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.
CAN YOU SAY: RUMBLE AT THE LOCAL FOOD LION????????????
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 http://nataliedae.blogspot.com, AKA, Sarah Masters, will release on January 26th from Ellora's Cave. Hope everyone here checks it out. http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-9014-50-black-cougar-curse.aspx
Hugs to all…and pray for summer!