going to give her a smart assed reply but decided against it due to her age. I put my headphones back on and let the woman continue her tirade. I couldn’t hear a thing she was saying. Unfortunately the lady’s tone of voice and decibel level had attracted my mothers and everyone else’s attention. By the way I’d like to point out that there was at least one woman obviously in her late 20’s who also had a tattoo and was much closer to this woman than I was yet she felt it okay to walk across the aisle to harass me. I saw my mother approaching us. It was about to get fugly.
Woman: What are you going to do when you become an adult and have to work? How are you going to cover that up?! I think you’re disgusting! DISGUSTING!!
The woman acted as if I had a tattoo of Satan biting the head off of the sweet baby Jesus. The tattoo she was looking at was of a periot angel wearing a pork pie hat.
Mom: approaching like a bat out of hell interrupting the woman’s tirade Excuse me. Excuse me. Hello what are you doing?
Woman: I was asking her why she put that on her body. That is so disgusting.
Mom: I heard what you were saying lady. How dare you talk to my child like that! How dare you approach her like that. What the hell is wrong with you lady? Have you taken your meds today?
Woman: I think she is disgusting! The way she marks up her body like that.
Mom: So the fact that you don’t approve gives you the right to come up to my daughter and berate her? Come on lady that is not right.
Woman: You’re her mother?!
Woman: What kind of mother are you allowing her to mark herself up like that? What is she going to do when she becomes a woman? How is she going to hide those?! You’re a terrible mother you disgust me as well!
Mom: What?! Oh hell no. Lady watch yourself.
Woman: I repeat you’re a terrible mother and she is DISGUSTING!
And with that she stormed off quickly. Actually she kind of ran. I was really surprised that my mom hadn’t hit her especially the way she was yelling at my mom. My mom was glaring at her watching her disappear into the other side of the supermarket. She then addressed me by my full name, in public no less! Mami was mega heated. I was about to get a lecture.
Mom: How the hell you let that woman talk to you like that? !
Mia: Ma it wasn’t that serious. I paid her no mind.
Mom: That’s not the point Mia. She has no right to talk to you like that. You never ever ever allow a person I don’t care how old they are to talk to you like that!
Mia: She thought I was a kid ma.
Mom: Oh and that makes it right? That gives her the right to talk to you like that because she thinks you’re a kid? Oh fucking hell no. You’re too sweet baby. I’ve raised a pacifist. reaching over to grab some a gallon of milk.
Mom: Man my head hurts, she pissed me off. Mia stay here with the shopping carts I’ll be right back.
Mia: Ma where you going?
Mom: Stay there nena I’ll be right back I need to get some stuff from those aisles over there.
I don’t know why it didn’t hit me right away. She’d already been down those aisles… twice. She had everything she needed from there. A minute or so went by when I heard my mother and the woman arguing. Crap! My mom had tracked her down!
Woman: You’re daughter is disgusting!
Mom: You don’t know my daughter and to approach her like that was wrong.
Woman: I don’t care she shouldn’t be marking herself up like that. That is disgusting.
Mom: And that is your business because…?
Woman: I’m a 50 year old woman, I have a right to my opinion ! I think it’s disgusting that a child would do that to their body!
Mom: Yes you do have a right to your opinion but you don’t have the right to approach her like that. As the adult you claim that you are your behavior is reprehensible. If you don’t like her tattoos then don’t look at them. She wasn’t flashing them at you. YOU went out of your way to approach her. By the way lady she is not a child lady she is an adult.
Woman: I DON’T CARE WHO SHE IS! I don’t have time for this shit.
Mom: Well you seemed to have time for it a minute ago.
Woman: You’re a horrible mother!!
Mom: Lady enough already you’re pushing your luck here.
Woman: sing song voice I can’t hearrrrr you. It’s going in one ear and out the other.
That’s when “it” was born…THE BITCH SLAP HEARD ALL AROUND PATHMARK! Heads jerked up at the sound of it. It echoed in the crowded supermarket. Grown men winced and collectively groaned. “Awww man that’s got to hurt! If I can hear it all the way over here!” I heard some guy standing behind me say. Immediately after the slap you heard the sound of someone falling back into the merchandise and my mom’s voice….
Mom:standing over her Can you hear me now?! Can you hear me now?! I bet you sure as hell can.
The woman mumbled something unintelligible.
Mom: You want to call the police? Go ahead I’ll wait right here. Here you wanna use my cell phone to call them? It’s going to take them a few minutes to get here. While we’re waiting for them to be arrive I will be beating your ass down. I’m going to jail but you’ll be going straight to the hospital from here.
several seconds went by
Mom: You’re mighty quiet now. Hmm nothing you want to say? If you need to find me I’ll be in the frozen food section.
My mother then emerged from the aisle flexing her right hand and rubbing her wrist as she walked towards me.
Mia: Ma oh my God! Ma did you hit her?
Mom: She won’t be mouthing off to no one else no time soon.
Mia: Ma what does Buddah say about physical agression.. what would Jesus do?
Mom: Screw that shit I'm Puerto Rican we don't play that shit. We tried that pacifist shit before and you know what it got us? Our island invaded and taken over by los gringos. She flipped on my child? Oh hell no the bitch needed to think about that before she opened her mouth. She's lucky I didn't keep hitting her.
The look on her face and the people who’d witnessed the bitch slap heard all around Pathmark was just too much for me. I dissolved into a fit of uncontrollable laughter right then and there.
Mia: I swear woman I don’t know who I came out to be like.
Mom: I dunno your grandmother I guess. Grandma Fefi.
Mia: I am not a punk!
Mom: Oooooh I’m telling your father you called his mother a punk!
Mia: Shhhh you granny slapper!
Mom: She wasn’t that old! She was 6 years older than me she was 50 she told me so.
Mom: Ayy please if she wanna run her mouth like a 20 year old then she need to be prepared to handle a slap like a 20 year old.
An hour later the lady walked by us as we stood in line she was shocked to see my mom still there. I guess she’d been giving my mom enough time to leave the supermarket. I found hard to believe that she’d spent all that time in the market just for one 12 oz container of Feta cheese. My mom stared at her straight in the eye putting her folded shopping list on top of the eggs and then clipping her pen to the neck of her t-shirt all the while never looking away from the woman. The woman looked shaken. The side of her face was burgundy and swollen. She was going to have one large and nasty bruise not to mention her eye wasn’t looking too good either. OUCH! Mami had hit her really hard. The woman looked timidly at me, I felt so bad for her. I really did. The look on her face just tore at my heart. She looked down and walked away choosing to stand on a much crowded line a couple of rows from us.
Mia: Ma I feel so bad for her.
Mom: I don't but then you've always been a better person that me. Thank God for that. You're a good person nena.
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