Sunday, August 1


I'm not sure what idiot decided I was mature enough to handle ventures such as Wal-Mart, because every time I prove them wrong.

It was going to be a quick trip. The necessities: milk, bread, toothbrush, sugar cubes, and a couple 12-packs of diet cherry coke (that should last me about a week). I'm calm and collected walking in. I see fruit. Ok, I say to myself, I could probably enjoy some bananas with my Rice Krispies in the morning. So, like the responsible adult I am, I pick out some bananas. Toby looks over my shoulder. "Those are a little green," he says, and picks out a different bunch. Ok, I say to myself, I can deal with being corrected by a guy who probably has eaten fruit three times in his life.

I check out apple prices. I wonder if I could get some rotten apples, you know the ones they have in a back room somewhere, really cheap. I'm only feeding them to my horses, after all. I skip over them because why would I spend $2.49 for a pound of apples when I can get 50 pounds of grain for $7.99? Horses like grain better anyway.

Everything's good and under control so far.

We pass by the condom/tampon aisle. I giggle over the boxes labeled "magnum" of both products. Toby rolls his eyes and says, "You've never used a condom in your life." Neither have you, I say, and he rolls his eyes again in a classic "I might be wrong but I'm still right" gesture.

Coke time. I panic, as usual, because I can't find my variety at first. (They always, always, always hide the Diet Cherry Coke and there's only ever two or three boxes of it anyway. Apparently Diet Vanilla is much more popular.) During my panic I'm thinking, I am so not ready to drink regular but I can't go without my Cherry! I sign, Shit fuck shit, and then I find it. False alarm; crisis averted.

I then spend ten minutes in the coffee aisle because Toby wants Yuban, and I don't know what the hell that means and he has wondered off to develop some pictures. Up and down, scanning rows and rows of shiny coffee cans, but no Yuban. What is wrong with Folgers, anyway? It's the best part of waking up. It's an American institution. When he comes back I say, No Yuban. He rolls his eyes and grabs Maxwell House.

All the way over to the school supplies, I am trying to get him to tell me what is so bad about Folgers. I tell him it's the best part of waking up, it's an American institution, it's the inspiration for terrible Pep Club diddies all over the country, it now comes in plastic containers with screw-top lids--that, my friends, is progress! He is not talking, probably too busy counting down the seconds until his next smoke. Or maybe just counting to ten and breathing deep to keep from killing me.

I don't buy a notebook, because I wanted one with some fun stuff on it (it is back to school time, after all, and there should be cartoon notebooks everywhere) but they are all out. I haven't written in a long time anyway.

Another five minutes looking through the toothbrush choices. There is quite a wide array. I usually prefer to let someone else buy my toothbrush so I don't have to make a decision, but I was there and so were the toothbrushes. After much deliberation, similar to that of a hung jury on a celebrity's rape trial where half of them are fans and half aren't, I choose. Yu-Gi-Oh. I probably just picked it so I could go "Yu-Gi-Oh! Yu-Gi-Oh! YU-GI-OH!" a lot. Try it. It's really fun.

I also bought three boxes of sugar cubes, a gallon of skim milk, and a new shirt. On the way home I drive, he shifts, at stoplights he bites my ear. I try my best to frown and be pouty (he only rolled his eyes at me five million times in an hour), but his breath is warm and tickles my sunburned skin.

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