I must have signed up for a Cosmic Patience course and forgotten, because everything in my life lately has been a test of my ability to remain calm.
Prime example- the simple trip to the grocery store to pick up bread and tuna last night.
My pregnant friend had come over to visit and she indicated that she was running to the store to pick up milk. I didn't feel like cooking, so I thought tuna sandwiches and chips would make a fairly acceptable slacker-mom dinner for the kids. I had everything I needed, except, oh yeah, tuna and bread!
So, I hitch a ride with my friend down the road to the store. It is less than a mile. Her milk, my tuna and bread and the return trip home should have taken 15 minutes, tops.
One hour and 4 minutes later, we return home. Was there a stick-up at the Sav-a-lot? Did one of us fall and break a bone? Was there a run on tuna that caused me to drive all over town searching for a can?
Firstly, while my friend was enormously kind to take me to the store, I had never gone shopping with her before, so I didn't realize that she took an eternity. Milk turned into a cart full of items. And our speedy trip was not helped by the fact that when we had snaked through every last aisle and were ready to check out, she realized she needed peanut butter.
Neither one of us knew where the peanut butter was and being 730 on a Saturday evening, there was only one employee in the store and she was busy working the cash register. Soooooooo, we start at the beginning of the store and only have to cover the first 3 aisles to finally find the peanut butter.
Honest to God, my friend then dithered over creamy vs crunchy, I finally tossed in the creamy and made something up about the nuts in the crunchy giving people constipation (the pregnant woman's curse) and limped toward checkout.
At this point I have been gone over 30 minutes and I just know that my youngest two have tied my oldest daughter to a chair and are either a) setting her toes on fire or b) escaping naked into the woods behind the house.
As we pull our FULL cart up to the line, I pull out my no-good-for-nothing-piece-of-crap-battery-doesn't-hold-a-charge-cellphone out of my purse. Great, the battery is dead, even though I had just had it on the charger. I can't call.
As I stand twitching, Mommy Guilt on overdrive, scenarios in which my 3 offspring have been maimed in some horrific way flash through my head. I bounce from one matronly shod foot to the other. I crane my neck searching for other employees, I huff, I puff. 4 minutes have passed and we are still waiting for the guy with the creepy beard to collect his cheezy crackers and beef jerky so that we can begin checking out.
Now, the cashier was as sweet as honey and bubbly and is just a really nice woman and did I mention she was the ONLY person working in the store, cause if there was anyone else, they were hiding behind the bananas. Did I also mention that she was elderly, with a frigging eye patch? Now, don't assume that I am some horrible person that looks down on differently-abled people or whatever she had going on. OK, last night I WAS a horrible person, but I am not usually THAT JERK.
Normally, I would have stood patiently as she fumbled everything and messed up the code for my friends kiwis and then was too weak to lift the bags out of the little cubby where she loads the groceries right after scanning. I would smile and pat myself on the back for being such a understanding person.
Only, I couldn't call home and I said I would be back in 20 minutes tops and I had been gone for more than double that and I would have welcomed Ghengis Khan as my cashier, bloody stake, pillaging and all, if the line would move faster! I was in full on, paranoid Mom/ disaster scenario and Patchy the cashier was moving at the speed of sloth.
When we were (finally) done, I practically raced my very pregnant friend to the truck, tossed the groceries in, willy-nilly, and hopped in the seat the whole way home. We barely had time to read the note that was wedged on her side mirror commenting on her parking ability. No cuss!
Much to my surprise, there wasn't a burned out shell or police cruisers to greet me at home. Instead, the two youngest were watching Disney channel and my oldest was on Facebook. Their only complaint was that they were hungry.
Great, now I have a mountain of guilt over being impatient with little old eye-patch lady and a useless cell phone. But, the tuna sandwiches were good and I didn't have to dirty any pans.