Out of all of my lifelong regrets, my biggest and most prominent ones are the instances in which I accidentally upset someone with something I did or said, most likely because I was either trying unsuccessfully to be funny, or because I was just not thinking about what was coming out of my mouth until it was too late. I’m sorry to say, large surly gentleman, that it seems to have happened again, and I want to apologize for making you angry.
I’m not going to apologize for getting in line in front of you. There was one freaking lane open and two trillion customers waiting in it, and I was third. You were last. Person number one was being helped, person number two was already loading her giant cart full of numerous items onto the belt, and so when the adjacent line opened up and the guy said “I can take the next customer,” he was referring to me, not to person number twenty-three.
I’ll admit that you probably had your hopes up, what with the space between registers being far too small for me to fit my cart through, and you probably saw me struggling to get over and thought that this was your chance. I certainly saw you looking at me, and then saw you start to sprint towards the open cashier. And it was at this point that my animal instinct took over and I became a creature of pure feral emotion. I abandoned my children, who were sitting in the cart (and were the only reason I had a cart in the first place), grabbed the one item I needed to buy, and slipped quickly between the registers, narrowly cutting you off and slammed my 28 lb box of kitty litter onto the belt. I am not apologizing for any of this.
What I do want to apologize for, and which I want you to know was purely instinctual, was turning around and yelling “Ha HA!” at you with a wild grin on my face. This was clearly an error on my part. I don’t recall if there was pointing or not, but if there was, I apologize for that too. Somehow I got wrapped up in what I felt was a friendly, schoolyard-style race or competition, and when I squeezed out a victory by the tiniest of margins, I apparently felt that some triumphant ribbing was in order. This was obviously not the case.
I did explain to my children afterwards that I had made a mistake, and that we need to be respectful of all people, not only because they are way, way bigger than us, but because it is the right thing to do, but I wanted to say it to you as well. I should have said it that day actually, but instead I chose to hide in the parking lot when you came out, so that you would not murder me. I apologize for this as well. I know that you saw me hiding, because I peeked out and saw you glaring at me still. And you had every right to glare. I was being a jerk, and then a sheepish coward, yanking my children into the cart corral to avoid your wrath. Please forgive me, and I promise to try to think before I do any more K-Mart victory celebrations in the future.
Your Former Enemy and Future Friend,