All right, so I want to eat better in 2015. So what did I do today? I left the house after 1 pm without having eaten anything at all, so after mailing a package I swung by McD’s before heading to Starbucks, where I will endeavor to write as many run-on sentences as I can, because…the Influence of Buddah Pest.
It was pretty busy, but this McD’s is fairly efficient, so I didn’t have to wait long for my 6 chicken nuggets and small drink (no I don’t know why I ordered a small when a large is the same size.) I got my tray and say down, and as I bit into the first nugget a teenager with an attitude problem was at the counter, yelling—loudly—at the cashier because she handed him a medium cup instead of a large.
Same price and all that, but he’d ordered a combo meal, and that comes with a medium.
He didn’t care.
He yelled until he turned red, practically spitting as he ramped up, leaning into the counter with his hands flat on it. The cashier took a protective step back, the guy in line behind the kid took a step forward, the manager was running from the restroom, when at the door came a bellow that stopped everyone in their tracks.
Lesson this kid probably learned today? When you live in a small town, your Mom just might go to the same place as you for lunch.
The air crackled with the electricity of her anger, and it went quiet as she barked out his name, followed with a disappointment-laden, icy, loud, How dare you?
Yes, Markus, the rest of us wondered as well, How dare you?
She stomped toward her son, who stood there with his mouth hanging open and eyes turning red with tears he was fighting, and she lit into him.
I am so ashamed. I cannot believe that you would treat anyone like this.
Markus tried to defend himself, but with one swipe of an index finger pointed at him, she went on. I don’t care if she spit in your food. You do not treat anyone like this. You never treat someone without respect.
He managed to nod.
Your apology had better be real.
And it was. He was as apologetic as I have ever seen anyone, but the blow came afterward, when he had said he was really sorry, after she had told him to put his bicycle in the back of her car, and grounded him for two weeks.
You are not the man I thought you were.
Markus’s tears broke free, slipped over his cheeks, and he looked broken. He apologized again and ran out the store. His mother apologized profusely to the cashier and everyone around her before following him out.
By the time I finished my last chicken nugget, people had just begun to talk again, still stunned at the entire display. I got up, shoved my trash into the can and walked out toward my car.
Markus’s mother was parked two slots away; he was slumped in his seat, head leaning against the window, and she was crying her eyes out.
Markus wasn’t the only one broken today.
I truly hope they can heal.