This is an open letter to the woman standing in line behind us at Best Buy today as I waited for the Head Geek to finish trying to reassure us that we weren't getting screwed again as we sent out Jared's laptop for service for the third time. For the same problem. Under its one-year warranty. (It is a Toshiba, fyi.)
But I digress.
Dear Ms. X.--
Hi. You won't remember us, but we sure will remember you! It was actually hard to concentrate on what the computer technician was saying when all we could hear was your snapping, popping, and cracking behind us. I never knew that kind of volume could be produced from the human mouth and gum before. And you were keeping a discreet distance of a few feet behind us in line, too. As a high school teacher, I recognized the sound, and couldn't help but turn around, expecting to see a teenaged girl who could possibly be coaxed or embarrassed a bit into more courteous behavior by a rather curious stare. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw you. (For a couple of reasons, which I shall enumerate.)
You are clearly, at age 35-40something, old enough to behave better. When I caught a glimpse of your grinding maw, you were oblivious. You were staring off into space with the look of a somewhat contented bovine chewing its cud in a pasture somewhere, mouth hanging open, jaw working its wad, eyes glassy and fixed on something in the distance. About every third chew, you produced a snap worthy of a whipcrack, yet you registered nothing in your expression, not even a little self-congratulatory smirk. I was transfixed by your sophomorically rude behavior. That, and your tragic outfit.
Madam, no one--and let me be very clear here--no one should wear a baseball cap inside a building unless that building is a domed baseball stadium and one is a spectator at a baseball game. Or a player in said game. And you are far too mature in years to be wearing a "varsity-style" short jacket made of obviously fake "leather," even if said pleather is on the sleeves only. I suspect it was not even yours, but possibly one of your sons'. May I say that I even hope so. Plus, it made you look...stumpy. You are not a tall nor a...slim woman. Which leads me to your trouser selection. Ma'am, black polyester stretch is simply not a good look on most women, and a strange bellbottom that did not even meet the top of your sad, shabby (were they grey or just horrifically dirty?) tennis shoes did not improve this look on you. Certainly we are both fortunate that I did not look at your shirt/top choice. I shudder at the thought.
Finally, if you thought, Oh, I'm just running out to Best Buy to pick up the computer. Who will notice what I look like? then you shouldn't chew gum. Because you can't do so quietly and courteously and without drawing attention to yourself.
I noticed what you looked like. And I have a thing about rudeness and bad fashion.