January 16, 2006

Grumpity Grump Grump Grump

I think, rather than complain about things--because even I'm tired of my complaining; I don't have that hard a life, for crying out loud--I'll just post a picture.

ALTHOUGH . . . maybe you can tell me this: If, hypothetically, you and your husband have your sister over for a visit, and you and your husband decide to go work out on a cold winter's evening, and you and your husband have a 20-month-old daughter . . . does deciding that all four of you should visit the workout room seem like the optimal scenario to you? Because it doesn't to me, really. I'm thinking the sister stays at home with the toddler and babysits, or the mother and the sister go and the husband babysits, or . . . I mean, there are several other configurations, all involving the absence of anyone under the age of ten from the workout room. From at least a safety standpoint, wouldn't that be better? If there were no little people in the workout room? But don't mind me. It has been suggested in some quarters that I am just a bitter old bitch who is becoming increasingly fond of the pejorative "spawn" to describe other people's adorable, brilliant little children.

Anyway. Let me just say how sorry I am that Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed, not only because he was a visionary leader and a great humanitarian etc. etc., but because now we have yet another day, besides Saturday and Sunday, on which my entire town can and does converge on Wal-mart. If you want some idea of the pandemonium there, try this:

Two teenagers completely blocked the end of an aisle with their carts while they chatted (I assume these are the only two teenagers in my town without cell phones), and I thought, "Oh no we are NOT blocking up the entire aisle just to have a conversation," and then I said exactly that, out loud, at sufficient volume that the woman next to me turned and replied, deadpan, "Well, no--we're not," to which I responded, "But then, we were brought up right," and we both had a laugh while the teenagers continued their conversation, utterly oblivious as all young people are to the complaining of Those Who Are Grown. Normally I would celebrate this as proof that all's right with the the world--I would be far more disturbed if the teenagers had ceased talking and issued heartfelt, abject apologies--but this did come at the end of 50 minutes in the damn Wal-mart and an hour for the Wal-mart experience is about my limit. Any longer than that in there and I don't know what I'd do, exactly, but I know I could not be held responsible for it.

But you understand? I said something rude (and scoldy!) out loud. The last time I did this was over four years ago, and even then I waited until the offender was out of earshot. I am a big old coward about this sort of thing, so just imagine the extent to which I was pushed today that I dared to open my mouth at all.

Oh!--Before anyone calls me a racist let me point out that I make the exact same complaints about humanity every Monday holiday. I don't like President's Day any better, but I don't think that's because I harbor any bigotry towards people with wooden teeth or Marfan syndrome (which yes I know Lincoln may or may not have had; please let's remember that no one likes a know-it-all before commenting, thank you, come again). To hell with your three-day weekends, America. Especially to hell with the way employees at certain institutions, I'm not saying universities necessarily, tend to take the preceding Friday off so they can have four-day weekends, and thus for four solid days no one can accomplish a single fucking thing. Yes, to hell with this fat, lazy country. I am moving here. (With thanks to Andrea for that particular time-waster.)

Wait, I promised you a crummy picture, didn't I? Well, here; click for bigger, or simply snicker from afar. I'll get over my sunset fixation eventually, but for now it continues.

Back to work! What? You didn't think I had a three-day weekend, did you? SOME OF US WERE WORKING, AMERICA.

I'm just saying, I think the toddler belongs at home

Posted by Ilyka at January 16, 2006 08:58 PM in navel gazing

When I found that my laser-like glare wasn't doing the job, I switched to actual lasers.

Much better.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 16, 2006 10:07 PM

Nice picture. Very.

And yeah. Holidays? WTF are those? I'm over here panicking because of the days off with the baby.

And how I'm gonna get the Visa bill paid. Damnit.

Posted by: Margi at January 16, 2006 10:26 PM

I gave up on the demure scold at Wal-Mart. Now I'm more than happy to exclaim very loudly that I'd like to get by. Lovely Wife gets embarrassed as hell by it since she has not yet completely forsaken the lost souls of Wallgatory.

