Do you remember those awkward moments of trying to talk to someone you had a crush on and everything just came out wrong? More often than not my humor would be misunderstood rather than getting tongue tied. I consoled myself with thoughts like, “If he can’t carry on a conversation entirely in movie quotes, he isn’t for me anyway” and thoughts that a basic understanding of Cold War puns should be a marital criteria.
I’ve been on that side, so I can muster up a bit of sympathy if I need to. That is, unless the poor attempt at humor is aimed at ME. Now for a story of bulk-sized stupidity, brought to you by yesterday’s run to Sam’s Club.
From 3:45pm to 3:55pm I had debated with myself over whether a grocery run could wait one more day. I had a little milk left, one egg, a few bowls of cereal’s worth or remnants in the box… when my pondering was interrupted by a whiff of something most foul. Something was rotten, and it wasn’t in the state of Denmark. I reached in to the diaper drawer and realized we were down to 3 diapers. Waiting would only bring on a poo-pocolypse in the night. This was an emergency.
I loaded up the children and made a mad dash for diapers and wipes, praying I could avoid the snarl of traffic that permeates the city like a twisted billow of smoke from Satan’s nostrils. Naturally, the boys had refused to nap all day and were being holy terrors. This means that within 6 minutes of driving, they would pass out.
Glorious. After waking my kids from the nap I DESPERATELY needed them to have we wheeled through the door in a hurry. With one left turn we were flanked by electronics and sales clerks. A young man looked at me and my two in tow as I approached. I have him the polite, “Don’t even think about it” look and then smiled. He cautiously asked if I wanted to see the new television, glancing behind him to see if his supervisor was watching. I turned and said, “We are here on an emergency diaper run. Not today, Buddy.” He quickly backed away as if to mentally throw a chocolate bar at me and grab a mask to prevent a good douse of pepper spray and then smiled at my boys. Well done, young man.
With a few sharp turns my cart was full with only the diapers, wipes, breakfast bars, and two kids. I wheeled back down the aisle toward the check out line, which was miraculously empty! The cashier smiled at me from afar. It was beautiful- a runway of perfection. Could it be? A successful shopping trip without rudeness, waiting, or utter stupidity? Of course not. Why? This is MY blog. We don’t do that kind of thing around here.
Passing by the televisions and clerks, the previous young man smiled and gave my still sleepy Firstborn a little wave. Adorable. Then I saw the lanky, young 30 something supervisor step out from behind him. Two more steps toward me and I would have run over him like Grandma getting run over by a reindeer. I’m still festive, and the employees were wearing reindeer antlers on headbands. It fit.
“Hey! Did you get yourself some diapers?” the man boisterously guffawed. Now, obviously I didn’t get MYSELF some diapers, but grammar is somewhat lacking around these here parts. I averted my gaze from the check out to see this man at my left and gave him the “Duh” face as I gestured to the economy size diaper pack sticking out of my cart 2 feet from him. “I sure did.”
He grinned, knowing I had fallen into his trap. “I don’t think those are big enough to fit you!” he cackled.
What a total and complete butt-head.
How in the world did he want me to respond? To be drawn in and look at a big screen? No matter how he meant that comment to come across, it wasn’t going to end well.I was already past him, so I just kept walking. No need to stop and address that kind of stupidity. I simply tossed this look over my shoulder.
This was best for his own safety. However, the girl at the register who was all but cheering me on like she was at the finish line of a marathon saw my facial expression. There were now two more employees near that express checkout and they gave each other a significant glace.
I pulled the cart up and we exchanged smiles and a hello. “How are you?” she asked. I shook my head and said, “I don’t even know.”
They were totally drawn in. “As I walked by that guy asked if I got myself diapers and then laughed, saying I wouldn’t be able to fit into them. I’ve heard of women getting down to a size four after having two kids, but not a size 4 diaper.”
The three of them went into “omg” mode. “Who?!” “What a stupid thing to say?!” “Does he think that’s funny?”
Well, it isn’t. It’s the adult version of a knock knock joke. The punch line either assumes I need adult diapers or that I have a big rear end. I understand that it is the week of the Victoria Secret runway show and that all men have reinforced ideals of unattainable, professionally enhanced and altered women, but WOW. I should NOT be able to wear my 2 year old’s undees.
Thankfully for him, I did indeed have my big girl panties on. These were the kind that prevent me from turning around and inadvertently teaching my son the word, “Moron”. I checked out and wheeled to the car, still shaking my head at my inability to get through one errand without being insulted or approached by someone. It was my own fault for mentioning my urgency.
To prevent myself from stewing and to be aware of my surroundings, I started scanning the parking lot as I put my little one into the car seat. I loaded up my items to the back and noticed a STUNNING woman of about 65. Her pixie-cut hair was gray, highlighted by a well cut holiday green pea coat and fabulous jewelry. Everything about her was beautiful, although her mouth was turned into a tired and determined line- much like mine. As she looked over at my kiddo still in the cart, I decided to be ‘the crazy’.
“Ma’am, this probably won’t mean much coming from a tired mom in a sweatshirt…” I began. She stopped and actually drew NEAR me. Close, in fact. I smiled and continued. “but I was just noticing you and I must say that you are simply gorgeous. Your clothes really bring out your beauty. You really shine.”
Then, she really did. She burst into a surprised smile and said, “Wow! I really needed that today!” We exchanged a few pleasantries about her grandsons as she smiled at my son and then she even offered to put my cart into the corral for me so I didn’t have to leave the kids to do so. As she passed by the car again she called out, “Be safe on the road with those little ones! It’s dangerous out there!” She left reminded of her beauty and I had a moment where someone was genuinely kind to me.
The moral of the story is that one comment can really make a difference. I sincerely hope the idiot box seller doesn’t mention diapers to that poor lady. With a car-load of wipes and diapers at the ready, it will be a little easier to deal with the crap that comes my way– even when it comes in bulk.