So, the housewife had to run some errands today. Dog medicine had to be picked up, human medicine had to be picked up, Christmas gifts had to be purchased, and outgoing items had to be dropped off at the post office.
If I had the teeniest drop of Christmas spirit in my when I went out this morning, it has been completely squeezed out of my circulatory system by now.
First, a trek across Siberia. Well, across the Target parking lot. A long way to go for medication I don’t want to take. Perhaps the man had already been in line. I don’t know. He came from out of an aisle and snuck up to the pharmacist’s counter in front of me. Could have been he had every right to do so. My possession of ovaries does not automatically put me in line in front of him. But, if you know you’re going to be asking a lot of questions, why not just hold back and let the little lady go first. She’s going to be getting angry later, so better to just let her have some peace for now. Or not.
It makes me deliriously happy to know that my prescription is going to cost more than 3 times what it did earlier. And no one is going to be able to tell me why. Its up to me to make the choice – pay up or die. So, calmly, I take out my wads of cash and change, and place it into the pharmacy cashier’s hand.
After jostling (jousting) for the shortest big box check out line, I reach the cashier and am given a not too pleasant look for having the nerve to supply my own bag. Makes a little extra work for the cashier. In return, she grabs the receipt, coupons for shit I don’t want on my next trip, green change and the jangly change, and, in a vague attempt to aim everything at once into my outstretched hand, misses by a mile and hurls most everything to the floor. “Oops,” I say as I chase rolling coins. I am able to catch the ones that rolled my way. I have to stare at her to get her to pick up the coins that rolled behind the counter. I try to gather my belongings as they are shoved along by the cashier to make room for the next customer’s purchases.
I think I shall attend the next big box chain board meeting and suggest that next to the register, a catapult should be installed for each cashier to launch receipts, coupons and change in a wide-ranging arc. Better than a piñata, and just as frustrating to the customer.
Outside the store, I attempt to reach my car in the parking lot. While passing through the crosswalk, a man swerves his car around me to save himself the inconvenience of slowing down. For some, it seems, picking skin, bones and purchases off of the front bumper is preferable than lightly applying the brakes.
Where to next? More Christmas shopping? Why yes. At the only other store in town? And would that be another big box chain store? Absolutely. What the hell else is left in town? Why not the little gift stores downtown. Well, they all went out of business. What about that furniture and gift store out by the mall? Well, now that’s a mattress center. What about that awesome music store that would have all kinds of neat things for the hubby? Well, they have downsized and eliminated most of the cool stuff. The other side of the store? Well, that was made into a mattress center? What about that store that was across the street? Well, now that’s a Chick-fil-A. Ok. Ok. What else? Say, what about Pier I. There’s neat stuff there. Like hell. It’s now a medical clinic. What about that cool party store across town. Nope. It’s now a medical clinic. Wait. That independently-owned toy store? Nope, walk-in medical clinic. WTF? Yep. Retail in my neck of the woods means mattresses, chicken sandwiches and medical clinics. How do I wrap up those crappy gifts? Wait! There’s still some retail left in town. Tanning salons! Nail salons! Melanoma? Nail fungus? Plenty of walk-in clinics for that!
Since shopping has been cut short, to be done at home from the computer, there’s just one more errand to run. The post office. Good God, there’s a looooong line. But, it moves quickly. The clerks are patient, calm and friendly. Joy! Postal Joy! Who would have thought?
The little bit of Christmas joy received today was furnished by the Post Office!