The Neanderthal in the parking lot
(This is a really long saga… I started writing it on Friday, about my Thursday night, and now it’s no longer current, but I’m not fixing my tenses, OK???)
So. Last night was bad. Seems like I’ve been having a lot of bad days lately! It stems from being very busy; I don’t do “busy” very well. Four of five nights this week were taken up by baseball, the other nights for the last 10 days or so taken up by other things, too, and we were in desperate need of groceries.
When I go grocery shopping, I usually go by myself, after dinner. But, that just hasn’t been possible. We were running out of everything. Bless my dear stepdad, who said, “I’ll come watch the boys if you take the girls with you to the grocery store.” So, I fed Fiala, and took Audrey and her with me. I thought, “I’ll put Audrey in Kid’s Corner. She’ll like that.” She has done that twice, and both times, she thought it was fabulous — toys and TV instead of the shopping cart.
I got paged twice within 30 minutes to take Audrey potty. I thought, “She’s not digging Kid’s Corner.” Sure enough, as I brought her back the second time, she clung and refused to go back in. I still had half my shopping to do, and no room for her in the cart, but what else could I do?
So, she went with me. Sort of. I would briefly consult my list, grab an item from the shelf, chase after Audrey who had rounded the corner, fearless of losing Mommy, off to new adventures. And, then, repeat that process seemingly endlessly.
It was getting later, and I thought, “I’d better get a rotisserie chicken to bring home for dinner.” But, they didn’t have any of the large size ones out, just the small ones that are WAY too small for our family.
So, I asked at the deli counter if they had any more. “We’ll have some more in ten minutes,” was the reply. I finished my shopping in 15, and headed back to the deli. No chickens in sight, I stood and waited, attempting to keep Audrey either holding my hand, or holding my pocket, and not biting the tomatoes in the adjacent produce department. And… Fiala started to cry. So, I now have a crying baby on my shoulder, a 2yo running around the produce department, and I’m waiting for a chicken that should have already been done. Five minutes later, it’s my turn at the deli counter, and I inquire about the chickens.
The guy pops his head in the back and says to me, “She’s bagging them up right now. Five or ten more minutes.” I waited five more minutes… No chicken. I head off to the checkout line.
As I’m unloading my groceries, crying baby on my shoulder, trying to keep Audrey’s hands out of the candy, I tell the checkout guy, David, about my wait in the deli, and ask him if he can send someone in a few to check on the chickens. He does, and the guy comes back with a small chicken.
“No. The large size. Colossal,” David and I both tell him.
He departs, and comes back with a different flavor of small chicken. “Is this the right flavor?”
“No, it’s not the flavor I’m concerned about, it’s the size. I want the larger chicken.” He leaves and comes back empty handed.
“They don’t have any large chickens.”
“What??” I ask, incredulous, feeling like my head just may burst, “No large chickens?” I can’t decide which I’m more upset about — that I’ll arrive home at 6:00 with nothing quick to feed my family for dinner, or the fact that I waited a good 25-30 minutes for those non-existent “ten minute” chickens. Am I angry? Or do I cry? I can’t decide. I take a small chicken, after all, figuring that it’ll feed the kids at least, and my hubby and I can eat later.
I go to the parking lot, and call my husband, who had taken a half-day PTO to go to the church and start installing some new recording equipment. He was planning on coming home an hour or so later, but I ask him, with no real explanation, “Can you please come home now?” He kind of waffled… then asked, “Can it wait 15 minutes?”
Now, that may have been a reasonable request on his part, but at that point, I didn’t feel like it was. I felt like my emotional world was crumbling because of a hyperactive 2yo and no chicken, and he was telling me, “No, I won’t help you.” So, I hung up. And, I didn’t answer when he called back. 😦
After I arrived home and apologized to my stepdad for being a full hour later than I said I’d be, telling him I guess I just needed a reminder about why I usually grocery shop at 10:00 at night, I set the three boys to unpacking the groceries, and sat down to nurse Fiala. I called Martin to apologize, and told him not to worry about coming home, that it was all under control now. “Well, after you hung up on me, I decided to leave, and now I’m about three minutes away.”
So, I felt worse.
There I was, nursing my baby, crying.
I get dinner together quickly for the boys, and “just in case,” read the ingredients on the small chicken. Barley malt flour was the third ingredient. ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? Gluten. I know for a fact that the colossal chicken has no gluten in it. Grr… So, I spent $7 on a chicken that only two of the six eaters in our family would be able to eat. Myself and two of the kids absolutely can’t, due to celiac disease, and Martin is voluntarily gluten-avoidant, although, technically, he could have eaten it.
So, I got out some leftover pork roast and used it as the meat for the non-chicken-eaters.
AND… I still had more grocery shopping to do, at another store.
So, my hubby said to me, “Don’t you have a Starbucks giftcard with some money on it? Why don’t you stop by Starbucks first, and get yourself a coffee, and sit down for 30 minutes or so?”
I did appreciate his suggestion…
I ate dinner, and headed out the door by myself to Starbucks and more groceries.
Well, actually, first I went back to the first grocery store, because I had checked my receipt and discovered I’d been overcharged a full $5.00. I had decided that I was going to complain about the chicken/deli fiasco, but the two people who handled my refund were so very accommodating and friendly that I just couldn’t.
Then, I went to Starbucks.
I don’t know what it is, but that Starbucks location is always freezing. Granted, this is the desert, but it’s March, and it was probably in the 50s outside, yet inside, the air conditioner was blowing full blast. I think it was colder inside than out.
I ordered my drink, feeling like a Coffee Dork because the flavor I asked for, almond, had been discontinued, “A while ago,” said the barrista, with a faraway, slightly confused look on his face. Well, I knew that the last couple of times I’d asked for almond, they didn’t have it, but I didn’t realize it had been totally discontinued, as I only make it to Starbucks about once a month, and only have my favorite frou-frou drink every other time or so… So, it could have been discontinued a good 4-6 months ago, and I wouldn’t have known.
So, I now have my “grande caramel extra-hot cappuccino,” and I’m looking around the walk-in freezer, and see that almost every one of the spots are taken up. And, I know that there are a whole bunch of smokers on the patio. And… suddenly, I don’t really feel like sitting down. Normally, I have no problem going places by myself; I enjoy it, actually, the chance to read a bit, or write a bit, by myself. But, there’s everyone with their laptops and cozy conversations, and there’s me, totally stressed out from my grocery experience, my fight with my hubby, and from me realizing I’d left my phone at home, so added to the top of everything else is the vague feeling of, “What if everything’s falling apart at home, and Martin is trying to reach me, and I’m lounging, oblivious, inside Starbucks, sipping my non-perfect drink?” Plus, I hadn’t showered in two days, had no make-up on, PLUS I felt like a total Neanderthal because I needed to wax.
I swear I grow more facial hair than your average woman. My brows had merged in the middle, and my upper lip was starting to look like Pedro.
Stressed out, hairy, not clean… I just didn’t feel like staying.
I sat in my truck, and thought, “I’ll just jot a few things down in my journal.”
I turned on the dome light, quickly scribbled several pages’ worth, then looked at the clock. Unbelieveably, 30 minutes had, indeed, gone by.
I turned on the engine, turned on the radio to listen to the Suns blow yet another game, and headed off to the grocery store.
This is rather anti-climactic, but the next day, Friday, was much better. I showered, waxed my face, and we headed out for a day of errands, the park, and a trip to our new library, and it was really a wonderful day. 🙂