The voices in my head are singing Keep Me in Your Heart by Warren Zevon
What I’m reading: Trouble in Paradise by Robert B. Parker
Y’all won’t believe what I did in Publix Friday… well, okay, you might. You will. Absolutely, you will…
I was making my third (and last) trip to the grocery store for 4th of July weekend supplies. I was tootling down the aisle with my cart, iPhone earbuds in, listening to The Isley Brother’s rendition of Summer Breeze. I had a list and was checking it twice, when I realized that I’d forgotten the honey mustard dressing for the chicken strips.
I parked my cart at the end of the paper products aisle and bebopped my way back over to condiments. The store was crowded, and I was zigging and zagging in and out of the crowd, but not stressed as I sometimes get in crowded stores. The music soothes my soul.
Anyway, I retrieved my honey mustard and some ranch, just in case. I dropped them in the cart, and weaved my way in and out of the mothers with small children and clueless husbands staring vacantly at the shelves as if whatever their wives wanted might jump out at them.
I noticed one man squinting at me. He mumbled something, but Summer Breeze had finished, and I was now dancing down the aisle to Lady Marmalade–the one from Moulin Rouge. This is a Jazzercise song, so I truly was, most likely, dancing (just a little bit). I figured Squinty Man just thought I was a little nutty.
But Squinty Man followed me around the corner and down the main aisle. This made me a little nervous, so I turned up the baking needs aisle, thinking he would go on by.
But he didn’t.
He followed me. I glanced at him, and he said something I couldn’t make out. I didn’t make eye contact. He was squinting harder, and I did not know this man.
Almost at the end of baking needs, he maneuvered in front of me. He said something that sounded like “milk” through Christina Aguilera’s high notes. I thought, maybe he’s looking for the canned milk. That has tripped me up before in this store. So I paused Christina.
“Ma’am,” he said.
I smiled a helpful smile, “Yes?”
“You have my cart,” he said.
I looked at the contents of the cart in front of me, expecting validation.
Except for the dressings, the stuff in the cart was definitely not mine. I looked back at him, horrified. “I am SO sorry!” I said. I looked around and remembered. “I left my cart at the end of an aisle, and I forgot–“
“You have my vodka,” he said.
I looked. Sure enough, in the seat where you put your toddler, he had two fifths of vodka in a brown paper bag. He’d been to the liquor store before he came to Publix. I had made off with his liquor. I do not even drink Vodka. Vodka and I had a falling out a long time ago. But that’s a whole nother story.
“I am SO, SO sorry,” I said. “I can’t believe I did that!” I retrieved my dressings from his cart.
He shook his head and grinned. “No problem,” he said. He commandeered his cart and headed back down baking needs. “Have a nice day.”
“You too,” I called.
Friday night Jim and I were having dinner with some friends we’ll call Sandra and Wilson, because those are their names. I told them what I’d done. They laughed. Wilson shook his head and said, “I don’t think I would have told that.”
Other friends have made similar comments about other ditzy things I’ve done and told or posted. I’ve heard “I can’t believe you admit that,” a few times.
The thing is, I have to be able to laugh at myself. I don’t ever want to take myself too seriously. It’s a good thing, I guess…