Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Oh, NO! It's Wednesday, and We're out of Cat Food!

Due to circumstances beyond my control, dear friends in town for a conference, re-scheduled doctor's appointments and my car still being full of all the stuff from Saturday's show, it is now Wednesday. It is supposed to be Monday. Grocery day. Big-Buggy-Full-of-Cat-Litter-Kibbles-Dog-Biscuits-Laundry-
Potato-Chips Day. There is no coffee creamer in the fridge. There are no eggs. The Brown Dog "needs" her cauliflower. And we are dangerously low on Kitty High (street name. AKA, catnip.) That means I have to do the grocery shopping. On Wednesday. On

Styrofoam-Cups-of-Weak-Coffee Day.

There are two major problems here. I am tall. DOPWDCSCWCs are not. There will be a great deal of, "Honey, would you reach that Metamucil on the top shelf for me? They keep the freshest ones up there, you know." And by the time I stand on the lowest shelf, clinging to the shelf divider - because even in my platform flip-flops I'm not quite able to reach it - and snag the Metamucil (which I had to poke forward with the DOPWDCSCWC's umbrella first,) the intended recipient has wandered over to the meat counter to join a crowd admiring freshly cut round steak and I'm not exactly sure which one she is until I see the umbrella. I'll smile and hand her the canister, and she'll say, "Thank you, honey, but the store brand was on sale so I just picked up one of those." Don't get me wrong, I am glad to use my God-given gift of height to help out at the grocery store. But I also need to buy toothpaste.

The other problem is a bit more complex. Many of my fellow Wednesday shoppers knew me when I was six. Played bridge with my parents. In fact, had gallbladder surgery, angioplasty and bunion removal with my parents. Some of them led my Girl Scout troops (they don't, thank goodness, remember that little brouhaha resulting in my eventual "retirement" from the World of Scouting) and can wax poetic on those glitter pine cones we made that year in the church basement. And many of them think I am my sister.

My sister and I have looked so alike in the past that one of us could walk into a family party for the first time and a family member would ask us why we changed clothes. And our sense of style, or lack thereof, has been eerily similar as well. We have on more than one occasion shown up to an event in the same shoes. (Not the same PAIR of shoes; two sets of shoes. I just realized I might have confused some people. I decided to expand and clarify.)

So shopping on Wednesday requires me to limber up first, in case I need to be tall; and remember which sister I am and which children are mine in case someone inquires about them, and - God help me - WHO that man is, asking about my father's dizziness.

Arriving at the store, I'll scan the parking lot for familiar vehicles - the ones with ancient school booster stickers, or American Flag decals strategically placed. I'll take note of the "Hollywood Cars", the boat-like Caddies and Lincoln Towncars so favored by Mr. and Mrs. SoandSo. I'll grab a cup of the weak coffee, which gives me a little mental edge (very little) and helps me to blend in. And then I will

Attempt. To. Shop.

If I am lucky, I will remember everyone familiar by name. I will be tall gracefully. And I will remember that the "Self-Checkout" volume is dialed up on Wednesday, so I won't jump out of my skin when the AutoChick shouts, "WELCOME, VALUED CUSTOMER!" And I will not hyperventilate when I reach into my wallet for my credit card, and notice again, with tremors of shock, that it is right next to

My AARP Membership Card.

I hate Wednesdays.

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