Note: I am not embellishing anything in this post. Seriously.
While shopping with a friend in an adorable, Samantha-Brown-would-so-love-this-town town, I was put in a situation I never thought I’d be in in a Minnesota town. Perusing the shops, taking in the sights and ice-cream shop/coffee shop smells, my friend and I were drawn to a little shop with a small garden/beverage cart (I’m not sure what its intended purpose was)serving as a clearance shelf well outside the store door and void of a store owner guarding it. Rather trusting of the store to place valuable 50% off Vera Bradley bags, wallets, pencils, journals, travel kits, etc. But so quaintly Minnesotan.
My friend and I meandered over in search of a good deal…and we needed to kill time before meeting another friend…
I browsed through the cart. I picked up an item. Examined it. Considered what I’d use it for. Put it down. And started all over again. My friend stood on the other side of the cart copying my movements. We commented on a few pieces. Very little talking took place.
And then my perfect Minnesota moment was burst by two elderly women. OK, I’m not sure if they were “elderly,” but they were certainly old…definitely a few birthday candles short of the nursing home but old enough to wear grandma clothes… Moving on.
The ladies flanked me. I was trapped between them in a Vera Bradley frenzy of colors.
THEN before I realized what was happening, I had a bag – I don’t even remember what it was exactly – in my left hand. Loosely I held the bag, as I was just attempting to move it over so I could see an item buried underneath it. And I had no intention of purchasing it whatsoever. But still.
There I was…holding the bag, loosely, I heard the lady to my left say, “Oh, ‘insert old lady-ish name here’ this would go perfect with your new outfit.” Before/As (I’m not sure which came first…) the lady finished talking to her friend, she TOOK the bag I was holding, loosely, in my left hand OUT of my left hand and handed it to her friend.
You read that correctly – SHE TOOK THE BAG OUT OF MY HAND!
Processing this information, I looked up at my friend. Her facial expression confirmed that the lady had indeed taken the bag out of my hand.
There was no asking. I didn’t forget to put that in–it really did not happen. There was no apologizing. I didn’t forget to put that in–it really did not happen.
She just snatched that Vera Bradley out of my left hand.
Replaying this in my mind, as I type, I wish I had used a snappy remark — maybe a Stephanie Tanner “How rude!” Or some type of “Uhhh,” or “Ummmm” sound to indicate that I was confused and irritated by the lady’s immature behavior.
It’s not like it was Black Friday. It wasn’t even a Friday. It was Monday.
In small town Minnesota. A very relaxing small town Minnesota. Really? But…replaying this in my mind, I remember that the reason I didn’t say anything…the reason I couldn’t say anything was due to my shock and the little factoid that Minnesotans are non-confrontational creatures (by default…sort of like how we’re programmed to be nice).
Without a word to either of the Vera Bradley obsessed women, my friend and I took that as our cue to get out of their way. We were no more than five feet away when my friend said, “OH MY! That lady!”
Yeah. That lady…was clearly NOT Minnesota Nice. Probably a tourist. Most likely. Definitely abusing the “respect your elders” privilege one receives upon reaching the age of 65.
Minnesota Nice is NOT a choice. It’s a way of life.
Are you Minnesota Nice…Or NOT?!