Dear Crotchety Old Lady at the Dollar Store,
I’m not going to judge you, even though you were clearly judging me. I’m not gonna call you mean, because you chastised me and my children, or cheap, because you were buying a 4-pack of toilet paper, even though I’m a toilet paper snob. (Truly, you should not skimp on the stuff you use on the most intimate part of your body.) However, I’d like to clear up a couple of things:
Yes, Hazel, my 9-year old bumped into you and didn’t immediately apologize. But she didn’t deserve the venom in your voice when you said, “You just knocked into me; you should say you’re sorry,” especially when she said so before you could even finish your sentence. I may be wayyy reading into this, but I felt like you thought she was a brat. And frankly, crotchety old lady, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, if my parenting has one central tenet kinda like Chris Rock’s “keep ’em off the pole,” it’s that I’m not raising any brats. And Hazel is the most empathetic person I know. When she was about two, her father fell down the stairs, holding her in his arms. The first thing she said before bursting into tears was, “Dada, are you OKAY?” So if you’re wondering why my husband said, “Well, now she apologized, so we’re good here” like he was one step away from punching you in your crotchety face, that’s why.
And yes, we let each of our kids buy some $4 worth of mechanical pencils, pens, and post-it notes from the dollar store. Again, perhaps I”m misinterpreting you, but when you tried to put on a faux cheery voice and said, “Wow, you kids must have done something realllly good to deserve all that stuff,” it seemed like you were implying that they were spoiled. Well, guess what, COL? They bought that bounty of dollar store goods with their own money. We took it out of their ledgers when we got home.
And they earned that money by doing Hour of Power™ every weekend. And before you jump to conclusions that my kids do a shot of beer every minute for an hour every weekend, as I bet you might based on your history of judging, let me assure you that this particular Hour of Power™ is an hour of cleaning during which the whole family cleans the house to the sweet beats of Hazel and George’s Spotify mixes (a 1/2 hour each). (Special credit to my friends Nisha & Ian for inventing the family cleaning version of Hour of Power™.) Those “brats” put away their things, emptied the dishwasher, scrubbed toilets, and vacuumed floors to earn the money to buy their dollar store office supplies. And they did it while jamming to four different versions of SexyBack (one instrumental), which is irrelevant, but I think it paints a nice picture.
So no, I’m not asking you to give my kids a Werther’s Original or anything, but at least give them the benefit of the doubt. They’re good kids who do good things, and they’ve done nothing to earn your disdain.
So considered yourself warned, lady. There are two things I won’t hesitate to do: spring for premium toilet paper and cut a bitch (proverbially speaking) who goes after my kids.