Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Last Loaf of Bread

I guess everyone here knows that I had to deal with a major winter storm these past few days. Still dealing with it actually. My yard looks like an ice rink and the trees are absolutely gorgeous in all their crystalline glory. It’s definitely a winter wonderland—a fairy world.

But it has its drawbacks for sure.

The kids were out of school Mon, Tues, and Wed. Went back today on a two-hour delay for the middle school kid. And for the college kid—she had to brave the early morning black ice for an 8 a.m. class.

My middle schooler kept fussing and basically trashing the school district saying the roads weren’t safe—what’s wrong with these people?—don’t they want us to be safe? Etc etc etc. LOL Of course, we all know he didn’t really give a rat’s ass; school was simply interfering with him sleeping late and then getting on X Box. Secretly, I truly enjoyed this morning. I’d been dealing with him since Friday in this house and it hasn’t been an absolute joy.

So this morning I took him to school and dealt with the long stretches of icy roads in order to drop him off so he could be counted present. You see, he won’t have any actual core classes today; he’ll be in all encore classes—meaning music and gym and piano, etc. They do that on short days. And while I think he needs those classes, he needs math, science, English, and social studies more.

There does seem to be some truth to part of his rant this morning. The school really isn’t that concerned about teaching as much as they are just getting them there. It’s got a lot to do with their contracts and when they run out each summer and such for sure. No one wants to go too much over the end of the year that is set on the calendar. Neither do I. And my kid thinks that the snow days are indeed an act of God and it's God telling everyone no one should be in school that day, and therefore no student should have to make them up. Yeah. He does.

Anyway, he’s in school. But I was sitting here this morning thinking about all of the issues I had to deal with in preparation for this storm. The first thing, of course, was to make sure we had ample food and an alternative heating source.

So I went to the grocery store and stocked up on everything we would need for a four or five day snow/ice siege. We weren’t expecting the icy mess until noonish on Monday so I thought I was getting a good jumpstart on things by going on Sunday instead of Monday morning when the forecast for what was actually coming our way would be more reliable. Boy was I wrong.

The grocery store was packed. But without any choice, I grabbed a cart and entered the hoard of shoppers. My first stop was produce and the area was well stocked. No problems there. So I got some oranges and white grapes that were on sale. The aisle you hit first after the produce is the bread aisle. Well, there were several people on the aisle and there seemed to be plenty of bread. I leaned in between these two ladies who were chatting and plucked two loaves from the shelf.

Uhhhh…bad move apparently. Those two ladies turned to me and one of them said, “You got the last two loaves.” I smiled and looked at the shelf and said, “No, there’s plenty more.” She said, “Not of that brand.” I said, “Well, guess someone will have to substitute with another brand. I’ve had to do that before.” She said, “But the other brands are more expensive.”

At that point I got the feeling I needed to move on. But I didn’t want to leave with someone feeling like I was a mean person or anything, so I said, “I’ll be happy to give you one of these loaves and take one of the more expensive brands if that would help.” To which she replied in an uppity tone and her nose in the air, hand on hip. “I can afford the more expensive loaf.”

At that point I blinked a couple of times. WTF? Her companion looked down at the floor when I looked at her. I just held up my hand and smiled and pushed my cart down the airle and away from those two. Something was definitely off there. Hmmm…

I got over to the meat section and thought, well, hell, we will be without power some of the time so don’t need a lot of meat to have to store in the freezer. But I decided to do hamburgers that night—something simple so I could get back to what I needed to do on the computer before my life went to hell and I had to be without any contact with the outside world. Actually, I had a roast in the roaster at that moment. Wanted to make sure I got a few things cooked and ready.

I reached for a pack of hamburger meat. Oh shit. A woman was dead on my six. “Hey, is that all they’ve got?” I turned and stared into two of the beadiest eyes that ever belonged to a woman. I swear.

