Friday, April 1, 2011

I do believe that I live in the best place on earth if you are a fan of inconsistent weather.  Yesterday morning we had snow flurries, today it is sunny and 60.  It speaks volumes about all the other craptastic places I have lived that I have chosen this tornado prone, bi-polar piece of earth to squat on.

Of course, if I ever get fabulously wealthy (note to self- buy a lottery ticket), I will split my time between Alaska and Hawaii.  Truly, the 2 best places I have ever been.  Now, on to your regularly scheduled blog post...
Once you've done the Alcan, you have permanent bragging rights any time your friends start to talk about road trips. Sotck photography of the Aalska Highway better known as the Alcan.  north shore beach

Yesterday, I headed to the local drug store, sale flyer clenched in my sweaty fist to pick up some bargains.  I needed some dish detergent, laundry detergent, toilet paper, vitamins and a pile of Easter candy for my kids.

I had carefully pored over all the local sale papers and the drug store had the best deals.  This is me, though, so you know that it was not a smooth in and out operation.

First, my pregnant friend (of the tuna trip fame)  was with me and she had brought both of her children.  They are 2 and 1 years of age, and for those paying attention, I bet you can already guess that my friend, though sweet as can be, does not have the best decision making skills.

The other thing to note is that her oldest child is what you might call...difficult.  He has always been one of those loud, willful screaming type of children.

The things I will do for a sale on toilet paper.

I should have probably aborted my mission in the parking lot.  As she lifted her comparably angelic one year old from his car seat,  I was left to free the 'biter'  (oh yeah, he bites-often).  Getting bitten was not my immediate concern, however, because her truck door was jammed and would not open.  As my friend yelled across with all sorts of (useless) advice on how to 'work' the handle, I worked up a sweat.

Finally, she put her baby back and came around to show me how to open the door.  Only, the door didn't open and all she managed to do was break the frigging handle off!

I felt my left eyelid twitching and visions of Valium danced through my head.

We finally got both kids out of the car through her side and I picked up 'biter' and she inexplicably decided to allow the one year old to walk across the lot.  He liked it so much, that he stopped, repeatedly, to sit in the middle of the lot or roadway.

This is why I don't deserve friends, because I was so irritated by the several minutes it took for her and the baby to toddle across the lot, that I think I snapped a molar while clenching my jaw.  I could have just left her, but I felt like someone with sense should be there to keep them from being run over.

Once inside, I thought to avert any more plans of baby walking by grabbing two carts.  Only my cart was all busted in the front, so there wasn't a place to set a baby (or my purse, sale flyer and coupons), just a gaping hole along the front.

Sweating, irritated and still twitching, I loaded the little one in the front of the other buggy and 'biter' into the back.  I told my friend that since I had a big list, I would just go ahead so that I didn't hold her back.

Initially, I was irritated that the store had not tagged their merchandise correctly and I had to keep consulting my sale paper to find the right price.  After the 3rd item, I thought, hmmmm....let's check the sale date.  Huh, it seems that my local store sent out their sale flyers nearly 2 weeks before the sale date.  Well, that is just very mean.  Now, I have to toss my careful plans and list and wing it.  Freaking fantastic.

Halfway through the store I have most of my items and I am feeling pretty good about my chances of leaving the store during the year 2011.  Then, my friend finds me and asks me to watch the little one while she takes 'biter' to the bathroom.

'Biter' who is no where near potty-trained, because he is only 26 months, and wearing a diaper, suddenly 'needs' to use the skeevy public restroom at the drug store.

I might be out of line, but I am thinking that the place that smells like a dead cat with suspicious dark streaks on the wall and sink, isn't my first choice for the bathroom to teach the finer points of 'going potty' to my far too young child.

But hey, I got the easy part-  I only have to stand next to the baby while she is catching dysentery from the restroom.  Only, now the baby decides he wants out of the cart and this cart doesn't have one of those little seat belts to strap them down with, so I have to keep fighting him back into the cart.

 At his third attempt to pitch onto the floor, he scratched my twitchy eye lid, which made me treat him like my own.  By that I mean, I used my very stern 'mean mom' voice and told him to sit down.

The result is that when his mother comes out of the restroom, suspiciously soaked down her front, the baby is sitting down and screaming his head off.  I confessed why and my friend just laughed.  Maybe that is why we are friends, because she overlooks the fact that I am a cranky bitch.

I leave her by the snacks as I rush to find some Easter candy to stuff in over-priced baskets for my kids.  I can't help but hear a distinctive 'thwarp' noise every few seconds accompanied by 'biter's' infectious baby giggle.  They are loud and everyone in the store is looking around and I begin to have a sinking feeling- kind of like when you see a kid swinging at a pinata and you just know someone is getting nailed in the head or crotch.

