The woman had bad roots, but I didn’t call her on it.

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Yesterday morning I was a bit bummed out because Meredith has been having stomachaches that are a bit more like STOMACHACHES(!!!) and they hit her quickly and she immediately starts to cry and sometimes she throws up, and I would do just about anything to suffer through them for her. So anyway, she had a bad one yesterday morning and the doctor couldn’t get her in before 10:15, and I had to be at work at 10:00, so Jeff had to take her in, and well, I wanted to be there, but I couldn’t.

Since I was running about five minutes early to work, I stopped by Starbucks for a coffee. As I left the building with my drink and started walking to the car, a woman (who was unbuckling her child’s car seat) backed away from her car, looked at me, and yelled, “What an ugly haircut! What ARE you?!?!” Since I was the only other person in the parking lot and she was looking right at me, I couldn’t really pretend that she wasn’t talking to me. SO, I pretended that perhaps she thought she knew me and that she was being all jokey. I sort of smiled and continued to walk to the car.

“No! Seriously!!! What ARE you?!?!”

She continued to scream out at me until I was feeling the adrenalin rushing behind my eyeballs. I jumped into my car, quickly locked the door behind me, started my car, and drove away as she stood and watched me with a crazy angry look on her face.

Who does that? Who singles a stranger out on a parking lot and starts screaming insults at 9:50 on a Saturday morning? Part of me is sort of proud that I didn’t say anything back to her. But, seriously, I know myself better than that. I would NEVER say anything back. (I talk a good “I Should’ve Said”, but I think we all know that I’m much more flight than fight.) Part of me is a bit disappointed that I DIDN’T respond in some way. But what would I have said without compromising a bit of dignity?

“Seriously!!! What ARE you?!?!” I think I’m still bothered by the whole thing not only because of my tendency to be a bit on the self-conscious side (I have looked at my hair several times today, and I do believe that it’s Just Fine), but because her child was sitting right there in the car seat watching the whole thing.

May I ask what you would have done?

Also, so I don’t leave you hanging, Meredith has been diagnosed with GERD. We dealt with it when she was a baby, and it seems that it’s back, and it’s stirring up all sorts of anxiety because she doesn’t want to get sick at school, and I can’t even tell you how happy I am that school’s almost out. Three more weeks. That’s it. Less than twenty days. But anyway. Today we had to leave church less than twenty minutes in because her stomach started hurting and she freaked out, and she has been crying on and off all day, and any reflux advice would be appreciated, too.

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67 thoughts on “The woman had bad roots, but I didn’t call her on it.”

  1. I read your blog all the time, but have never commented. I just wanted to say: Seriously!! What was SHE? What an incredibly rude person. I play a mean game of “I should’ve said” too. Just remember, you took the high road. Don’t let it get to you. Some people are just socially handicapped. And personally, I think your short hair looks uber cute.

  2. so weird. i just wrote a post about a situation sort of like this…where no one else is there to witness it and it seems SO OUT OF THE REALM OF APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR that it’s almost like you’re in the twilight zone.
    honestly? i most definitely think it’s best to just plain walk away from such people. loose cannons and all.
    MAN! human beings are so so crazy.

  3. 1. I think the first post I read of yours involved a video of eating cereal and my first thought was “da-amn, I wish I could pull off that hair cut as well as she does”

    2. No. Seriously. what IS she? For a considerate human being she IS not.

  4. My “I should’ve said” response to “Seriously!!! What ARE you?!?!” would be:
    “A human being, unlike you.”
    What an appalling way to behave.

    I might have snapped and ended up pouring my coffee over her but you did the adult/sensible thing to walk away.
    We only let such people drag us down to their level when we respond.

    BTW The hair cut is cute

  5. I’m noticing that your commenters here are particularly brilliant :-)

    You did the right thing. Some people just have a lot of self hate. I feel for that poor woman, needing to lash out like that just to get some reaction, or some attention. She wanted a reaction from you – is obvious by her repeating herself at you – and you didn’t give her one. So you win.

    Breathe. You’re gorgeous and you have a wonderful family and great friends. She just wanted to BE you, and had to lash out out of self-hate and jealousy. It’s sad, really.

