Monday, April 28, 2008

Tales From The Weekend

Next time I think I’m going to have a boring, hassle-free weekend, I’ll think again.

The setting: At the car dealership, waiting for my oil to be changed

All of the chairs in the showroom are taken, so I head up to the upstairs lounge where the restrooms and coffee machine are.

I’m grumbling to myself because the “French vanilla iced coffee with milk and sugar” that I stopped to get on the way is REALLY “regular iced coffee with barely any milk and one very small sugar”. Yuck.

I’m sitting upstairs – minding my own business – reading a book. To my left against the other wall is a woman flipping through a magazine. Directly in front of me is the Men’s Room.

I hear commotion on the stairs behind me and a dad and his son clomp upstairs. The little boy must be either 4 or 5, and he has long, hippie hair to his shoulders, which reminds me of my neighbors’ naked kids (whom I can't stand).

Dad points to the Men’s Room door and the little boy goes inside. Dad heads back downstairs. (Quite the attentive father)

I can hear the little boy inside of the Men’s Room talking and singing to himself. I can see his little feet under the door. After about 2 minutes he turns on the bathroom light. (WTF?)

A few minutes later he is jiggling the door handle. Uh oh.

I look over at the woman with the magazine. She lets out a nervous giggle.

ME: “I hope he’s not locked in.”

More jiggling.

We both raise our eyebrows.

Finally the jiggling stops and his little feet run away from the door again.

I go back to my book.

Dad comes up the stairs, knocks on the door and asks his son if he’s okay. A loud “YEP!” comes from behind the door.

Satisfied, Dad moseys over to the coffee machine to fix himself a cup of Joe.

The next thing I know, the bathroom door swings open and there’s hippie boy – shirt up to his belly button, pants down to his feet and Spiderman underwear around his knees. He’s standing there, naked, in all his little mushroom-capped glory.

He freezes, staring at me, the look on his face very similar to Macaulay Culkin’s when he realizes that he’s been left home alone.

The Little Hippie slams the door and runs away.

Dad, now, is completely OBLIVIOUS to the fact that his son has just FLASHED me.

Like, I might need therapy.

The setting: shopping with Mom

We stopped for lunch before the spending fiesta began. We were out looking for decorations for my parents’ newly painted porch.

(Please add “interior decorator” to my resume)

Mom and I are chatting about this and that when the subject of Mother’s Day cames up.

My husband and I had decided to host Mother’s Day brunch this year. The guest list was slowly creeping up to numbers that resembled our Thanksgiving dinner, so I was getting a little nervous.

In an effort to make our lives easier, we had decided to do a buffet-style brunch. I had taken lots of time to craft a full menu of breakfast and lunch items and drinks around a theme.

ME: “I’m really excited to cook for Mother’s Day brunch. The theme is Mexican.”

My mom LOVES Mexican food.

MOM: “Mexican? Oh. Well, I guess I’m not getting that Martha Stewart baked macaroni and cheese that you make that I love.”

The Setting: Out to dinner with my grandparents

My grandmother’s birthday was back in November. The whole family went out to dinner to celebrate (including my uncle from California!) except us, because I was sick (Bronchitis wave #1).

So my grandfather felt badly that we didn’t get to go, so he wanted to take us out separately. Very nice of him. Very stressful for me.

Basically, my grandparents are in their late 80’s. They are in GREAT health, they both drive, they take bus trips to the casinos. They do NOT, however, frequent restaurants.

Because of this, they have ZERO idea how much food at restaurants cost, or how to act in a restaurant (mainly, my grandfather). He calls waitresses “Honey”, says things like, “Bring me another beer, will ya?” without any sort of ‘please’ or ‘thank you’, and he talk about the days when they “only used to tip 10%”.

Because of all these things, I have put off planning the dinner for a while. I needed ample time to figure out an appropriate restaurant (read: reasonable, good, Italian food with big portions and no wait to be seated).

I made a reservation for a neighborhood restaurant near their apartment, and told them I’d pick them up at 6:45pm.

