Saturday, November 05, 2016

On encountering a clueless Trump supporter at the grocery store

I wasn't going to let one nasty Trump supporter ruin my day with my daughter Annie.

Annie had wandered over to the King Soopers service counter searching for a bus pass. We were trying to get her situated on her first day in Denver or, I should say, Aurora. When I lived in Denver in the 1980s, Denverites were always clear about the demarcation between their city and Aurora, which is not exactly a city and not exactly a suburb. It's crowded, just the same.

I waited in the check-out line behind two gray-haired white women. They were nattering about the election. I wasn't aware that they were Trumpies until one of them plucked one of the weekly rags from the news rack and pointed at the cover story labeling Hillary a liar and a racist.  Then they started to talk to the cashier about the election and the cashier was trying to shake her head and nod at their comments while still doing her job. This has been a common sight the past couple months. People trying to get on with their jobs while customers fling their political opinions at them. I was in the Cheyenne King Soopers a few weeks back and the cashier flung his Trumpisms at me and I vowed never to go to that cashier again.

These two women finished up their order and made way for me. I exchanged pleasantries with the cashier as she scanned my order. One of the gray-haired women returned and told the cashier she had forgotten her cash. The cashier said she'd have to wait until she was finished with my order and she seemed pleasant enough. While I bagged a few of Annie's groceries, the Trump supporter again started talking to the cashier about the election. The cashier said, "I don't know," and I looked over at me and said, "What do you think?"

"About what?"

The customer said, "Is that woman going to win the election?"

"You mean Hillary?"

She nodded.

"Hell yes."

The customer shook her head and said one of the usual tired Trumpisms about how Hillary should be in jail.

I replied that we can't have someone like Trump at the wheel, we need someone with experience like Hillary.

The woman sputtered and fumed. Or maybe she fumed and sputtered, Not sure which. Looking back, I know one thing -- we all get comfortable with our opinions when sharing with like-minded folks. Then we sputter and fume when someone has a dissenting opinion.

The woman got upset. "I'm surprised someone hasn't shot her."

I told her that was a horrible thing to say and she should be ashamed of herself. Assassination is an abomination.

"I didn't mean..."

"I know what you mean. I've heard that before from Trump people."

"Well we are military and that woman..."

"I don't care. Trump will send your sons and grandsons and granddaughters off to fight a stupid war. He's a nutball."

The adjacent cashier turned to me and raised her hand. "Here's a high five."

I returned the remote high five. I could see that my cashier was flustered. Why did I have to ask this old guy from Wyoming about the election? Wasn't this old lady bad enough? She got busy bagging the groceries and the woman customer sputtered and steam poured out of my ears. Other customers looked at us with a mixture of revulsion and perplexity. It was time to wrap this up. I paid my bill and the woman got her cash and scurried away.

"That's the last time I bring up the election," the cashier said, handing me the receipt.

Just make sure you don't ask me, I thought. What I said was, "Tuesday will be here soon enough."

She grinned, sort of, and moved on to the next customer. I moved on with my daughter's groceries. Annie joined me at the door. I told her what had just happened.

"I missed the drama," she said.

I wanted to say that she was plenty good about stirring up her own drama but I let it go. I wanted to be in the moment and away from Trump people whom I have vowed not to call crazy because it demeans people who struggle with mental illness, people like Annie. Besides, the Nov. 4 air was warm and the sun was out. It was Friday afternoon. Everyone we dealt with on this day in Denver/Aurora had been friendly and helpful. Everyone except the Trump supporter. She'll have plenty of time to be miserable once the results come in on Tuesday.

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