    You rock the Casbah, babe ;-)

  6. Sheesh! The woman must have been seriously mentally imbalanced. Good that you didn’t say anything to rile her up even farther, but so sad to hear that she had a child with her.

    No GERD advice, but as a child I would get migraines that would make me vomit uncontrollably and I was also so, so self conscious and worried about it. Your poor bunny.

  7. Oh Honey. Truly, what would I have done? I would have gotten in my car and driven away from the toxic hag but would have stressed all day.
    Now, if I would have taken time to strap on the cape and tights – I would have realized that this lady has serious, serious issues and said a prayer for her child.
    For what it’s worth – I LOVE your hair. You’re gorgeous.
    As for the GERD, poor pumpkin. I’m assuming you’ve run through the dietary stuff. Have you done the 2 weeks of a PPI?
    Big Hugs to all Puddings

  8. That is SO incredibly rude. You’re a babe, and she’s a crazy person.

    My husband has GERD, too, but he hasn’t had a flareup in quite awhile. His doctor said to cut out caffeine, chocolate and citrus and to try to destress. I think yoga was mentioned.

  9. Wow. That was… wow.

    I second the “i wish i could pull that haircut off as well as you” sentiments. From the pics you’ve posted it’s very cute and suits you really well.

    I’m dying to know what that woman’s deal was though! I think you did the right thing but wow, what was going on with her? I would have been tempted to ask her what was her problem. Which would not have been smart.

    Hope Meredith is doing better soon. That can’t be easy for any of you and her worry about it on top.

  10. Clearly, crazy lady. The best way to deal with crazy is to not deal with it.

    You’re purdy, she was jealous and insane, no worries.

  11. Who does that? And what a bad example for her child. I am apalled by just the thought of that whole scene. Did they put Meredith on Nexium or something like it? That should help her a bit.

  12. Sometimes it’s hard to be a short-haired lady in this world. I don’t know why our haircuts can make some people snap like that. If I had a nickel for every time someone yelled at me about my short hair and demanded to know what I AM…well, I’d be at least a couple of dollars richer. Good for you for taking the high road.

    I was a GERD child too (back before they even coined the term GERD). My nemesis was caffeine, which I imagine you’ve already cut from Meredith’s diet. Stress and anxiety also contributed to some of my stomach ills. I was a very anxious child, so I needed a lot of reassurance from my parents that things were OK. Stomach problems are awesome!

  13. Echoing everyone else in saying my first thought was WHAT WAS SHE?!! oh that poor poor child.

    I too have admired from afar how well you pull off your adorable haircut!

  14. That whole scene was fugged UP. She’s nuts; you’re quite, quite lovely; and yes, your haircut not only looks good on you, it is perfectly within the normal spectrum of haircut derivatives. But once (years ago) a small boy in a grocery store spit nut shells at me for no reason, and I’m still stewing over that, so good luck letting it go.

    A small thing about GERD that may help – check the waistbands of anything Meredith wears for tightness. Smock dresses are the best, but beware of tights and even tight underwear elastic. When you’re feeling poorly, even a little too much pressure in that region can lead to real triggering discomfort.

  15. FURIOUS!
    I think everyone else has said all of the positive and encouraging things I was thinking to say to you my friend but I have a darker side and as soon as I read your post I starting smiling and humming AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds”
    MWUHAHAHAHAAHA!

  16. I agree that she sounds a bit mentally unbalanced. It’s sad that the kid had to witness such an odd outburst, but I guarantee it had nothing to do with you personally. Maybe you just saw a bit of Turrets in action.

  17. I am about 50/50 fight or flight, so depending on the day I would have done either:
    1. Exactly what you did. OR
    2. Said something along the lines of, “I’m sorry can I help you with something?”

    #2 only would have happened because she had a child in her car, and I would be wondering why she was screaming in front of a car.

    Best of luck with the GERD – my son had that as a baby and had to sleep for the first six months of his life sitting in a bouncy chair with his head lolled over to the side like a Raggedy Andy doll. I hope it doesn’t come back, but take notes for me in case I need your help later, please.

    Also – I’m on board with everyone here who only dreams of being able to pull off your supercool hair.