A few things you should know:
1. One of my grandfather’s favorite things in the world to eat is shrimp over angel hair pasta.
2. My grandmother loves shellfish, mainly because she never makes it at home. She’s a sucker for mussels over pasta.
3. My grandfather doesn’t read menus. On the rare occasion that they come out to eat, my grandmother will read a few things off the menu to him or just decide what he’s going to eat.
4. If the shrimp aren’t big enough, my grandfather will complain. Loudly.

So there we are, settled in our booth, menus open (except my grandfather, of course).

ME (to my grandfather): “What are you in the mood to eat?”

GF: “Fried scallops.”

Are you kidding me?

ME: “They don’t have fried scallops here.”

GF: “Well, you asked me what I was in the mood for. So I answered.”

Um, okay. Now, if you knew you were in the mood for fried scallops, why didn’t you SAY something when I asked a million times where you wanted to go?????

My grandfather opens up the menu. I point out the shrimp scampi and the shrimp fra diavlo.

GF: “I’m going to have baked stuffed shrimp. You pick the appetizers.”


My grandmother pipes up that she’s like fried mozzarella. I’m totally down with that, since I know this place makes it from scratch and it’s delicious.

My grandfather pokes me on the arm.

GF: “You know what I’d like? Marinated mushrooms.”

Marinated mushrooms? Seventeen different appetizers and he wants marinated mushrooms? And I know he means the ones from the jar, the ones we have for antipasto on holidays.

ME: “I’ll ask if they have them.”

GF: “Hmph. Why wouldn’t they have them? Of course they’ll have them.”

Thankfully, they do.

The Setting: checkout at the grocery store

Let me preface this story by saying that I am the person who ALWAYS speaks up.

Cut me in line, I say something. Bring me the wrong food, I let you know. Do something stupid, I point it out.

But at this particular moment, this particular incident, I was so flabbergasted, that I couldn’t even find my voice. I just stood there with my mouth hanging open.

In an effort to eat a little healthier, I’ve been trying to bring my lunch to work. So I grabbed some roasted chicken breast from the deli.


So there I am, at check out. I’m a grocery store freak – not only do I spend hours in there, I arrange my food on the conveyor belt in the order in which I’d like it to be bagged. I put all the frozen stuff together, all the veggies together, etc. Just to make things easier for the baggers, who SOMETIMES are not the brightest bulbs in the store.

So my bagger today is awful. She’s putting one item in one bag, then like 75 items in another. Everything’s a mess. And she’s SO slow, that all of my organized groceries have now piled up at the end of the conveyor belt.

And then it happened.

She picks up my chicken breast to put it in the plastic bag, and it falls out. She is holding the little zippered deli bag with the waxy paper inside. My naked sliced chicken breast – my lunch for the week – has plummeted into the bag with my other groceries.

Now, I’m watching her and she’s watching my chicken breast. And in my mind, I’m hoping, begging, pleading that she doesn’t…when she does.


Her dirty, bagger hands are touching the chicken that I’m supposed to bring home and eat.

I can’t believe it.

And then, she doesn’t know what to do.


Who does that??? Who touches someone’s food, then puts it on a dirty countertop???

I couldn’t even believe it.

Then she just opens the little zipper bag, shoves the chicken back in, and drops it in the plastic bag.

First thing I did when I got home: threw away my chicken breast, of course.

Second thing I did when I got home: transferred the milk to another container since – with her awesome bagging skills – she put a heavy gallon of water on top of my half gallon of milk, crushing it and causing a leak in the container.


Come Sunday night, I was exhausted from my ridiculous weekend.

Seriously, this stuff only happens to me.

1 comment:

Lori said...

Oh, dear... this is clearly a case of entirely too much interaction with other human beings. I have, out of a sense of self-preservation, adopted a largely hermit-like lifestyle. I find it makes me want to punch out a lot fewer people.
A blog-reader of mine steered me to your blog, which is fabulous! If you'd like to check out mine, it's You might have to scroll down to find the funnier stuff. I've had an especially brain-dead week!