1) My daughter, for my incoherent, sleepy bitterness at 7 a.m. I was, perhaps, a little snippy. I hope this is not your first memory. Please stop waking up so early.
2) My sons, for my annoyance at 10 a.m. I don’t know why the three of you must leave empty, sticky glasses on every surface in our house, but you do. And when one of those glasses spills water on the floor, I know! You don’t notice it and I shouldn’t yell. And I am really sorry I used that old tired, “I am not the maid around here!” line.
3) That pregnant lady in a wheelchair (a wheelchair! what is wrong with me?) who wouldn’t move from her spot right in front of the picked-over jeans display at Gap Kids. I was kind to you, but underneath my grim smile, I was thinking, “GET OUT OF THE WAY!” I am the physical manifestation of impatience.
4) Those two ladies hogging the tights display at Gap Kids. Please. Move. Over. My kid is holding my place in line and I just . . . oh.
5) My kid. Hey! Sorry I spoke sharply to you, but I when I said, “Hey, stand here and hold my place in line,” I actually meant for you to tell me when it was our turn. I’ve turned into one of those hissing mothers. I’m sorry.
6) My daughter. I know. You thought: mall = merry-go-round. I don’t know why, but I’m sorry. The mall just meant clothes today. And those jeans, the ones for $39.50? Um, no. Sorry.
7) The marketing people behind the Gap empire. People! I criticized you in my mind, composing sentences describing the clothes you are selling in your store. I used words (in my head) like, “Rumpled, clothes from 7th grade–in 1977–that we wore, scribbled on with ballpoint pens, washed until they frayed, picked at with nail-clippers, crumpled into a ball (unwashed), stuffed in a black plastic garbage bag and just recently discovered.” WHAT ARE YOU SELLING, GAP PEOPLE? Did you find my clothes from seventh grade? Oh! I would never buy those old ratty clothes! (Except one pair of jeans for my son and two shirts. But that’s it.)
8) The pretzel guy and the donut guy. You could not have been slower if you’d been trained by a comatose turtle. I might have rolled my eyes at your lack of speed. I apologize. I should re-frame your slothlike movements as “deliberateness” and perhaps I wouldn’t be so toe-tapping, finger-drumming, heavy-sighing annoyed.
9) My sons, who apparently really were sick, which explains why you kept sagging as if your bones had suddenly turned to pipe cleaners. I wish you’d told me you weren’t feeling well enough to shop (in one store at one mall). Sorry I dragged you into that horror known as the mall.
10) The driver of that little black car. Hey! You were in my blind spot! Maybe you could NOT DRIVE WHERE I CAN’T SEE YOU. I apologize for calling you an “idiot driver” when you beeped your horn at me so I wouldn’t bash into you.
11) The bicyclist on the blue bike who took the corner too fast and slid into the road. I probably shouldn’t have honked my horn at you in that “YOU ARE SO STUPID” sort of way, but really! My heart almost stopped! I could have killed you and then who’d be sorry now?! Watch where you’re going!
So, I’m sorry, all of you. When I’m irritable like this, you need to just stay out of my way. Or shoot me.