“Looks like it,” I said. She said, “They ought to take into account that people are going to need more today. I had my heart set on hamburgers tonight. I’ve got so damn much to do.”
She looked down at me—yeah, she was a tall woman—I’m short. I handed the pack to her and said, “I can cook something else. Be my guest.” She smiled, said, “Thanks.” Took MY MEAT and hightailed it up the aisle. I pushed the button for the damn butcher. He came out and I asked him if he had more hamburger meat. He said, “Yes, ma’am. Just getting ready to put it out.” I waited about two minutes and low and behold the hamburger section was replenished. Hmmm…

Next I turned to go down the drink aisle. But I backed the eff up. Too many people on that aisle for sure. No way. Headed over to cereal. Picked up a couple of boxes, and then made my way to milk. Now on the way I’m thinking…”who am I gonna have to kill for milk?”

Well, got there and there were several people standing around. I reached over, grabbed a gallon of skim and set it down in my cart. It’s like this, I wasn’t going to give up my milk. No way. So a man speaks up and says, “Oh, that’s where the skim was. I can’t find anything in all of this milk.” I smiled and pushed my cart away, but heard him say to my backside, “And, of course, she’d get the last gallon of skim. My wife is going to kill me.”

Oh well…I’ll give up hamburger and bread, but not skim milk. Ya gotta draw the line somewhere people. And mine was drawn. Nice only goes so far. Good Samaritan status might gain me brownie points at the Pearly Gates, but damned if MY KID is gonna get water poured over his Frosted Flakes!

I finally got everything I needed, but during the course of my shopping, one thing just kept bugging me to no end. SLOW PEOPLE. You KNOW who I’m talking about. Those people who park their asses cross ways in the aisles talking and debating on this product or that and have all the time in the world to do it—SEE YOU COMING—and don’t budge an inch. I mean these assholes will actually look you in the eye, KNOW you can’t get by them and keep right on talking and never even TRY to move their cart to the side. WTF? I must have said “excuse me” twenty or thirty times that day.

So I get up to the register and the line is down the aisles, of course. Only four registers out of fifteen in the store open. What’s the point of all those brand spanking new registers if no one ever operates them? Huh? Just tell me. Please. I think I was number eight in line. So after about thirty minutes of standing there…yeah, that long…I’m next in line and some woman…yeah, this actually happened. A woman walked up with her twelve pack of beer and pack of HAMBURGER MEAT and her kid with one of those little baskets you walk around with when you don’t have much to buy and put her big damn ugly BEADY ASS EYED SELF in front of me.


Oh no. She did NOT do that. Oh HELL NO. I gave her the effing hamburger meat, what else does she want from me. Thinks I’m easy pickin’s huh? Gonna bully my ass, huh?


I said, “Excuse me. I’m in line.”

She said, “I only have a few items.”

I said, “I know, but that’s not my problem. I’ve been standing in line almost thirty minutes and have no more time to give. I often allow people in front of me with less than I have but not today. It’s not fair to all of those in line behind me either.”

I started putting my stuff on the conveyer. She kept standing there. I looked up at her and said, “Excuse me” and sort of moved in so my body was blocking the conveyer and kept loading up. Now the bag boy—sweet guy, talk to him often—was taking all this in. He grabbed the microphone and called for a manager.

Beady Eye backed off and went to the end of the line. I turned around and saw everyone behind me grinning and nodding.

Yep, ya gotta draw the line somewhere. Even if it means shedding a little blood.

On a more positive note, Black Cougar Curse, the book I co-authored with the uber-talented Natalie Dae, AKA, Sarah Masters, will release on January 26th from Ellora's Cave. Hope everyone here checks it out.

Hugs to all…and pray for summer!


Cherie Reich said...

Oh, I feel your pain. And, that's why you don't go to the store the day before or day of a snow storm. People are CRAZY!

We made the mistake last year when they were calling for about a foot or more of snow. We managed to get our regular groceries fine, but we were looking for ricotta cheese. It sounded simple, right? Wrong. Three stores later and waiting in hours of lines, we finally found one container of ricotta cheese. And, we hadn't eaten dinner, and it was after eleven by the time we finished, so it was quite an adventure to say the least.