  18. Generally a lurker here, but had to chime in on this one. You are lovely. That woman clearly has a major personal problem. Normal people do not confront strangers in that manner. Even though it would have been really fun to just go up and punch her squarley in the face, I think you responded most appropriately.

  19. Ditto all above. Only yesterday I was sitting in church admiring the quite short, cute haircut on a woman in front of me. It was a cut very similar to yours.
    One has to have good features to pull off a cut like that. You wear that cut well and it looks great.
    The woman was a nut. Never mind that she could have been ranting at someone else with a short haircut who was growing it back out after chemo. What does she say to bald women with bandanas? Clearly a loon. Leave her behind and hold your haircut high!

  20. The woman in the parking lot was a nut, not the woman whose haircut I admired in church. I’m sure the woman in church is a lovely God fearing individual like the rest of us. Just had to clarify, since I didn’t manage to do so in the first comment.

  21. Oh no she didn’t? I don’t think I have ever commented before, however that woman apparently just step foot out of her trailer and was still a little bit intoxicated. You are a better woman than I to have not said something to her.

  22. I, myself, have GERD. What has helped me is 40mg of Omeprazole daily (which is the generic for prescription strength Prilosec.) It works by decreasing the amount of acid that your stomach produces in the first place. Beyond that? Tums. For me, it usually hits at bedtime – although it does hit out of the blue at other times. Obviously, she’s a kid, and drugs might not be the right route – but MAN it can hurt. I also have a couple ulcers that can add to the pain. But – if it’s severe enough, it’s worth talking to the doctor about.

  23. First off: The haircut is adorable. I wish I could pull it off. Secondly: Have you seen those commercials for First Community Credit Union, where the woman has hair that looks like the Flying Nun’s wimple? I saw a woman at QT today that had that same hairdo. It was like she went to her hairstylist with a screenshot of that commercial. I had the good manners to keep my eye-popping reaction to myself and save my comments for Facebook.

  24. should’ve replied, “what AM i?! i am too polite to say what i’m really thinking right now.”

    ahem.

  25. Re: GERD, which I have.

    1) No caffeine, no carbonation
    2) Lots of small meals during the day, which I know is tricky at school. If she can swing some small, easily digestible snacks every couple of hours, it will help her feel better. Even just soda crackers.
    3) No orange juice, tomato sauce, acidic things
    4) If she can swallow pills, try tagamet or prilosec until she can get calmed down
    5) teach her yoga breathing–stress is a GERD accelerator. Sometimes, when my stomach is a huge mess, stepping away and just breathing deeply will get it calmed down
    6) No dairy — milk, cheese especially. Eliminating dairy cut my GERD symptoms by at least half, in terms of number of flares.

    I hope she feels better soon!

  26. Please don’t question your reaction to this incident. I would have squared off with the crazy lady and fought back and the outcome of any altercation with someone like that is usually the threat that she will be calling her alien destroyer backup. The lady was nuts-o.

  27. People like Random Whore Mommy are exactly why I carry a flame thrower in my trunk.

    I can’t fathom such things happening in St. Louis. Aren’t you midwestern types supposed to be happier and more polite and junk?

  28. I can relate to you on all events that took place.

    This was about 8 years ago, I had just gotten my hair cut. It was a very short hairstyle. I was grocery shopping and a woman and her daughter passed by me and said while pointing at me, “she’s one of those!”. I thought what does one of those mean? I too, am very self-conscious about my hair (People have always made comments or made fun of my hair, my entire life). I didn’t say anything to them either… I just kept walking. I think that is the best thing to do in that type of situation. For one thing, I was taken by surprise that anyone would outwardly make a personal comment about someone… what the hell?!?

    Regarding GERD, Eli had that severely when he was a baby. He was prescribed prescription zantac when he was an infant. When he was a toddler until around 6 years old, he would vomit at least once a day, usually it would be many more times a day. It was just part of my daily life having to deal with him vomiting and getting so worried and upset over it. He too, would also anticipate feeling sick to his stomach and that would add another dimension to his GERD. He started having ALOT of anxiety and that would trigger him vomiting, and vice versa. It was a vicious cycle.

    He still, to this day has GERD, but has better coping skills and takes medication that helps with the symptoms.

