I have referenced a couple times about an incident that happened a few months ago at CiCi's. For those who might not know, CiCi's is an all you can eat pizza buffet. A family friendly (most times) restaurant.
Before I begin my tale, I want to acknowledge that I know the details of this story will shock you. The behavior displayed that evening is so unlike me (okay, I can't even type that without cracking up!)
On to the tale. As I mentioned a few months ago I ventured to CiCi's for dinner with my boys and a friend's son. We had to be at church for choir practice so I figured why not hit up dinner and then head on over. When we walked in and paid, I could hear some kind of disagreement going on over by the salad bar section of the buffet. The buffet is set up in an L shape with the short end where the register and plates are. So I pay for our meals and then we select a table and start to get settled. We approach the pizza section of the buffet which is about 10 feet or so from the salad part portion. Mind you, I have 4 boys with me and there are numerous other children enjoying all you can eat pizza. So I help out the younger boys with their pizza and can hear the disagreement we heard when we entered going from mere arguing to vulgar and crude. The lady was so LOUD we could all hear her. Within earshot were all these kids. Now let me say that I know (and many of the readers of this blog know) that I have been known to speak the Army's main language fluently (cursing if you didn't know, lol). I have gotten soooooooo much better over the years, but I will admit that overcoming that flaw is an ongoing process. However saying that, I am very good about watching my mouth in front of my children and other people's kids.
So back to the lady, she is getting LOUDER and more crude and vulgar by the minute. I'm horrified at some of the words flying out of her mouth and as I look around me, I can see that other parents feel the same way. I take a few steps to close the gap between us and I say nicely, "do you think you can watch what you are saying, there are kids around." I promise I said it nicely, a couple witnesses even acknowledged that fact later. Immediately, the lady turned her anger towards me. She threatened me and called me all sorts of names. One of my other flaws is that I am not afraid of confrontation. I have no problem with it and actually view it as a challenge and rarely back down (I'm working on this too). I responded to her calmly (yes, after reviewing this incident later, I was shocked at how composed I remained). I told her that I'm sure her anger was justified but I would just like her to watch her language. She continued ranting at me about all sorts of things, calling me vulgar names and telling me she as going to beat me. Well me being me, instead of walking away, I stepped towars her calmly and said in a low but firm voice "so do it". I mean seriously don't just run your mouth, if you are going to threaten do it. I admit that it had been a stressful week and I had enough of this deployment so I was in a serious "I don't care" mode.
With every threat, I simply responded with "so do it". Finally, after a couple minutes, I walked away and went and joined my kids at our table. They were at our table during this transaction so they couldn't hear me or what I was saying. Another patron of the restaurant went to the manager and explained that the lady had went off on me and all I was doing was trying to protect all the kids. I appreciated that lady. Well a few minutes later Neil got up to go get more food and the crazy lady was standing next to the pasta and she stepped towards Neil. The mama bear in me came out and I called out to Neil and told him to come back to the table. She was smart enough not to say anything to him. Well she turned to the manager and told him this ridiculous story about how I had told her all sorts of crazy things and went off on her and so much other crap. The thing is, she told him in Spanish because of course I look like a white girl so most people don't know that I grew up in a home where my parents spoke Spanish. Anyway, I'm sure she had no clue that I knew exactly what she was telling him. I just tried to ignore her and enjoy my meal with my boys, but she just couldn't leave it alone. She approached my table.
Now, it's one thing to be doing whatever away from me and my kids but do not approach me and my kids. I did not want her or her vulgarity around my kids. When she got to my table, I stood up and asked her to leave. She immediately went into her rant about how rude I had been to her and how I was all in her business and how she was going to beat me down and all sorts of other nonsense. At this point, my adrenalin was flowing because I was upset with her for approaching my kids. I told her to leave again and she kept the word vomit flowing. She again threated to beat me up (what are we in junior high?). I stepped towards her and told her again very calmly "so do it, quit running your mouth and do it or go away". She of course backed away but kept the words coming. I finally sat down and ignored her and she went away.
A few minutes later the manager came to me to apologize. I believe that it never should have gotten that far, he should have controlled the situation the minute she threatened one of his employees (because she had). He told me he was sorry and explained that they had basically walked in, sat down and never paid. When one of the employees called her on it, that was when she exploded and that was when we walked in. She was demanding a refund because she was offended by the "accusation". She was demanding a refund but the employee kept telling her that there was no refund because she had never paid to begin with. That was when we walked in.
After she left, I did apologize to those sitting around me because I felt bad that I had let her suck me into her drama. I just did not appreciate the words that she was using. They weren't your average curse words. The thing that amuses me about the entire altercation was how calm I was. I never raised my voice and I was ready to take on whatever. Not my finest moment by any means but we all make mistakes.
The world is a small place, today when I was out having breakfast with a friend, I saw the crazy lady. She recognized me first (glad to know I'm so memorable) and said in Spanish to her friend "there's that crazy !#$!@# from the pizza place". I winked at her and walked out.