Anny Cook said...

Go, you, Tess! Heh. NEVER go shopping the day before a storm! NEVER!

Anonymous said...

I'm going shopping with you from now on!

Congrats on the release. =)

C. Zampa said...

You go, girl! Get that beady eyed ass to the back of the line where she belongs!

Oh, just thinking of that kind of crowd reminds me of our 'hurricane' rush. So overwhelming, I just want to buy a box of crackers and a jar of peanute butter and keep them all year long, just in case, no matter how stale the crackers get. LOL.
Anything to avoid the sharks and baracudas as the Kroger. LOL.

Sarah Masters said...

I dislike that beady-eyed bitch and I haven't even met her. No one treats my Tess like that!



Anonymous said...

I did the same damn thing, Sunday before the storm I hit Wal Mart. With my two boys and mother-in-law who proceeded to disappear. The 6 year old had to go to the bathroom while I had the LAST pair of snow boots in his size in my basket. You know how Wal Mart puts the bathrooms in front of the registers, so if you have stuff in your cart you have to leave it in some random spot? yeah. you can guess what happened.

Like the frigging fifth circle of hell.

Cassie Exline said...

Absolutely love "You gotta draw the line somewhere." Yes you do. Admire you for standing up to the beady-eyed hamburger woman. The nerve of some people. Glad to see you back online. We only got 4 inches, some ice, and lots of wind. Roads are plowed, then drift shut. I hate winter too.

Tess MacKall said...

I've shopped plenty of times in preparation of winter storms and hurricanes. I've never experienced anything like what I did on Sunday, though. Made no sense.

Maybe I just found myself in the middle of some "rude people movement". Maybe they were bussed in or something. lol

No ricotta cheese? Hmmm...I love ricotta, but I've had to substitute with cottage cheese a couple of times. My family doesn't know the difference really.

But I feel your pain on that for sure. When you want what you want, you just want it. I bet you WERE starving by eleven that night. Goodness, that was a long day for you.

Tess MacKall said...

Yep, Anny. I had to draw the line. And I was nervous about it too. This woman just seemed off to me.

I know, I know...never before the storm. lol But that's when ya gotta go. I'm not always well stocked. I shop for groceries once a week and it's almost always on Sundays. So I was getting pretty much out of everything anyway.

Tess MacKall said...

LOL Casey. Be my guest. We'll announce next time so everyone can buy tickets. lol

Tess MacKall said...

Damn straight, Carol--ass back to the end of the line. Of all the nerve. It takes a really odd person to do something like that.

What did she think? That I was her new best friend? Or did she think she could whip my ass? I'm short, but I'm feisty. lol

Hey, peanut butter and crackers is about all I need too. But this family of mine? Oh God...they want the works and I'd better provide it or else there will be a revolt. lol

Tess MacKall said...

LMAO, Sarah. Whore, yeah, she had to be one of those too. She was a bit on the scary side for sure.

I felt really towered over by her. But you know how it is with bullies. If you give them in inch...

I'd already given all I could. Thanks for having my back, sweetie. Love ya!

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

I got lucky, Tess. Went to the grocery store on Friday. Snow storm came in Sunday. Been through what you did in the past and don't EVER want to do it again. People can be really mean. "First come, first served" is the name of the game. They need to get used to it.

School has been out all week here. Don't know if they'll go tomorrow either. What melts, which is hardly any, with these frigid temps, only makes the roads worse. Especially country roads. I'm ready for the sweltering heat of summer. :( Each year that passes makes winter harder to take...

Tess MacKall said...

OMG LUSHA!!!!I would have screamed bloody murder had someone done that to me.

Wal-Mart is hell for sure. I avoid it these days like the plague. Why? Because of crap like that.

It's like people leave all sense of honor, dignity, and simply courtesy in the freaking parking lot.

So I've been shopping at more specialized stores these days. Spending a bit more money, but up until this past Sunday, it had been well worth my sanity.

Tess MacKall said...

