*Author's note: I am not mocking agoraphobics or making light of what is a debilitating and life-sucking mental illness. What I am mocking? Is myself. Thank you in advance for holding back on the hate mail. I promise to get myself into a good Bible-based church the second I'm done posting this.
Oh, Lawdy, y'all. I'm considering becoming agoraphobic.
"The essential feature of Agoraphobia is anxiety about being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult (or embarrassing) or in which help may not be available in the event of having a panic attack or panic-like symptoms."
I had to go to the Big M today. And you know what that means.
I put it off as long as possible. We were down to the bare bones of making meals out of the bags of Pasta Roni and and cans of Chef Boyardee that I keep in the pantry in case of emergency (and/or rampant laziness, whichever comes first). It was getting bad, but was still do-able (fortunately Dan has a limited palate, which makes him believe that being served a meal made out of pasta mix and hamburger is a huge, HUGE treat. He's all, "Yay! No vegetables! No nutritional value whatsoever! You DO love me!"). But then? We ran out of Pupperoni and dental bones. Javi and Maisy were looking at me pointedly and pathetically everytime I stood up, sat down, walked into the kitchen, went to the bathroom, or said their names and did not give them a treat. This is unacceptable. Something needed to be done.
I had to go to the Big M.
*cue theme song from Jaws*
I wrote a short list (my spending has gone down considerably since moving here... I have to keep in mind that anything I buy needs to be carried upstairs by me. If I can't carry it all in one trip, I don't need it) and headed down to my car, already dreading the inevitability of being embarrassed at some point within the next half an hour.
First up, it's frickin' cold outside, Mr. Bigglesworth.
|Me, sitting in my car.|
(Please ignore the rant that is about to take place.)
It was 38 degrees at noon. Now, for those of you who feel obligated to inform me that every single time I say it's cold or I want it to snow that I have no idea what I'm in for, I'm only going to say this one last time:
I spent my formative years in California's central valley, where we had two seasons: The hotasfuck season and the foggyasfuck season. There was nothing else. We were either piling up on the 99 (Interstate highway... in case you have no idea what I'm talking about, which is highly possible) because visibility was literally 5 inches or we were sweating to death in our swimming pools, because it was 115 degrees. That was it.
Then I moved to Crescent City, CA, where I spent the last 20 years. Crecent City has 2 1/2 seasons: The windyasfuck season and the rainyandwindyasfuck season. The end.
So yeah... I'm excited about experiencing my first real winter. Deal with it. Oh, I'm sure I'll be bitching up a friggin' storm when it's -40 and my brand spankin' new parka only keeps me warm to -30 and my hair freezes and breaks off or I fall on my ass and die in a ditch because I can't haul myself back up but you know what? I want to wake up one morning and see that it snowed outside. I want a white Christmas. I want to make snow angels and build a snowman and call me stupid (which you have... thank you for that) but I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT. And also? Since I have no frame of reference? 38 degrees feels cold to me. Okay?
Now where was I?
Oh yes... on my way to the Big Friggin' M.
As I'm driving towards the parking lot, a herd of little old ladies decided to walk in front of my car without looking, stopping, or caring that I was coming towards them. Obviously, little only ladies think I won't run over them.
Little old ladies be wrong, yo.
(Okay, I didn't run over them this time, but they're on notice.)
And apparently, this was an omen. A portent of doom. I should have paid closer attention.
I got my shopping done in record time, with a minimum amount of humiliation. The store was packed, for some reason... very odd on a Friday afternoon. I started getting paranoid and wondering if something was going on that I don't know about. Apocalypse? Blizzard? Hmmm. I hate being out of the loop.
Eventually I wound up a the check stand, where a very pleasant (! shocking !) young woman rang up my groceries. She complimented me on my wrist tattoo (the only one visible, since I was layered like a Sherpa headed up Everest) and I thanked her. I was beginning to feel a little cocky. And then... I let it go to my head.
I decided to be funny.
*cue horror film slasher music when the girl in the skimpy nighty heads down to the basement in the dark because she hears a noise*
Her: "So where are you from?"
(I've decided it's not an insult when people ask me that. I take it as a huge, HUGE compliment. I'm never sure WHY they ask me, but whatever. I'll take it.)
Her: "Really? What are you doing here?"
Me: *thinking I'm being hilarious* "I'm in the Witness Protection Program. So if anyone comes looking for me, don't tell them you've seen me, mmmkay?"
Me: "Ha haaa..."
Her: "Ummm... ha..."
Shit. Shit!!! ERASE! ERASE!!
After she finished ringing me up, she told me my total. I went for my purse, which I had resting precariously on that little ledge they give you for writing checks. (Really? Do people still do that?)
And, of course, I knocked my purse over. And my purse was not zipped. And allllll of the contents went rolling across her check stand.
And the first thing out of the purse was my big-ass thingy of Mace.
She jumped back with her hands up like I was about to rob her.
I apologized and began collecting my belongings, accidentally knocking my teeny bottle of nail glue across the counter towards her. She stood back, not helping, not touching anything, with a horrified look on her face.
(I can't believe the crap I haul around in my purse. Two little tubes of lotion, nail glue, eyeglass cleaner, two tons of change, lip gloss, chap stick, lip plumper (because you never know when your lips will deflate), breath mints, fingernails that popped off that I didn't glue back on, Mace, tampons, business cards, a pen, Advil, keys, my phone, a dog leash, every receipt from every purchase I've ever made, ever, in my entire life, EVER...)
I continued apologizing profusely, loaded up all my crap, and headed on out of the store.
Her: "Ummm... ma'am?"
Me: *turning around* "Yes?"
Her: *looking frightened* "You didn't pay..."
I felt like a fugitive as I went back and fumbled through my wallet, giving her exact change and skulking out of there like a cockroach when the lights come on.
Dear Big M,
It's over. We're through. I'll be taking my business to the Price Chopper from now on. It's not you, it's me.
|I feel ya, Charlie... I feel ya.|