I go to PT today only to remember the hard way that they're at lunch until 2, so I go to coffee two doors down and then stop in the grocery store between on the way. I pick up bananas and hooks, noticing the tasty beef in the refrigerators but knowing they won't survive out while I get PT. So I take care of my ankle, swing back to the coffee place to borrow a moment's wifi, and then back to the grocery store to get some delicious Hanwoo beef.
As I check out I notice an ajumma standing there watching me check out. She's younger and better dressed than most but there's still no hiding an ajumma. Worse, after I put the beef in my bag, revealing the bananas, and walk towards the door I notice her walking in the same direction.
You have to understand, growing up the way I did I'm a human T.Rex. I track motion without even thinking about it. Motion in my direction, or mirroring my direction, sets up a fight-or-flight response in me, again without thinking about it. This ajumma triggered that response, and since the crutches ruled out flight...
I walk out the grocery store door, passing the tall young woman whose job it is to stand there and greet and watch. Ajumma comes up behind this woman, grabs her firmly by the bicep, talks into her ear and practically shoves this young woman towards me. I look ajumma directly in the eye, making my intentions vividly clear. The young woman looked scared poor dear, but to her credit did not come after me.
No, I wasn't shoplifting. No, I'm not intimidated. And no, you do not want to mess with me. After where I've been even an ajumma is not all that scary.