Yeah, you gotta draw the line, Cassie. And I apparently draw it at milk and cutting in line. lol

We ended up with seven inches and about a quarter of an inch of ice. We had power a bit here and there, but it kept going off. I talked with one of the guys working on it in my yard and he said as soon as they fixed it, it came back down in another place. I think our county was the only one with power outages. We are a resort area and lots of trees for the tourists.

I live in a forest, so tree branches were definitely going down on power lines. The weak ones are now all gone so we're good to go for a few more years. Then Mother Nature will come in and do her job again.

Glad you weathered the storm. I'm ready for the sunshine too.

Tess MacKall said...

You're right, Lisa.

And our roads are nowhere near safe. The main roads, yes, but not the secondary ones at all. Neighborhoods are still trying to dig their way out.

I really think the school system jumped the gun. We'll hear about accidents today for sure.

Making up the days is no fun, but I'd rather do that than see someone get hurt.

Amber Skyze said...

Go Tess! I had to deal with the crowds and empty shelves. Oh and those jerks who stand cross way in the aisle.

jrlindermuth said...

Makes you wonder what some of these people would have done in the days before we had grocery stores. Feel for you, but it's just another of those joys of winter.

Tess MacKall said...

Those jerks that stand around in everyone else's way are one of the reasons I quit going to Wal Mart to grocery shop, Amber. I don't do that to anyone. I'm always conscious of being in someone's way. Ya know?

It was an experience for sure. One I do not want to repeat. Weatherman talks about something coming my way again, I'm stocking up two or three days in advance. I shouldn't have to deal with mess like that. No one should.

Tess MacKall said...

LOL Jr...I guess they would have rustled somebody else's cows. lol

If I catch them in my hen house with their grubby little paws on my eggs, I'll have to draw another line, won't I? LOL

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

I'd rather make up the days as well. Our superintendent was slow reacting to weather calls until this snow. But, after a few nasty emails from disgruntled parents, I think he finally got the picture.

Paul McDermott said...

Ooooooooooooooooh, dangerous wild animal: female plus cub, Caddilac-sized trolley and 3 items at the check-out ...

I invariably lose out because I'm that Second Class Citizen known as the Single Male Caucasian...

If I dare protest, I'm immediately called an arrogant, chauvinist, sexist, racially intolerant SOB whose mother .... etc etc

Failing all else, "Madam" will resort to the final rump and play the "me no Unnderstan' Eeeengleeesh" card ...

But seriously, you mean to say that you don't BAKE bread, knowing that you may be cut off by bad weather?
I bake because I prefer the taste, but the ingredients are cheap and last forever in the cupboard! I have about a dozen tasty recipes I'll be glad to post, if anyone's interested??

Tess MacKall said...

Yeah, Paul, if you deny certain individuals you invite an attack for sure. I felt like I was doing everything right.

But I had needs too and those needs can't always be forgotten in favor of others.

And nope, I don't bake bread--except maybe once a month I do bake biscuits.

My family is on the go right much. And I don't have time to bake. Special occasions only. LOL

Maria said...

Why is it that people act like this during a snow storm...I don't get it...I make sure that we have everything well stocked at least 2-3 days before a winter storm is supposed to set in so that I can avoid the grocery store and the crazy peeps.....Good for you to have stood your ground on the person trying to step in line

Tess MacKall said...

I don't know what's wrong with people, Maria. The entire atmosphere in that store was just frenzied to say the least.

I mean it wasn't like anyone was going to starve. Had I not gotten a loaf of bread I would have gotten biscuits and crackers. Had there been no hamburger meat left I would have picked up chicken.

My attitude was so what? But I did need milk. And had there been no skim milk I would have gotten the low fat or whole milk which there seemed to be plenty of. But why should I have given over to the man? Ya know? lol I mean, would he have handed over the last gallon of skim to me? Besides...what was the big deal? was MILK. LOL

As for cutting in line? Now that was just plain rude and uncalled for. And kind of crazy too as it was the same woman. It was almost like she was daring me to say no. Well, actually, she was. I'm glad I stood up to her but sad that it happened. I've honestly felt kind of weird about that day ever since. Scary stuff when people act that way for sure.

