My mom always said I was selfish because I was an only child, so I suppose I’ve been thinking about something that happened to me, wondering if it was my fault.
Three weeks ago, my doctor told me I had to have knee surgery due to an injury I sustained while playing softball in college. He said the longer I wait, the worse it would get and prepare myself for a long recovery.
So I started planing on a couple of weeks in bed, stocking up so I wouldn’t have to go out or ask anyone to run errands for me. I went past my favorite bakeshop, thinking I’d stock up on goodies too, and pop them in the freezer — and that was how it all started.
I have to say that Gianna’s Goodies is the best pastry shop in town. It’s a glutton’s dream come true, with every type of delicious confections and cakes you could dream of. Oh, and the smell of it! It literally makes your mouth water.
I picked out a selection of cupcakes and croissants, and then I saw the most scrumptious slices of red velvet cake. I love red velvet cake, and so I quickly scooped up the three remaining slices.
That was when I heard a voice whine behind me: “She took my cake! Mommy…SHE TOOK MY CAKE!!!”
The woman stood on the pavement, blocking my way to my car.
I turned around, and standing behind me was a woman of about my age with a red-faced snotty-nosed toddler who was pointing his finger at me and yelling: “She’s a THIEF!”
His mother immediately said: “No, Jordan, that lady bought the cake, it’s hers, she got here first.” The woman looked at me and smiled. “I’m sorry…He was really looking forward to the cake…It’s his favorite!”
And she cast an expressive look at my cake box and my precious red velvet slices. I pretended not to understand and smiled back. “Mine too!”
The woman looked surprised and then started to talk to her brat, who was by now howling his lungs out. Seriously, I don’t know how some people actually WANT to have children.
The kid sat splat on the floor, kicking his feet and screaming louder and louder, and the woman kept saying things like, “Now, Jordan, mommy promises… Next time I’ll get you TWO slices…”
But the kid took that as encouragement. He threw himself onto his stomach and started pounding the floor with his fists. An elderly lady standing next to me watching the entire spectacle commented: “In my day, he’d have gotten a slap on his bottom and no dessert for a month!”
The kid heard this and screamed even louder. “Mommy! Mommy! Don’t hit me!”
Gianna herself came out to see what was going on but ducked back in as quickly as she could. I turned my back on the whole performance and headed for the till. I paid for my treats and walked towards the door.
The screaming tantrum behind me had reached unbelievable proportions, and the woman finally tucked the kid under her arm and dragged him outside where he could howl without disturbing the customers.
But when I walked out, I was in for a big surprise. Mommy and the monster were waiting for me outside. The woman stood on the pavement, blocking my way to my car, as red-faced as the kid.
“Honestly, lady,” she said, “You could have given my son a slice! You have three, and you’re an adult; how could you be so greedy and so selfish?”
“Sorry, what?” I couldn’t believe my ears! “Listen, you should teach your son he can’t always have what he wants! And that tantrum? Seriously? How old is he? Four
The woman screamed: “Don’t you criticize me or my Jordan, you greedy pig! I’m a single mother!”
I’m ashamed to say my answer was “I’m not surprised!” and that was when she hit me. Well, that ended badly, and someone called the police, and in the middle of the tussle, the box with the cake and the pastries fell to the floor and was trampled.
No one ate that stupid cake, and I ended up with a black eye and some embarrassing scratches to explain away…
I wonder if she was right. Maybe I was selfish. Should I have given the little brat the cake?