    I know the feeling of counting how many more school days, and worrying if he is going to be able to make it through the day. It’s so hard. Hang in there.

  29. “I’m a fashion model. Why do you ask?”

    “Just got out of Dachau. Why do you ask?”

    “I’m in solidarity with my cancer surviving sisters. Why do you ask?”

    I mean seriously, WTF was her problem? I’m a bit inclined to agree with the suggestion that there may have been a tiny bit of Tourette’s Syndrome involved — or a big out-of-control self-esteem issue on her part. What was she *thinking*??!

    That hircut is *you*, FP. Don’t doubt your confident style for a single second.

    And as for MC, poor baby :-(

    No advice from here, but add my hugs to the pile of sympathetic ones flooding in from your other readers.

  30. It’s difficult (if not impossible) to respond reasonably to crazy people. She was looking for a reaction, not an answer, so what you did was perfect. Ignore the bad behavior, reward the good!

    Poor poor Meredith – I have no advice to offer, just hope she starts feeling better soon.

  31. I probably would have said, “not crazy, unlike you.” But sometimes it’s best to just back away from the crazy.

    Sympathies to MC. Poor her and poor you.

  32. What if her luxuriously long hair (because of course her hair was perfect if she was dishin’ on somebody else’s) was hiding a bluetooth headset? I can’t count the number of times somebody nearby suddenly starts talking and I turn and start to respond. And then get very agitated that I wasn’t cool enough for them to be talking t0 instead!

    GERD: I developed IBS in college and ulcers and other fun stuff like that. Its been under control for years, but this week suddenly I’m popping the Rolaids Plus softchews (tropical fruit is atually palatable.) I have 19 days until our wedding, and last week work assigned me 2 major projects due in the next two weeks. Freakin’ out a bit here!

  33. I love to think that I would have said something to shut her right up and put her in her place, but I know I would have run away and probably cried. You did the right thing. It’s a bad idea to engage the crazies. Keep on keeping on. Your hair is super cute.

    I hope Meredith feels better, too.

  34. Here comes your alternative lifestyle friend to add another dimension to things. =) It is, afterall, what I do.

    Having many transgender friends, and having dated some transgender folks, I’m not at all foreign to the concept of someone being extremely outwardly rude towards something/someone they don’t understand. Short hair on women, to some people, equals lesbian or (god forbid) a trans-man (born female and living as a male in some way). My guess is this woman might even have someone in her life that falls under this category, and judging by her reaction to you, isn’t dealing with it at all well. (And for the record, you look NOTHING like a trans-man, but some folks just stereotype everyone and everything).

    Regarding GERD, I also have to respectfully disagree with the woman who said no dairy…especially milk or cheese. These are often the only foods I can keep down if things are acting up. Acid is part of the the issue, and dairy products are bases, which equals out the pH.

    Since I tend to thrive on pushing people out of their comfort zones (at times), I would have probably challenged the hell out of that lady. Not necessarily the right thing to do, but my attitude and mouth often are quicker to the draw than my reasoning ability. =)

  35. A similar thing happened to me once at a store I worked at. I had short hair as well and some guy came in, looked at me, and said “What ARE you?” I was temporarily stunned into silence but fortunately a coworker piped up on my behalf and said “She’s a fully functioning human female. What are you?” That was the end of that. You were right to walk away from that woman. She was crazy.

    I hope Meredith feels better soon.

  36. the HELL? I don’t think I’ve *ever* come across someone THAT blatantly and obnoxiously RUDE. I’m pretty sure I would have said something to her. At the least, my blood would have been boiling behind my eyeballs and my heart would have been beating 1,000,000 times a minute and I would have freaked out about how amazingly HORRIBLE that woman was for the rest of the week. I think I’ve got to admire that you ignored her. Because it’s not you that has a problem, it’s HER, and it adds nothing to your life or the goodness in the world to respond to her idiocy.

    HORRIFYING. That woman is simply HORRIFYING.

  37. Wow. I teach 7th graders and they aren’t even this rude. The first C word that came to my mind wasn’t Crazy for this woman. It reminds me of the time that the woman doing my nails asked me if I had ever tried weight-loss pills. Some people just shouldn’t be interacting with others. What a d-bag.

