Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hell on earth has a home away from home

I used to think the phramacy line at CVS was hell on earth. And it still is but now I discovered there was another place that was hell on earth - the Stop & Shop deli department.

I know. It is dreadful to think that one might spend a few moments on a Friday or Saturday night grocery shopping. And I'm not talking after work hours. I'm talking 9 p.m. when most people are doing normal Friday night activities. And now, it's not because I am married now and have no life, but because the store is not weighed down with the mass of morons drunk driving their carts while trying to calm screaming kids or old people who think it's okay to park their cart in the middle of the aisle while they take 20 minutes to decide on what brand of prune juice fits their needs. I go to the grocery store only at these times. But sometimes I find myself having to go after work to pick something up for dinner. I hate these moments. In fact, it's these times that warrant eating out okay even if we ate out all of the preceding evenings as well.

The last time I braved the afterwork grocery store rush I knew it was a bad idea as soon as I stepped inside. The joint was FREEZING. Granted, I was in produce but this odd new sensitivity to the cold instantly turned my feet numb and blue. I went to the deli counter and took a number 194. What does that tell you? They have this new thing now where you can punch your order into a machine and they will have it ready for you while you shop for other things rather than wait. This is a great idea except I was only here for cold cuts.

My number 194 looked bad but looked less scary when I looked up and saw they were on 190. It should go fast. But my hopes were dashed by the fact that despite 6 people behind the counter, there was only one person slicing cold cuts. That means 5 people were there to do nothing but raise my blood pressure. And the one worker . . . . well slow would be an understatement. I watched as she could not find the Land O' Lakes white American in the fridge. Obviously, this called for the opening of a new one. But rather do that, she talked to the fridge for a few minutes trying to coax it out of hiding.

I realized there was an unusually large crowd gathered by the deli counter because it was raining the day before and rain, you know, melts people.

By the time the counter called for 191, my fingers were white with frostbite and it had been 5 minutes. I started pawing through the pre-packages cold cuts but became angry when I realized that you are paying about $2 more for the conveninece of that and I wanted more than a quarter pound of proscuttio. Call me crazy. Five minutes later they were still on 191 so I began collecting prepackaged cold cuts fightig back the hot stinging tears of defeat as Stop & Shop took my money because they failed to hire proper management to get the deli department in working order.

Screw that!!! No way would I let them win. I put the cold cuts back and decided to wait.

192 was called and I saw another deli person washing their hands as if ready to pitch in and help his slower than slower than slow co-worker. I realized then what took so long. The clerk would slice a piece of whatever and hold it up for the customer to see if it was cut to their liking. Now, who is watching their deli clerk that intently that they would see them hold up a slice of ham. Most people are talking on their cells, walking around produce getting other things or watching their kids trying to wriggle free from the confines of their cold steel cages with wheels. And rather than just let the customer slide, these clerks were waiting for the customer to acknowledge them without making any attempt to get their attention.

Here's a concept. How about just slicing your cold cuts to a usual standard unless the customer specifies a different way. I always specify and therefore I am always fast to answer when the clerk holds up a slice for me to inspect. Not specifying = not caring. So, slice away deli people. Slice away.

By the time they got to 193, my feet were so frozen walking was painful and I thought for sure they were doing this on purpose. I began collecting my cold cuts again while carefully watching the counter to see if it would change before I finished. I balled my number up into a tight little ball and just about pitched into the trash when I thought, "You waited this long, dummy. What's one more number?" So i waited . . . and waited . . . and waited . . . . and waited.

194 Finally! I over ordered everything on purpose and threw in a few extra so that the people behind me had to wait like I had to wait while the Suzie Homemakers before me ordered enough cold cuts to feed army troops. I highly doubt all those people were making antipastas. There is just no excuse.

$22 later, I left the store and vowed to never returned.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Boiling rabbits

I have a theory and sometimes that theory is right. Okay, it's OFTEN right but I hate going around saying, "I told you so" because, really, what good does it do? I don't claim to be a relationship expert and I only claim to have made about four good decisions in my entire 34 years so far so really, who should listen to me? I'm crazy but in an okay way. I have really weird unexplained quirks and I'm the only person who begs to be on trials where afflictions of the skin are involved. These are weird and a bit crazy but I like to think I am the good crazy not the kind that requires you to have the police on speed dial.

