March 23, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Tuesday just wasn’t my day. For a number of reasons, including bad dreams, I woke up feeling like a grump. I felt bad feeling like a grump and I consciously decided to be perkier. I rolled out of bed (it’s only fourteen inches off the ground) and walked into the living room. Audrey was playing with her Mega Blocks and Trever was sending out an email.
“We should definitely make some coffee,” I mumbled to Trever, “Coffee would really be good today.”
He looked up from his phone and smiled. Stood up and kissed me.
“Yes, it’s definitely a coffee day,” he agreed.
He cleaned the much-unused pot and got it percolating within minutes. The smell lifted my spirits and I made Audrey a bowl of her new peanut buttery organic cereal before putting on a pot of rice cereal for my gluten-free tummy.
After devouring my breakfast unbothered, I got myself ready for a day out with the ladies and their girlies. “Good,” I thought, “I could definitely use a girl day.”
I moved slower than I thought and by the time I had Audrey in the car, it was 5 to eleven. It would take me much longer to get to Mothersong! at the American Legion Hall in Eagle Rock, but oh well. I opened the garage, got Audrey in, pulled out, got out of the car, closed the garage, and before I could even get out of the ally I remembered I’d forgotten a few things: my chapstick, a Macy’s gift card I wanted to use later, and a tube of nontoxic black paint for Eris and her Audrey to craft with (I’d been meaning to give it to her for over a month). “Darnit!” I chided myself, “No time to turn back now.”
I drove on the streets from my house to Eagle Rock and passed the little building that housed the music class. “No parking!” I thought to myself in a tiff and continued to drive around, up and down each street. I figured there must’ve been a parent meeting or something at one of the schools it’s near.
“Oh bother, I’ll just park in a one-hour spot. I’m already 20 minutes late anyway.”
Audrey and I went inside and enjoyed our friends’ company although the Mothersong part was kind of silly. When we came out and walked to the curb, I saw the parking guy getting out of his “clean air gas” car. “Oh crap!” I ran with Audrey in my arms and pleaded,
“Please, sir! I’m only three minutes late. I don’t have enough money for next months bills. I don’t have money to waste on a ticket. I brought my daughter to a donation-only class and was just about to leave.”
“I saw your car here and the meter and got out to give you a ticket!”
“I know! But you haven’t yet and I really can’t afford one!”
“Well, let me just finish!”
“Just finish?” by this time I’m panicking because he was actually giving me a ticket in front of my face, I couldn’t believe my eyes! His ticket that would clearly state: Not Attended. Yet I was standing right there.
“You don’t seem to understand, I don’t have any effing money!”
At this he gave me a look from his dark brown eyes, “You don’t have to swear!”
“Oh I don’t? You just gave me an effing ticket in front of my face when I told you I was leaving. I told you I didn’t have the money. I told you I was broke.”
And at that he began to stuff the ticket under my windshield wiper. I ripped it out of his hand, “You don’t have to put it there, I told you I was leaving!”
At this he looked at me with apprehension, got in the nice work car, a car that he himself would never have the money to own. And drove away. If I had a rock I would’ve. But I didn’t.
I got Audrey in the car. Cursed for a minute after seeing the unjustly doled out ticket was for $58 buckaroos and drove towards our chosen lunch spot, Auntie Em’s. My lady friends were all supportive and validating. And I thought I was being a youknow. So it made me feel better than even though/if I was, they still loved me. My friend, Theresa, even paid my tab.
The day was a bit of a roller coaster, but improving. I got back in the car (with no ticket, yay free parking) and drove to Target to get a couple things. Audrey fell asleep and did a lovely transfer from carseat to stroller. She slept for another hour while I shopped and even walked from one end of the mall to the other. She woke up in the shoe section of Macy’s and was ecstatic to get out and look around. A shoe fetish already.
I was about finished with my shopping and walked to the Armenian cashier who was arguing with a Vietnamese lady about what a “pre-sale” was. Both being ESL (English Second Language, a term I learned to use as such from a Dutchie in Australia, Anna-Mieka), it was quite entertaining. After they’d argued for a bit and the 50-something native middle-easterner was angry about her life in retail, I gave her my merchandise–some much-needed socks for Audrey and a pair of rain boots that I’m still debating about (Wet feet? Or continuing to use shoes with recycled grocery bags?)–and card to pay.
She huffed and puffed a bit. Ordered me to hit the correct buttons on the debit pad and got out my receipt. I then handed her my nylon green shopping bag and she looked at me incredulously, “You cannot use that bag. You have to use one of our bags. I have to give you one of ours.”
Knowing that some employees will do this with the marketing of the store in mind I replied, “I’m just going to stuff it in my stroller anyway. No one will see the bag.”
“It’s for liability reasons,” she insisted, “and security…it will confuse the security guards.”
I laughed and then composed myself when I realized she was dead serious. We were arguing over a plastic bag. And if I know Armenians who are already hating life and on a power trip, I wasn’t going to win.
But alas, I tried to make my point anyway, “I happen to know that you’re full of it. I’ve been using my own bags for almost four years. But I can’t really bothered. Just don’t try to use that excuse again.”
I was still snickering at her forthrightness about a plastic bag of all things. A plastic bag, which I put in the lower compartment of my stroller. I laughed about how I’ve told cashiers to not give me any bag and have walked out of stores carrying my purchased goods with a receipt on top as proof. You can’t win every one. It’s like the Whole Foods cashiers that huff and puff when you bring in your own bags. It just happens.
Audrey and I took our time walking back through the mall to Target. We got in the car. What a strange day. We’d made it to four o’clock. We drove home, at a snack, cleaned up the house for a bit. A bit too long. But at least it’s clean now.
The only way I knew how to finish off such an odd and strangely crummy feeling day was to make vegan chocolate chip cookies. So I did. And I felt better. Much. Much better. Now if only I could get out of my parking ticket.