I start tossing chocolate into my cart in my misguided attempt to checkout fast and avoid disaster.  CRASH! SLAM! GIGGLE!  What the cuss?!

It seems that my friend with the poor decision making skills thought it would be perfectly fine to let her 2 year old dangle, standing, from the back of the cart as he mauled a beef jerky display.  When I appear on the scene,  the display is knocked over and the baby has just been rescued from a near head on collision with the floor.

I don't embarrass easily, but I was mortified.  I know sometimes kids act up and you are stuck looking like an idiot, but I knew my friend had not only allowed but encouraged this mini-disaster and I felt like it was my fault for bringing her to the store in the first place.

(In my friend's defense, she is only 21 and she never had any parenting herself before she was tossed onto the streets at age 15.  I realize that a lot of times she just doesn't know the right way to act and I often find myself trying to tight rope between fun friend and surrogate mother figure.)

All I could say, because the twitch was very distracting at this point, was "Dear God!  Not OK!"

I went to the checkout and was lucky enough to be first in line.  Did I say lucky?  Hahahahaha!  I crack myself up.

Halfway through my lengthy order (I went a little nuts buying candy- it was the stress- stop judging!), the register starts making ominous BONK-ing noises.  It seems that the ENTIRE STORES FRIGGING COMPUTER SYSTEM FROZE!  The manager decides to re-boot the system.

This is NOT a speedy process.  I was tempted to abandon my items and call it a day, but I felt like I had already gone through so much just to get this stuff- oh, and I didn't have a single sheet of toilet paper at home.

Now, I felt worse as my friend stood behind me with her cart full of screaming babies and other patrons began to queue behind us.  I was especially concerned about the extremely elderly and frail man clutching the aspirin at the rear of the line.

Finally, the computers are working again and luckily my order was miraculously saved, so we didn't have to start over.  Even better, the manager opened another register, so that the other people could check out and stop staring holes into the back of my skull.  I just hoped aspirin guy had the good sense to chew a couple in the parking lot.

$137 later (holy cuss!) we are fighting truck doors and stuffing babies and merchandise into the vehicle.  My friend, who loves to feed her kids, in spite of the fact that they are mini-Tweedle Dum look-a-likes and the doctor has told her they are not only under-height but severely over-weight, decides to give them ALL of the snacks she bought them in the store.

I got to ride home under a rain of goldfish crackers, Capri Suns and M&M's.  At this point, I am really hoping for divine intervention.  God must have been busy.

Once we pulled into the drive at my house, I exited the vehicle at top speed and unloaded the truck in unseemly haste.  I told my friend 'thanks for the great afternoon' (and no, I didn't sound sarcastic, and yes, I did expect devine intervention via lightening bolt at that point) and told her I needed to go to the bathroom and ran inside.

It is no wonder that I don't have any friends.  I am a lousy person...with a really lousy track record with retail stores.

I intend to use my guilt to dig my vegetable plot today.  If my shovel held, I could probably dig an acre.


  1. Are you sure you and Karen aren't closely related, or clones of one another?

    You really are a gifted story-teller, but my gosh, you manage to get yourself into the most unlikely situations. I was exhausted after reading about your shopping expedition and my own eye was even starting to twitch. What a relief when you finally arrived home and I could rush into the garden for some therapy!

  2. "They are 2 and 1 years of age, and for those paying attention, I bet you can already guess that my friend, though sweet as can be, does not have the best decision making skills."

    She also needs to make some better sexual decisions!lolol

    After this disaster of a trip please promise me that you will NOT be excursioning to a store with her again, please! Bringing kids along to the store is just asking for difficulties and bringing other people's less than well-behaved kids is paramount to standing on the beach watching the really neat waves when a tsunami is coming ashore and thinking, "oh, this won't be so bad...". ;-)

    If you come on over here I'll take you to the store(a kid-free trip!)and I'll deflect with my teflon coupon binder all those mean looks and eyeballs searing into the back of your skull when the register crashes.

    Keep your preggo 'sort of' friend but keep her out of the store.
    You are NOT a lousy friend, you are just lousy at picking out who to be friends with. ;-)

    And yes, I am one of those older moms who will say something to a stranger's misbehaving kid in a store if the parent won't correct them and I'll give the parent an earful too. Somebody has got to parent her kids if she is not capable of the task...good for you for taking the bull by the horns.

  3. Oh, April, sweetie......I think I am going to pass on to you the phrase my mother coined many years ago:

    "This whole world conspires to annoy me!"

    Lov ya, gal.....keep up this are good at it.

  4. I came back to read this again. It was so funny first time round and I'm greedy :) I'm so sad to see so few others have popped over...they don't know what they're missing!

    Never mind, I'm one of your ardent, die-hard followers for keeps, so keep on entertaining me! See, I even come back for second helpings!

    Hope you have a good weekend in the garden.


Give me something to think about.