When every single one just wants a little tiny bit more then what I am offering…
When none of them say please or thank you or wait at least until the last one is done…
These are times when my shell gets worn down, when my soul resides safely a few steps away from my body. No single act, no single person may be that bad in the grand scheme, but as a swarm they are terrible and each very tiny push becomes a full assault by the end of a day.
They come in numbers to the coast every July and August effectively increasing the population of this little island by 300 percent for 8 weeks. If every person with a steady income, a comfortable place to be each night and enough food every day could be considered rich then most of these travelers are fabulously, ridiculously, more-money-then-I-am-capable-of-imagining, wealthy. Those who have lost a bit of that during various recent recessions still have the mentality.
It had been a long day. The first person came into the shop 15 minutes before we open and demanded service. It’s not that big of a deal to make one cup of coffee early right? Then the next came and then the next and then for 8.75 hours I was juggling people who are all under the distinct impression that their needs aught to take priority over everything or anything else.
One man threw a half chewed bag of cashews at me when he couldn’t find the trash can and announced, “Here that’s your tip.” He was serious. He looked proud that he had thought of a way to use his trash to help the little people.
One woman had a fit because there were only 5 croissant left and she had 6 guests arriving.
One child bit through the wrapper of a chocolate bar and his mother, who was covered in designer clothes, put a magazine on top of the chocolate bar display and left quickly to avoid paying the few dollars for the ruined merchandise.
I had been called baby, honey or sweetie by men in 12 different parties and been told to smile for a photograph be 8 of those mens wives.
Several people walked by me without any acknowledgement and into our office under the mistaken belief that they have special privileges because their family has been vacationing nearby for 150 years.
On and on and then suddenly and fantastically it was time to close. I pulled the signs in. I shut the downstairs door. I began to clean up cream stains, coffee grounds, abandoned cups and air pots.
The phone rang.
Curiosity answered the phone before better judgement got a word in.
Someone on the other end was outside insisting on being let in to collect a pound of coffee that his friends friend had won in a contest over a year before but said they could collect while on vacation and they knew that we were closed but couldn’t I just make this one exception and if I would just look on the website I would see the contest they were talking about and they really needed to get the coffee before going home to Rhode Island and geez there was an email and why was I being so difficult about this and….
I tried every polite way of saying, “No, please come back during our open hours.” Five minutes later his wife pushed past my boundaries and up the stairs to collect her prize.
I had a pound of coffee waiting on the counter. She picked it up and frowned, “This isn’t Decaf.” The man hadn’t said anything about decaf. He said any pound of coffee.
She saw the look on my face. “Well I guess we’ll take what we can get.” She pouted all the way down the stairs. It may seem strange but even their new hybrid seemed to be pouting when I watched it pull out of the parking lot.
It was the last straw. I went home feeling like I would scream. I slammed my truck door when I got home. I puffed to my trailer. A cigarette DID NOT make me feel better. I picked up my tote and went to the apple tree that was producing a full box of apples every day.
It was a fantastic fruit year.
Without so much as a hello or how do I began tearing off apples and shoving them into my bag. I thought about the summer people. I thought about how they take without asking and assume its owed to them and throw their feelings at anyone around and expect the world to give and give and give and feel entitled to all they receive and a little extra and just then I was struggling with an apple that wasn’t ready.
A crack and there I stood with the apple and part of its broke off branch in my hand.
I welled up.
I was being a summer person in the world.
There are a lot of days like that.
I can act morally superior to other people all I want… plenty of times I am stomping through the tall corn shaking down pollen with my mind somewhere else completely….or pulling beans thinking about how I’ll ferment them instead of speaking to the overwhelming generosity they descend from…and that day I was picking the apples I wanted and not the ones the tree was ready to give.
We all have moments, days, months when we are summer people.
How about lets not leave those moments to become lifetimes.
Posted on August 28, 2015, in divine intervention, Everyday Miracles, farmers, farming, heart ache, love, luck, privilege, survival, workingclass and tagged grief, mistakes, workingclass. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.