Recommended wine for today’s entry: Because I seem to be the target for every garrulous, lonely retail worker in town, today I’ll recommend Lonely Cow Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. According to their tasting notes, it “jumps from the glass with aromas of white peach and lime, the mouthwatering palate is a juicy mix of candied pineapple and tangerine flavors, followed by a crisp but lingering finish of wet stone and white pepper.” Assuming that it won’t leave my breath smelling of wet stone, I think I’ll like this one!
I had two New Year’s Resolutions: 1) I would walk on the treadmill and deny myself my one true pleasure in life (wine) on weeknights and starve myself; and 2) I would stop criticizing and ridiculing total strangers.
I underestimated how lonely retail workers are in this sluggish economy.
Yesterday I ventured to a shopping center in search of Valentine’s Day gifts. With resolution #2 in mind, I was nice. For awhile. The words in italics are the ones that came really, really, really close to coming out of my mouth, but didn’t. Somehow.
Setting: Mid-range store that is popular with teens and young adults. I am the only customer and my shoes echo on their hardwoods.
Salesgirl #1: HI!!! How are you today?
Me: (Brushing enough big, giant flakes of snow off my coat to build a fort) Fine thanks.
Salesgirl#1 (Looking out window) I think it’s gonna snow later.
You think it might, Willard? Wow, this freaking dandruff really stands out against my navy pea coat, doesn’t it?
30 seconds elapse, Salesgirl #2 comes out of stockroom. Facial expression reminds me of when my daughter was 3 and rounded the corner to see all the presents Santa left.
Salesgirl#2: OH, WOW! HI, HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY? ARE YOU LOOKING FOR ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR TODAY? CAN I HELP YOU WITH ANYTHING?
Yes, I’m with the DEA and I’m looking for any amphetamines that you may not have already ingested.
Salesgirl #1 (yelling across the store now): We have some really cute new skirts over here! Are you looking for anything in particular?
(Yelling back in my head) Actually, YES, do you carry PELLET GUNS? Because I’m thinking about building a snow fort right here among the cardigans and picking your perky butts off one by one.
Salesgirl#2: Well, I’ll be right over here. Right here, if you need me. Like if you have any questions or need to look for anything or like if I can find a size for you…
Me: Okee dokee, just gonna browse.
I was looking at a shirt when suddenly a red-headed scarecrow burst into my peripheral vision and I could see it bearing down on me.
Salesman#1: Hell-ll-llo! What are you looking for today?
Me: (holding up a jacket) Nothing.
Him: Super jacket! Isn’t that a spectacular jacket? I reall-ll-ll-y like that jacket.
I’m just guessing you’ve tried this jacket on, haven’t you? Danced around the store in it a little bit? Actually, it would look good with that spiffy little silk scarf-kerchief thing you’ve got working around your neck. Here, you get the spectacular jacket, I’ll find something else.
I might note here that I said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, instead hustling through the store at an alarming pace, that only an IDIOT would not recognize as an E-S-C-A-P-E.
Thinking I’d lost the scarecrow, I wheeled into the sale section, grabbed the first pink shirt I could find, checked for a price but did not immediately spot one and WHAM! There he was again. Like the Redrum girls on The Shining.
Him: Oh, do you like that pink shirt? Isn’t that a great pink shirt? I also like it in the other colors — you know, lime, mustard, ecru, turquoise,…
Am I in the Twilight Zone? Really, bubba, in your job training, did they tell you to stalk people and recite available colors in Crayola terms?
Him: Do you want to get it in one of the other colors too? You know, like maybe the ecru or the …
Me: No. Just pink. Valentine’s Day present. How much is it?
Him: Oh, here, I can help you with that. We use … uh, we use … price tags (he enunciated this right into my face, as if was going to be a concept that I clearly wouldn’t have the capacity to understand) Ah, see, there it is … tucked down into the armpit … a little sneaky, little booger.
Me: Fine. Good. Here I need another one. (Grabbing another pink one)
Him: Hmmm? Two of the pink? What about the …
Me: No. I’m good. Valentine’s Day. Two daughters.
Him: Oh, are they twins or do you just dress them alike?
OK, I’m buying two shirts in adult sizes. Do you really think I’m dressing them? And can’t you tell that I’m answering with one-or-two-word phrases and have walked all over this store like the kid in Family Circus to try to get the HELL away from you?
Him: So how far apart are they? Do they go to school?
Me: Two years. In Ohio.
Him: Oh, that’s really funny. My brother and I are four years apart and we look almost EXACTLY like twins. People always get us mixed up. Except he has like really, really curly hair — fuzzy and curly — and, as you can see, (strikes a pose) I keep my hair really, really short. Oh and his is dark and mine is light.
Me: (Sick of being nice and emboldened by a great eye-roll from the dolt who hadn’t noticed that I was covered in snow) It doesn’t actually sound like you look alike at all.
Him: Well, we do! It’s so-o-o funny. Except he’s like six inches taller than me.
Me: (Briefly remembering my NY Resolution) Wow. He must sure be tall.
Him: He is! Very! Six inches taller than me.
Me: (Figuring I’ll double up on my treadmill time to make up for the infraction) OK, well, I have my stuff and I’d better get home before the SNOW starts to really accumulate … much as I’d really LOVE to hear more about your brother, the giant with unruly brown hair, I’m gonna GOOOOOOOOO NOWWWWWWW.
And that is why next year, my NY Resolutions will be: 1) find a way to lose five pounds without giving up alcohol and 2) shop online.