Sometimes I think I’m the type who doesn’t follow the crowd when in fact I am no different from anyone else.
Hurricane Irene is set to hit New Jersey pretty badly tomorrow. Until yesterday, as usual, I barely paid attention to the continuous news reports about the storm, particularly since I live a good distance from the shore.
But then, I started hearing that filling stations were running out of gas, even as far inland as we are, and my job formulated a contingency plan for notifying us of a possible office closure on Monday. I began thinking maybe I should prepare, even though I felt conflicted about potentially contributing to bottlenecks and shortages.
Be that as it may, like everyone else, I go to the supermarket after work to stock up on things I’ll need for the storm. My daughter comes with me. I pick up some fruit, she gathers the fixings for a nice salad.
I see that 2-liter bottles of soda are on sale, 5 for $5. I pick the flavors carefully; that should last me. Moving on, I see that I’m lucky to find milk, as there are only a few half-gallons left. Thanks goodness I have plenty of bread at home because the bread shelves here are practically empty. Fortunately, the supply of Equal artificial sweetener is plentiful (I think I’m addicted to that stuff, more on that in another post). Chicken: check. And of course, ice cream.
With the fun part over, I come to the part I hate the most about the supermarket–long lines. Again, as luck would have it, there is a really nice woman in line in back of us to chat with. We bitch and moan about getting sucked into the hurricane preparation madness, trade tidbits about our lives and family, discuss the cost of living here and in other cities on the east coast, and share our dreams of maybe relocating.
Once we finally manage to get through the checkout, I think I will make a quick stop to the other end of the strip mall to get a flashlight at Kmart but no, they had run out of them completely. Damn. No problem. Just go down the road a bit to Lowe’s, negotiate the traffic, ugh!
So I get to the Lowe’s parking lot. I’m on a mission. Before we step out of the car, my daughter spies a clothing store she thinks may have the perfect blouse to match one of her skirts. She says shes going there while I’m at Lowe’s and that she’ll meet me back at the car. I let out an exasperated sigh and say, “Ok, just don’t be in there forever.”
“What’s the matter?” she says.
This is the part where I’ll tell you that my daughter and I get along as well as mothers and daughters can. We are insanely alike in many ways, which does wonders for our relationship and sometimes makes it impossible. Also, she’s so different from me as to be alien-like.
Getting back to the story, my daughter immediately notices the edge in my voice. So she does the very thing that she knows will irk me further.
She grabs me by the armpits.
I am both pathetically ticklish and dedicated to looking calm and composed at all times. Her hands in my armpits takes me off my game.
“Stop it,” I say through giggles.
She says, “No. Why are you mad at me?”
I know not to lie to her. “I’m not mad; I’m annoyed.”
“Why?” she says, applying a bit more pressure.
“Because you’re not into what I’m into anymore.”
“Oh,” she says. She unhands me. Then she gets out of the car and goes into the store to look for a blouse.
I admire that she would not let me go without giving her a real answer.
Lowe’s also had run out of flashlights. I ended up going to Staples and buying two of the last four “superlights,” the powerful little gizmos you can hang around your neck.
© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2011