Posted by: Jim at January 17, 2006 03:25 AM

Loves them sunsets. Keep 'em coming. if you want to get them printed, go to Wa...........never mind.

Posted by: Rob at January 17, 2006 07:18 AM
the lost souls of Wallgatory

Oh, stolen.

I forgot to mention the part where finally I just barreled right up to the midline of the two carts and exclaimed cheerfully, "Pardon me! Like to get by! Thank you!"

Oh, and I left out the best part of this whole thing: On the way in an elderly hippie man with a clipboard approached me with, "Excuse me, are you by chance a registered Democrat?" and I said, "No, I'm sorry, I'm not." But that was BEFORE I got into the store. On the way out, when I was feeling a little punchier, I was approached by a teacher-looking woman with the same spiel. This time, I replied giddily, "No, sorry, I'm afraid I'm a total fascist Republican! HAVE A NICE DAY!"

I really should not be allowed near the Wal-mart for a few weeks.

if you want to get them printed, go to Wa...........never mind.

There's another drug store here that has a little self-serve kiosk for that. I'll go there. :)

Posted by: ilyka at January 17, 2006 10:39 AM

Imagine the equivalent of your Wal-mart experience, except on a street with CARS. I used to bartend in downtown Detroit, and if I was heading home between 2 and 3 in the morning, just about every street (even the major ones) would be jammed up with people talking from CAR TO FRICKEN CAR. Not for just a moment either. Long pick-up type conversations. "Yo, Baby, can I call you?" kinda stuff.

Needless to say, I never honked. It was Detroit, after all.

Posted by: carin at January 17, 2006 11:19 AM

"No, sorry, I'm afraid I'm a total fascist Republican! HAVE A NICE DAY!"

Bwahahaha!! I love you, I really do. Good thing we're going to be doing that group marriage thing, huh?

I worked on Monday as well. But if I had had it off, I think I would played hermit. My fave thing to do. Heh.

Posted by: Ith at January 17, 2006 04:46 PM

Hey! I took this past Friday off so I could take advantage of the Monday holiday. This is the first company I've worked for that actually let its employees do that. (Yes, at least in Florida, companies are free to make up rules such as "no vacation days off the Friday before a Monday holiday -- unless you want to take unpaid leave.")

Of course, I wasn't fool enough to go into the Walmart this weekend. I learned my lesson after Christmas.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 17, 2006 07:12 PM

I know that feelin' carin. I used to have bouncer duties at a club in downtown Detroit. A few times, an insane, murderous rage would flick across my brain when I saw that car-to-car talking jamming the street. But when I happened to walk past some of their conversations, I ended up feeling sorry for them (as well as laughing my azz off).

Being a big black fella has it's advantages in Wal-Mart, Ilyka. Especially with the rude teenagers. I love just walking right up on them as they look in at me (all 6' 4", 270 pounds) and decide if I'm worth the trouble. Usually I'll say something smart to them as they move aside like:

Hey pal.. Nice pants!

That really gets 'em all weird and bothered.

Posted by: T-Steel at January 18, 2006 11:11 AM

A toddler in a workout room? No way. The health club I belong to absolutely does not allow kiddies out on the floor and I'd be surprised if any of them did, anywhere.

Or was this a little gym set aside in (say) an apartment building or condo, where people just wandered in and used the machines whenever they felt like it? Even so, it's crazy. Kids that age can move at Mach 2 and get themselves into serious trouble when you turn your back for even a second.

To repeat: no way.

Posted by: Annalucia at January 18, 2006 07:46 PM

Yeah, Annalucia, it's just the one at my apartment complex--no supervision and you're on your own. But I'd think the parents might go, "Wait, this is potentially dangerous for my little one." Instead, they each grabbed a Nautilus machine and went right to it while the kid wandered around looking for trouble. For obvious reasons, I didn't stick around to see if she found any.

Posted by: ilyka at January 18, 2006 08:03 PM