Hales said...

Ohh I feel your pain lol. You handled that very well. Giggles. Man people get wicked at the store it's insane and I hate being in line which is why....I mass grocery shop for the entire month at one time. Took my baby with me last time took us two hours and three baskets. Yeah we buy bulk split meat and freeze it. I only go back or send them for milk,bread and fresh fruit once a week!

People hate being behind me but I don't want to deal with what you had to :)

Valerie Mann said...

Question and a couple of comments: When did my middle-school son go to your house? I thought it was MY kid sleeping in and playing X-Box all day. Or maybe it was your son at my house? I thought he looked different. Moving on: I think that beady-eyed, beer-toting woman shops at my Food Lion. Or her hamburger-stealing twin. But man, what is it with FOOD LION?? And OMG, I had to laugh. It's a joke in our house that when a storm is coming, women stock up on the 12 mega-roll pack of toilet paper (really? How much crapping are you planning on during this storm?) and fruit, bread, eggs, milk. Men rush in for beer and burger. Always. Priorities being what they are.

Lorie Shewbridge said...

Good for you Tess, for standing up for yourself and those behind you.
Both Bill & I used to work in retail food sales (in Connecticut) and on days before (and of) a blizzard it was all hands on deck. So we had all the registers open, sorry you had to wait.
We used to call the poeple who bought TONS of food "snow people." Sure you need to do your regular shopping and get a couple of extra things, but to buy all the bread, batteries and everything in the store is ridiculous.
Because like you said, if your power goes out, what are you going to do with it all???
Glad you made it through without killing anyone.

Tami said...

I'm glad that I don't have to deal with that up here in the North Country. We get 14 inches of snow and it's like WHATEVER!

T said...

Great job Tess!
You did waaaaay better than me.
Bread aisle woulda done me in no question, with a 'mind yo bidness' to them chicks real quick!
Just shows peeps have real 'ishues'; ill-mannered, no home-training,nervy...
Hamburger chic could have at least ASKED you if you minded if she cut before she plopped her happy behind in front of you?! Fists in the air to you taking your stand!

Fiona said...

Way back in '67 in Chicago, when we got that snowstorm that crippled the entire city and surrounding suburbs, my Dad was a carpenter who was attached to one building. He slept in the attic for a week, because the trains weren't running at all, and he had no way of getting back to our near-west-side suburb. Mom had to open the garage door to see a solid wall of snow. She shoveled as much as she could, and younger brother and I went out to play. The grocery stores had been wiped clean, so there was no milk to buy! Mom got into the street and did some "bargains" with the neighbors. Dad had been doing side-jobs for a butcher, so we had huge and tasty pork chops, steaks, all kinds of cuts of meat, that he paid my Dad in along with some money. Mom traded out some pork chops for a gallon of milk. She traded for a couple of days until the delivery trucks could make it to the stores and life returned to normal. I was only 10 at the time...but I still remember when the entire city of grown-ups had to stop due to snow!

Tess MacKall said...

Hiya Hales,

I used to bulk shop. But it fell by the wayside somewhere along the way. Not sure why I stopped. I used to go to Sam's Club and buy enough bathroom tissue, paper towels, detergent, etc---fifteen lb bags of shrimp, huge packages of steaks and such. But I stopped. I guess I just got tired of making the trek into the next city. Hated it. It sucked up an entire day.

But that is the way to shop if you can handle it for sure. You save lots of money and end up saving time as well with grocery shopping in general. I might try to do a bit of that this month. That trip to the grocery store really left a bad taste in my mouth.

You know what else I used to do? Spend an entire day cooking enough meals to last my family a week or more. Yep, I'd freeze the meals and then just thaw them out and heat them up in the microwave. Why did I stop? lol

Faith said...

Tess, my dear, dear friend, I totally lost it at "Now on the way I’m thinking…”who am I gonna have to kill for milk?” Laughing at 7 AM!

