I shouldn’t have done it. Really. It wasn’t the brightest thing for sure. I rarely ever snap, but this was a clean break! I don’t even know why. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it does.
I ran into a drug store for a bottle of benadryl and started the rat like maze walk up and down every store aisle to find it. At the end of one aisle I almost walked over a little 8 or 9 year old girl who rounded a corner opposite of her mother. The mother apologized for her daughter and pulled her to her side of the aisle.
I smiled and said the customary, “Scuse me” and continued my search. I turned up the next aisle and a big, no … a huge, muscular defensive lineman guy about 24 or 25 years old was halfway up the aisle with his back to me.
All I could see, besides his highly defined arm muscles, was his sweat pants halfway down showing his underwear. They weren’t boxers either. They were whitey tighties that showed the distinct impression of what should’ve been covered up. Knowing the mother and child were one aisle over, I just reacted, nuclear reactor style.
Walking up the aisle to him my tongue started burning rubber in 5th gear while my brain stayed in park. In a demanding, do it now voice, I chided the guy saying, “Pull up your pants! You look like an idiot!”
Shocked, the guy turned toward me and by now I was right up on him. Honestly, it’s surprising how big 285 pounds of mostly muscle looks up close. Undeterred, with a frown on my face and irritation in my tone, I started.
“Do you know where that started?”
Before he could answer, I answered… “In prison. Do you know what it means in prison?”
This time he quickly tweeted in his answer, “Yeah”.
Looking him eye to eye I told him, “Then what are you doing? It’s not fashion. It looks stupid. You don’t even have on boxers dude! It’s whitey tighties! There’s a mom and a daughter right over there!”
Going from 5th to 6th gear I raced on.
“Come on man! Have some respect for them! And dress yourself like a man. Ain’t nobody want to see your white underwear!”
I wasn’t in his face, but close, certainly close enough to see the details in his eyes, which didn’t show anger, gladly, nor surprise, surprisingly, but amusement, just simple, pure, amusement. His eyes looked like when someone is listening to a personally interesting story that somehow speaks truth to them.
He reached back and pulled up his pants. Without changing expressions and still a tad bit of irritation in my voice, I told him, “Thank you!”
He started smiling and said, “No problem”, and added for good measure, eyes still shining, “You’re cool man!” I nodded my head in appreciation and told him, “Have a good one” and continued to search for benadryl.
Immediately I felt guilty for jumping on the guy out of a reaction instead of a calm, logical thought process, but I can’t help wondering why he responded like he did.
Why was he amused? Was he glad? It was like he wanted to be challenged. Maybe if he had gotten defensive or angry I would have felt justified, but he was amused?
Maybe he’s a mercenary, trained assassin who just passed me by on a simple test to him. Maybe he was an under cover cop and I was blowing his cover. Maybe I reminded him of his dad, or maybe a coach he’d had? Or maybe he just felt like an idiot already and needed someone to pull him toward the center lane?
It worked, I guess.
But after thinking about it a while, I think a man whose tongue works faster than his brain is just as irritating, maybe even worse, than a pair of pants not pulled up high enough. I don’t know. Just thinking….