    You, my friend, are absolutely beautiful and witty and smart. And you are my dear friend.

  38. Wow, what an asshat! I would like to think I would have a witty response, but I think I’d probably drive home and cry. Who would say that?

  39. What would I have done? Two words. MOLOTOV. COCKTAIL. You know what I’m talkin’ about.

    OR you could have told her that your dead grandmother thought your hair was FABULOUS.

    Or a creepy smile, a wink, and a sing-songy, “You’ll find out….” before hopping into your car.

    But enough about me and my sociopathic tendencies.

    Re: GERD, I have no advice, but I can tell you that my girl child threw up every single day of her life until she was somewhere around 5 years old. I am not exaggerating, yo. EVERY DAY. We fretted to the pediatrician at every single checkup, but she told us the girl would likely outgrow it, and apparently she did.

    HOWEVER, kid with a tummy ache = NO FUN, and I sincerely hope Meredith gets some relief soon. My boy child, who was never a puker, has always perseverated on his health and the anxiety of whether he would get sick in school would be PARALYZING for him. So YIKES, nothing but sympathy, hope it gets better!

  40. She really said that? She should be ashamed! People are unbelievable and stories like this remind me that, sometimes, I really don’t like them.

  41. Lots of hugs to you over the crazy woman incident. In Australia, the first response to “What ARE you” is always “What are YOU?” But as you obviously aren’t in Australia, she was obviously crazy. Normal people don’t do that stuff, especially not nice polite normal American people. I personally am extremely jealous of how good that haircut looks on you, don’t even think about changing it because of some fruitloop in a carpark. Hugs to your little girl, too.

  42. Why does short hair on women make people uncomfortable? I don’t get it. I wear my hair similar to yours and once had someone ask me “why do you do that to yourself?” huh?

    You totally took the high road on that one. And you rock the the short hair.

    Hope Meredith is feeling much better.

  43. I feel for you! This reminds me of a dreadful experience I had about eight years ago. It was late at night and I was walking out of Dierbergs with my grocery cart. I used the pedestrian walk way, knowing that a car was coming, but figured he would stop because I had the right of way (isn’t that the law?). Anyway, it was a truck full of guys and it pissed them off that I walked out in front of them – I guess they had planned on cutting me off, but I got there first. Anyway, they yelled at me out their window, then preceded to continue yelling at me as I put my groceries away. I was shaken up, but I put the groceries away slowly and put on a cocky smile. Suddenly I felt like I was back in 7th grade when the girls were ganging up against me in gym class. I considered going back in the store to report their behavior. I considered calling Kris on the phone so he could come kick their ass (of course I would have been waiting a while considering he was 20 minutes away.) And, I considered spewing expletives back at them. If I had a weapon, I probably would have considered physically hurting them, too. But, I did none of these and just drove off. This experience plagued me for days. I was mad at myself for letting them get away with their behavior. To make myself feel better, I told myself that karma is a bitch and they would get theirs. Okay, I just said two bad words. Sorry about that. Anyway, in the end, I took the biblical and psychological approach. Psychological Approach = they probably have horrible lives and mother issues, which equates to them hating and disrespecting women. This is their way of lashing out for the pain they feel inside. Biblical Approach = “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44) and “Do not repay anyone evil for evil (Romans 12:17). Honestly, the biblical approach made me feel better, because it felt good to know that the Big Dude was on my side. Hope this helps…

  44. I wonder if that woman was on a dare or something. Like she was TRYING to engage you for some reason; maybe it was a sick, misdirected cry for help. But in your situation, I think I would have done the same thing. Love the suggestion of a creepy smile/wink followed by “You’ll find out soon enough!” suggestion. I’ll try that if it ever happens to me.
    So sorry to hear about your baby. No fun. Thank goodness for insurance and for doctors!

  45. So right on in how you handled the nutso. I really don’t see any upside in having engaged in a conversation or, even worse, a confrontation.

    Good luck with Meredith. My youngest boy has these same issues. They come and go, mostly with the stress for mine. Good that there is just three weeks left of school so she won’t stress about that.

  46. How absolutely strange and horrible of that woman! I probably would have left without saying anything either. And, for the record, I only wish I could carry off your haircut and look as good as you do. I have serious short hair envy.

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