Surprised by the mundane



Umm, excuse me. Please don’t crowd me.


OK – this look? It means “Don’t reach for that orange divider”…So you put it up there anyway. What are you doing? I still have a cart load of groceries to unload and there’s someone in front of me. Where do you expect me to put my stuff? I have cans of cat food and cheese and lettuce and detergent and cereal. (Lucky Charms – my favorite. They’re magically delicious and they turn my tongue blue.)


OK seriously, what’s the rush? Do you even know how lines work? I would think you should know how lines work because I’m sure you had to wait in bread lines or something during the Depression. I’m not being disrespectful. So you’re old. I don’t give a shit. I respect you. I’ll even make small talk with you about the outrageous price of milk if you’ll just back off a little.

Pushing against my cart isn’t going to make the line go any faster. Don’t act all innocent like you didn’t know. Unless your entire body is numb I know you felt the steel basket poking into your thigh when you pushed it into me and I pushed back.

And what’s your hurry anyway? You’re retired. You could be sitting at home working on a crossword puzzle.  You could go to the store when the rest of us are at work, like at 9 a.m. Monday. No one else would be here. The conveyer belt would be like a damn runway. You could practically take off in a small plane from there – that’s how much space you’d have.

Is it because you crave human touch? Is that why you keep bumping against me? Because I’m not a freak or anything but I need some space. We’re not dating. We’re just in the same line. This guy named Edward Hall studied it back in the 60’s. He called it proxemics.

Here’s an idea: You could go to Mass. They always hold hands. And then afterwards you could stay for some fellowship – the coffee and donut kind not the Aragorn/Legolas kind. The comfort of touch, social interaction and all that stuff would probably do wonders for you. Wait, that probably wouldn’t work. I bet you’re one of those people who leaves before Communion is even over. You have to be the first one out of the parking lot right?

Hey look I’m swiping my card. I told you it would be your turn soon. Have you ever heard that song “I Hate Everyone,” by Get Set Go? Right. Dumb question, but anyway that’s how I feel about you. I didn’t know checking out at the grocery store could be so stressful.

Is that why you’re so impatient? The whole checking out thing and the implication that death is around every corner, just waiting for you? Shit. I didn’t even think about that. That’s gotta suck.

 Can you believe what we’re paying for milk lately? I know, it’s ridiculous. It would be cheaper to drink gas. Ha, ha! No you weren’t pushing me. I mean I didn’t notice if you were. No problem. OK, well you have a nice day.  Enjoy your macaroons!


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