Christmas shopping sucks. It is crowded, hot and everyone is on a mission of their very own. But there are some people that are just too much. On my annual Holiday shopping trip with friends yesterday I met one such person who just wasn’t in the spirit of the season. After all the shopping was done and I had to use a restroom, we stopped at one of kajillion Starbucks in New York city to use the facilities. When you are out and about in the city, there are very few places that have available bathrooms. Starbucks is just about the only place you can regularly rely on to have them. At the height of the holiday shopping season, they can have lines so long that they make you wish you were back in a hot over crowded stores. Yet you must accept that with patience you will get to the front of the line. One patron at the aforementioned Starbucks just couldn’t do that.
When I walked into the cafe, I immediately saw the line for the loo was twenty people long. I was mildly dismayed, but I really had to pee, so I decided to wait it out. Slowly but surely I would get to the head of the line and make it to the goal. My wait became far more entertaining when a woman walked in and was just astounded by the line. She just had to make everyone know how absurd it was. The line was so long that she said she would use the men’s room, but she was disgusted to find out that the bathroom is unisex. “That’s disgusting!!” she exclaimed, not realizing the irony after stating she would use the men’s room. Then she commented on everyone’s arrival. “Get in the line!” “yep it’s that long” Somehow this must have made her feel like she would be able to get to the bathroom more quickly. It didn’t. In fact, it made us all want to make her wait that much more miserable. When a man asked the head of the line if his octogenarian mother could cut ahead of them, our favorite patron announced “NOOOO! We ALL have to wait! I’m sick too, but no one is letting me go first!” Actually we weren’t letting her go first because she never even asked and frankly her displays of hostility were so appalling that no one would have shown her a lick of kindness.
When I was finally next in line, I over heard her say to the woman she was with “you go first. I’m not going in there after him.” I had not said a word to her. I had simply laughed at her behavior. I was tempted to make a mess of the bathroom just for her benefit, but frankly I wouldn’t subject the rest of the customers or the staff to that. I did decide that I couldn’t let the opportunity to say something to her go unused. On my way out, I took a moment to stop and look her straight in the eye. I opened my mouth and wished her a Merry Christmas. To her those were fighting words. To me it was just common decency.