Day 13 (2), 2012

I was digging through the cabinets because I knew it was there somewhere. Nope. Onto the drawers. Where did all this stuff come from? I was looking for a tape recorder that I used for interviews when I was a sports reporter. It is old, but it still works just fine.

I needed the tape recorder because I know I say things. I hear the words coming out of my mouth, yet I am the only one who registers these words and remembers them. Let alone act on them. Maybe, just maybe, if I recorded myself and played it back it would make a difference. The down side of this plan, of course, is that I would be totally focused on how my voice sounded on tape and not the fact that I was proving myself right to the entire household.

Before I walked out the door earlier I said I was going to CVS to drop off prescriptions, Safeway to shop while I waited for those prescriptions and then to Kmart. I stressed that I would be gone a while, a long while. I was just walking into Kmart when Drew called. “Where ARE you?” he asked. It took me a second to reply as I struggled to disengage the shopping carts from one another while I juggled my phone under my chin and the recyclable bags Montgomery County forces me to carry in one hand. When a cart finally broke free, it ricocheted into my stomach forcing me to grunt and evoking yet more questions from Drew. “What was that?” “Are you alright?” “Mom?” He fired his inquiries so quickly, my mouth was stuck in an “o” as I waited for him to stop speaking so I could answer.

“Drew, I am at Kmart, just like I said I was going to be. It is my last stop and then I will be home.” Reed then grabbed the phone and stated emphatically that I had never said I was going to Kmart and he is sure of that because he would have asked to come along. I assured him that I would have denied that request so it didn’t matter anyway. Drew and Reed then began fighting over the phone and I just hit the END button on my phone and moved on.

I guess they heard that because seconds later, my phone rang again. Instead of saying hello, I just began speaking. “Drew, if you stopped calling me, I would be home sooner.” He asked if I hung up on them and I lied without shame and blamed it on Kmart’s lack of cell capability.

Because we were going to be spending the majority of the weekend outdoors, I needed some extra strength Off spray. I checked the kiosk with suntan lotion. I looked in the garden section. I walked through the aisle with lotions and first aid products. I trudged to the opposite end of the store to the camping aisle. Finally, I waved the white flag and decided to ask. The problem with stores like Kmart is that whatever savings you see in pricing is outweighed by what you lose in patience with humanity.

With not one employee in site, I came to the sad conclusion that I must approach the customer service desk. In front of me was a woman who had eight cans of Spam and four cans of canned ham in her cart. So many disturbing questions popped into my head in that moment that I had to pick up InTouch Magazine and read about Jennifer Aniston’s proposal as a means of locking my mouth.

After checking out unretouched photos of celebrities and Snooky’s baby bump, it was finally my turn. I inquired about the Off and was told that it was in the household products aisle. And it was indeed there with the Raid and roach traps. In a very disjointed way, that made sense but I never would have looked there.

There were so many choices for Off that I finally just shut my eyes and grabbed one from the shelf. Did it really matter? Deep Woods. Family Care. Soft Scent. We were going to get eaten alive either way so this was just a sham.

I moved onto the snack aisle and picked carefully as we were still trying to prepare Drew for weigh-ins the next day. The flavored water was a hit so I grabbed four of those. Picked up pretzels instead of Doritos and chose four packs of sugar-less gum instead of a big bag of licorice. My plan was to have Drew shove a piece of gum in his mouth every time he wanted to eat something unhealthy. I based this plan on my lack of will power at a picnic assuming he would be at least as weak as I traditionally was.

Because my children have candy radar and can sense when I am near any sort of potential sugar purchase, my phone rang. “When are you going to be home?” Drew asked. After assuring him that I was almost done he asked again, “Where are you?” I went through the entire explanation again and heard Drew turn to Reed and tell him my whereabouts. Mac then screamed to both of them to be quiet before declaring them both annoying. I hit the END button again without a shred of guilt.

I passed the Spam lady again as I headed to the checkout and noted that she had added three 12-packs of Pepsi to the cart and Funyons. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed that maybe her son needed to put on weight for football. Or that her family had agreed to participate in a processed food focus group. It simply could not be possible that she was just buying this food for normal consumption. The thought was too bleak to consider.

Of course there were only two registers open with four or five people in each line. Just as I stepped up to begin unloading my cart, the cashier walked away for a price check. It seemed she could not find an employee to assist her either. My bottle of water was the only item I put on the conveyor until I could get a sense of when she might return. She must have left the conveyor belt on when she left because my bottle of water just kept slamming into the steel lip at the end of the belt over and over again until I dove around the person waiting for the back pack price and grabbed it. They should sell alcohol at Kmart.

As I backed out in search of another register, I sighed knowing that I was going to be relegated to the same status as the Spam lady. By some small miracle, I checked out in record time and headed home. The minute I walked in the door, Mark asked “Where have you been?”

For the third time in an hour, I detailed my errands even though everyone was there when I ticked off the list before I left. And that is when the search for the tape recorder began in earnest. With the bags still packed, the kids asking about lunch options and Mark ignoring it all and watching ESPN I knew my only hope lie buried in my house somewhere.

Now maybe if I had a video recorder so I could remember where I put everything….

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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos

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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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