I… do not really like some kinds of shopping. Saying that might get me thrown out of the Girl Club, but seriously? To me, shopping for necessities on a Saturday is akin to taking a hammer to my head while simultaneously blasting insipid music through each ear drum AND flooding my already aching sinuses with migraine-inducing old-lady perfume.
No, I don’t exaggerate, what the hell makes you think I exaggerate? I have issues, that’s all, little issues that drive me nuts.
Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead shopping on a Saturday, but I don’t really feel much like going out for groceries after a day of attempting to convince special needs children they need to sit down while I teach them how to recognize their own names. It is physically and mentally draining, so shopping after a day of work would probably make me cry.
Shopping on a Saturday, however, may be worse and we try to avoid it at all costs. This time, however, we couldn’t wait until a better time. We were out of everything in the kitchen. Also, we get paid once a month in our school district, so that means we do most of our shopping when the paychecks are still warm. It’s also the same time that lots of folks get their monthly checks and have decided to wander around, clogging the aisles while trying to remember if they wanted tamarind paste or tamari sauce.
But this time, there were lots of errands that piled up on us, so we had to take them all on at once, which was probably one of the dumbest things we’ve ever done as a team. Our first stop was a nationally-known craft/fabric chain. The service is never exactly stellar at any of their stores, but today they managed to outdo themselves in the YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME! department.
I needed fabric for the classroom. Two yards off one bolt of fabric. No notions needed, just the flippin’ fabric. I took a number. I looked up. They were helping number 38. I had just drawn 41. I figured I could live with that, so I stood in line behind a mother/daughter team.
But the line did not move. It stayed static for a long time because the clerks were moving at glacial speed, when they moved at all. If they started talking to the customer about the weather or the project the customer was making, they stopped working, hands idle, only mouths moving.
Fine. This couldn’t go on forever, right? Tam grabbed a couple of aspirin from my purse and took herself to the women’s room while I stood with the cart. She took a long time. When she got back, I hadn’t moved. Neither had the women in line in front of me. NEITHER HAD THE WOMEN AT THE COUNTER! Why? Because BOTH customers being waited on had forgotten important items for their project and had wandered off to find them. Evidently, that meant the clerks had to FREEZE until the customers returned.
Tam went to look at other fabric while I waited. Finally, the customers at the counter were done which meant I would be next in line. Oh, the joy!
That’s when I remembered nothing happens when there is talking, and customers must always wander away to find another bolt of fabric to be cut.
Tam looked my way and hurried back to where I was standing. When both customers had wandered off to find something else to be measured and cut, I turned to the woman in line behind me. “Here, have a number 41,” I said thrusting it into her hand, “I am finished with this place.” Then I wheeled my cart to an inconvenient location, and left the store.
“That went better than I thought it would,” Tam said, “I was expecting artillery shells at the very least.”
“I did the next best thing,” I said as we climbed into the car, “I let a huge fart at the door as we were leaving.”