But this theory I have is one that a lot of people (except the people going through it) agree with. It's the theory of couples counseling.

Now. For the record, let me state here that I'm not against couple's counseling. Sometimes couples just need a little extra help communicating. They need an unbiased party to set their shit straight and put them on a path to success. Couples counseling has helped people I know avoid divorce or decide to divorce. It certainly has its benefits. However, I have seen an awful lot of people I know lately who aren't even engaged going to counseling.

Let me just throw this out there as food for thought. If you have to go to counseling before you're even engaged, isn't that setting off some kind of red flag? Isn't that saying, "gee, we're having a problem communicating now, let's get married and cure it." To me, it's like having kids to save your marriage. I can understand it. You love this person, you want to spend the rest of your life with this person but they need some work. All couples need work. All couples have growing pains. Every person walks into a relationship with a clusterfuck of issues. It's a fact of life. If you think you're not going to be effected by this then you live in a fairytale. Sometimes these issues can only be helped by a professional. Sometimes they can only be helped by that individual but the fact of the matter is that person has to really want to overcome their issues for their sake and the sake of their partner. They have to be open to being helped.

So, it's not a very big surprise to me when non-engaged couples who are in therapy break up. It's also no surpise to me that when I'm looked to for encouraging words about said break up I bring aboslutely nothing of emotional value to the table except a a very strong urge not to say, "well, duhhhhhhhh!"

I got nuttin'. I know that may come off as cold and I've been called "black hearted". But, wouldn't you rather have that than me blowing Doctor Phil psychobabble up your ass? Recently a friend of mine broke up with his girlfriend. I saw all the red flags practicaly shooting sparklers and he chose to ignore all of them until he had to change his locks to protect himself from them.

Red flag #1 - I pegged her as crazy (the bad crazy) the minute I met her. I know I make snap judgments about people but I'm not usually wrong. On the rare occassion that I misjudged someone I am the first to admit it.

Red flag #2 - At a dinner party more than one of her friends (and one guy who didn't know her all that well) suggested she had an alcohol problem. Granted, they may have been joking but there is truth in every joke.

Red flag #3 - He's witnessed more drunken rages than he cares to admit to. I learn about a new one he failed to tell me everyday. During one rage he witnessed her display Herculean strength pushing a heavy, filled armoire across the room like it was a cottonball in an effort to cause him physical harm.

Red flag #4 - They don't even live together yet and they are in therapy.

Red flag #5 - They narrowly escaped breaking up twice before they were six months into their relationship. Six months is still the honeymoon period as far as I am concrened. You should still be on your best behavior around your significant ther. This means that you're not farting in front of eachother and you're still closing the bathroom door.

But of course all those times he told me he was enaggement ring hunting and I kept telling him to keep the receipt, I was being "mean." And all those times I said, "she is crazy, could very well have a problem with the vino so beware" apparently wasn't enough because when they broke up this past time, I was blamed for not telling him what I thought about her. Mind you, this is the second girl in two years who displayed a major crazy side. Both of which I said, "you know she is crazy, right?" after meeting them for the first time.

And now he wants supportive words. I had to tell him I am not good with break ups. I never have been. In my thought process you break up because you're not compatible. End of story. If the other party is having a hard time accepting it then it is their bag. And we've ALL been in the place of unacceptance before. We've all said something so mean and hurtful to our exes with the intention of having it sting like a swarm of bees. I know it's hard to watch someone you care about cry and convulse but it's pretty shitty of them to think that breaking up with them had no effect on you whatsoever so they can carry on like they're having an epileptic fit. You just happen to be in more control of your emotions than they are.

I'm probably the last person anyone should want encouraging words from right now. I'm still a newlywed (despite the fact it feels like I have been married ten years already) so everything is all roses and kissy faces and shit. But, I've always had that, you live and you learn now move on attitude about relationships. I guess I just naturally assumed there is someone else out there who is better for you if you deserved it. Plus, I sometimes find it an exercise in futility to console someone who has a track record of getting back together with their crazy ex. I mean why expend the energy if it's ignored anyway. I learned that the hard way which is probably why I am the way I am.

He said he wants to know how to tell if a girl is crazy or not. I told him that I would be his crazy barometer. Invite them out and have me meet them, if I tell you she is crazy then dump her. So far I haven't been wrong.