Fiona,that's so cool of your mom to get out there and bargain with the neighbors. Sounds like something we'd do in the sticks if there are neighboring houses.

Tess MacKall said...

LOL Val. You have an X Boxer, too, huh? That boy loves his X Box. He is torn between going into gaming and the military. Me? I just pray he graduates high school. lol

Hey, shopping is treacherous everywhere it seems. I opt for Food Lion these days because Wal Mart has always been crazy as far as I'm concerned. AND...they purposely stock the shampoos and such on one end of the store so I have to pass all the other stuff in order to get to the groceries. At Wal Mart, I always end up buying much more than I planned.

I hope I don't see the hamburger woman in the store again. She was a bit on the scary side for sure. But if I have to--there will be a rumble. She's not getting anything else out of me for sure. lol

Tess MacKall said...

Oh oldest works a big building supply store part time. She said that people were coming in and buying the stuff to put down on their sidewalks and some man came in and bought over a hundred bags. So they were suddenly out. She said they they had people cussing and carrying on like crazy.

My kid said that she had no clue as to why some idiot cashier would have sold all of it. She claimed---not sure she would have, lol--that she would have questioned the purchase of so much. Hmmm...I guess maybe someone should have checked into that. But not really sure anyone would have thought about it that much either.

But she said things got pretty tense.

Tess MacKall said...

Awww...Tami. You're used to it. Heck, we have lots of snowbirds here--what the tourism industry calls those who migrate from up north here for the winter. And we have lots of Northerners who moved here and call it home now too.

They laugh at us and cuss the snow when it comes. Well, we're just not used to it and everything comes to a grinding halt. I can't drive in it for sure. Well, I can drive in snow until it gets too bad--but not ice. And here, we drive everywhere too. So no city buses or trains or subways. Like I said, the world stops here with a few flakes. lol

Tess MacKall said...

Hey T! Yep, no home trainin' whatsoever. Who the hell raised these people? Wolves? I swear. I mean I walked into the store in a relatively good mood. Yeah, was doing okay.

And I guess that's why I maintained my cool so well.

And yep, hamburger chick should have asked. She didn't even care about those other people in line behind me. I'm sure they were upset. I just felt bullied. And ya gotta draw that line for sure.

Fists in the air!!!!

Tess MacKall said...

Your mama sure knew how to work it, Fiona. Good for her. Bartering used to be the way of things anyway. I still know a lady who does that locally. She used to call my brother to do little odd jobs for her and my bro would come in and hand me stuff she'd made. I got a case of grape jelly last time. lol We're still eating it.

When I was a little girl--forget which year and ain't telling that anyway, lol--we had a big blizzard. Sixteen inches of snow and on top of it like three inches of ice. We were without power for three solid weeks.

It got pretty tense for sure. But Daddy found a way to keep us all warm and fed. Granny was right resourceful too. I know now how serious it was---but back then? Heck, it was an adventure. lol

Tess MacKall said...

Yeah, Faith...I got just a bit worried. I honestly figured there would be no milk or very little. I was willing to settle for whole or low fat. But got my skim. Man had to ruin my moment for sure.

Janice said...

Way to go, Tess. You the woman!

Valerie Mann said...

Funny, Tess. It must be the middle-school-XBox-military mentality. My son also wants to go into the military. And if they let him play video games? We'll never see him again.

Tess MacKall said...

Damn straight, Janice. Sometimes ya just gotta "nut up". lol

Tess MacKall said...

Yep,'s the influence of that game Modern Warfare that is partly responsible for the military gig. Although, I must admit my kid has been talking about the Army since he was in kindergarten.

Does your kid let loose a string of swear words on X Box that would make a sailor proud too? Mine sure does. The first time I heard him doing it I dissolved into a puddle. Could not believe he was talking that way. Went crazy on his butt. Then he sat down with me and gave me all the logical reasons he should be allowed to swear. I paid attention, listened to the other kids and well, I made him tone down the swearing but he's still doing right much of it.