Yesterday and this morning when I walked Alvy over to the coffeeshop, there was this one regular who no one really likes making small talk with me about how I’m still pregnant. A few customers stop and speak to her every day, but she tends to say really off-putting, offensive things and the number of chatters has dwindled significantly during the time I’ve been employed there. I’ve actually had people ask me what’s wrong with her, or admit me to me that they come in less often or at odd times in an effort to avoid her. She comes in every morning of the week the moment we unlock the door except for Saturdays, when she comes in an hour after we open. In four years, I can count on one hand the mornings I have worked that she never showed up. Usually, holidays, and she announces it in advance. I guess so we won’t worry.
We’ll call her Daisy Trump. She has this weird, thin, grey-ish (not blonde, not brown, not exactly grey — almost colorless) comb over thing going on with her hair that looks a lot like a female version of Donald Trump’s style. She’s also apparently a big fan of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, because she regurgitates things she’s heard on TV and the radio without giving them much thought. She wears Mom Jeans — high-waisted, tapered, light-washed denim that does nothing for her figure — and hunches over a little when she stands and walks. She’s sort of pigeon-toed and has an almost-imperceptible lunge, like the top half of her body is propelling her against her will and the bottom half is just along for the ride. I’m assuming she has this gait because of a car accident she never stops talking about that happened in, like, 1983.
We all figure she has probably never had sex in her life. If she got laid, she might not be as irritating and nosy. But her life revolves around the coffeeshop and gossiping to everyone about everyone else. I know how old she is because she once asked me how old Sarah was. I told her and she responded, “Oh! I thought she was closer to my age, 46.” Ummmm, no, there’s a twenty year difference. “Well, you know,” Daisy went on, “It’s hard to tell because of her body . . .” And proceeded to make this top-heavy motion with her hands. “And she just looks and acts really tired all the time.” You can’t even dignify stuff like that with a response. This is what I mean about Daisy — she tries to make things sound like simple observations, but she’s really just being insulting and negative.
She once tried to strike up a conversation with me about universal health care after (or right around the time) Obama had been elected. She was saying that Canadians will move to (or attempt to somehow defraud) the U.S. in an effort to receive “decent” health care here because the “socialized medicine up there is so bad.” She then volunteered the fact that her insurance company sued her for a settlement she got from her car accident and she had to file for bankruptcy. This came up during the same conversation, which I found odd. I pointed out that, in a universal health care system, she would not have had to worry about hospital bills and could not have been sued by an insurance company but she just ignored me and kept talking about whatever Bill O’Reilly told her.
No one is sure if she has a job. I’ve seen her around campus at IUPUI, at two different libraries miles apart, and once at a Target store, all at odd times during the day. She drives to our store from her apartment downtown every morning. She turns off her headlights when she pulls into the parking lot, which I find extra-strange because it’s often still dark out at 6am and she just coasts into a parking space. She has scared more than one unsuspecting person by doing this. She has used to “N” word twice while talking to me. I asked her to not use it because I thought it was offensive and she said she only meant it in the “literal sense, like an ignorant person.” I said using that term was ignorant and she didn’t speak to me for almost a week. That was nice.
She also enjoys making homophobic jokes (which is amusing, considering she throws herself at every man who walks into the coffeeshop that isn’t wearing a wedding ring — about 75% of these guys are gay). Apparently she used to bring in comic strips she printed off from the Internet that were sexist, as well. One of our former employees snapped at her for doing it once and asked her to never bring in something like that again. She once started to say something really racist about the Olympics — implying something about black people and people of African descent being better at certain sports and this somehow being unfair to white competitors. I’m sure my mouth fell open as she was speaking. Then, one of our other regulars (who just so happens to be black) walked in and Daisy stopped talking. I asked her to finish what she was saying, and said, “Oh, no, I’m done.” And I was like, “Go ahead, I didn’t hear all of what you said. Finish.” And she just clammed up.
A young black guy worked at our store briefly a few years ago. He was training to be a supervisor and came in to open one morning. Apparently, Daisy pulled up and saw him inside. With all the lights on. Wearing an apron. Clearly baking and putting things in the pastry case. So she called 911 and reported that the store was being robbed. Take from that what you will.
Daisy is a nasty gossip. I say “nasty” because everything that comes out of her mouth sounds like she’s telling on someone or making fun of them. I’ve heard her say, at least half a dozen times, that Sarah’s little boy “has so much hair he’ll probably be bald by the time he’s 30.” She’ll meander over to the register where we have a photo of the boy for people who ask to see it. Daisy snatches the photo and shoves it in people’s faces, laughing about how witty she thinks her joke is. To me, it just sounds like she’s making fun of an infant.
She was in the store when Sarah called right after having her baby. I’m told she got up from her table and stood as close as she could to the people on the phone in an effort to hear every word, then asked them for details after Sarah hung up. She then proceeded to share this information with every single customer who walked in the door that morning. The next morning I worked, a customer who is nice and chatty with her walked in. Daisy jumped from her chair and lunged over to the other woman. “Did you get my email last night? About the baby?” The way she said it made it sound like gossip: SARAH HAD A BABY. Gasp! Also, I can’t believe someone would willingly give her their email address.
Yesterday she made a remark about how she was surprised to see me at the store. Of course, I just said, “Well, here I am.” Because, duh, I’ve obviously not had a baby and when she said it, it didn’t sound like “Oh! You poor thing.” It sounded like an accusation. Today she walked in while I was talking to Sarah and said the same thing. She accused me again: “Weren’t you due yesterday?” It bothers me that she has this piece of information. How does she know what my due date is? Clearly, she asked and asked until she got it. I purposefully shared with her almost nothing about my pregnancy so as to avoid being a topic of conversation for her to gossip about.
As I made my way towards the front door, she asked if there was “another date.” I just looked at her and said no. “Oh, so whenever it comes, then?” She continued to pump me for information and I had this visual image of her sitting at a public computer at the library, trying to email as many people as she could: Did you hear? Courtney’s overdue. She’s going to be induced on such-and-such date.
But she got me a few moments later when she said “I can’t believe that thing hasn’t come out yet, considering your size. You’re really massive.” She then said something about how difficult my labor is going to be because it’s such a huge baby. That pissed me off, especially coming from a woman who’s never had children, let alone gotten laid. I hate it when people say things about how large my belly is. For Christ’s sake — I’ve been effing pregnant since September of LAST YEAR. I stand barely an inch over five feet tall. What do you expect me to look like?
So I said, “Well, we just had an ultrasound and she wasn’t even seven pounds.” I immediately regretted it. Daisy’s eyes got really wide and she said, “Oh, it’s a she, then? I didn’t know that yet.” She was super-pleased with herself for gaining this priceless bit of info. As if we’ve been holding out on her and she tricked me. Which we have been, and which she did. And I am so disappointed for letting that slip. I’m sure she’ll be telling everyone that walks in the door this morning. Courtney’s having a girl. Did you hear? Courtney’s having a girl.
It’s like a skill. Daisy Trump just has this innate ability to make the tiniest or most positive of things into something negative or nasty.