Saturday, July 07, 2018

Meijer and the overactive imagination(?)

even if it is on sale, there is 1 thing you shouldn't buy a dozen of: bleach. 

especially in the 121 oz size(!).

Quiet-Keeps-To-Himself Man u-scanned his 6th container of bleach when I realized what was going on next to me. 

involuntarily, my eyes widened as my brain whispered, "what is he going to do with all that bleach?" the Blacklist's S1 E4: The Stewmaker (title says it all, eww!) leaps to my freaked-out mind.

QKTHM senses my angst, he attempts an innocent smile (not fooling anyone, weirdo) and speeds up his scanning.

my Meijer Crazy Spidey Sense is thrown into high gear. I can't be the only one that thinks this is strange, right? 

attempting not to spook QKTHM that I'm on to him, I covertly side-glance to the dark security bubble cameras hanging from the ceiling. 

ever so slyly, I tilt my head towards QKTHM and roll my eyes his way. obviously, the internationally accepted gesture for: "Are you seeing this guy?!" 

I feigned focus on scanning my charcoal and hamburger patties while I waited for Meijer's Security Team to storm out from the Employees Only door. 

and waited, and waited. zilch. 

I glance back at QKTHM, bottle #12 successfully scanned. he glances at me, a shaky smile as he scans the last item-- a box of garbage bags. 

correction... a box of HUSKY 42-GALLON CONTRACTOR HEAVY DUTY GARBAGE BAGS! (sorry for the all-caps, bold, and italic, but it feels appropriate to that moment)

my brain searches through all the mystery novels, movies and TV shows--desperate for the logistics and legality on how to citizen's arrest a possible lunatic, when I hear--

"whoa! that's a lot of bleach!"

the on-duty Steward of the U-Scan Podium walks over to QKTHM, who quick glances at me, then says to Steward, "Yeah, I've been cleaning out neglected swimming pools all summer; got a real bad one today."

within a nanosecond, I'm pretending like I never noticed nuthin'. eyes now glued to my own u-scan, I pay, load the cart, and get the heck outta there. 

ashamed, with my head down, I'm determined not to notice/observe another thing for the rest of my life--cursing my overactive imagination--I fast-walk across the parking lot to my car. 

I shut my trunk and see Law-Abiding-Pool-Guy (formerly QKTHM), loading all that innocent bleach, and friend of the pool industry Husky bags into the backseat of his car. 

Our eyes briefly meet as I pull away, I'm about to offer a conciliatory smile, when this thought hits me... 

why doesn't he use his trunk?

followed up with... 

he's not tan.

I'm processing this when QKTHM (formerly LAPG) waves, drives away in an old nondescript US make/model car that I can't place. 

pretty sure I heard my overactive imagination scream, "NOOOOOOOO!"

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Meijer and the faulty perfect solution

for several years now, I've been handbag free. *pats self on back* #wheresmy12stephandbaganonymousbutton?

don't get the wrong idea, I'm not a poster-waving, #pursessuck hash-tagging, anti-handbag lobbyist. the 2 handbags that I own (Ralph Lauren & Kate Spade, RIP😢) only come out on Sundays, or when I am pocketless and need something to hold my phone, lipstick and key fob.

I've seen too many ASP videos of miscreants attacking women for their purses. robbers and opportunistic sons of witches-with-a-B, that seem to be inexplicably drawn to the purse--like moth to flame, like steel to magnet, like... The Biebs to Selena!

so, long ago, I decided to no longer be the flame, magnet, or Selena. (giving up my Selena side has been tough. #pleasesendthoughtsandprayers)

yesterday, 2018. Meijer parking lot

I grab my earbuds, key fob already in jeans pocket, and then I grab my phone, get out of car and lock door. that's when it hit me. my phone is everything I need for my grocery Meijer experience.

1. music--to blare out any Meijer crazy rants, conversations, tantrums
2. shopping list--it's all there in my notes app
3. $$--apple pay (💙)

strong walk into Meijer, confident that my phone and earbuds have turned out to be the perfect solution for any craziness Meijer can sling at me. airlock whooshes open and I'm smiling at the reality of my brilliance. 

my Mako filled earbuds drown out the hit-and-miss Muzak. being purse-free means I can park my cart to search produce, instead of clenching a bulky cart that holds a massive, wide-open purse in the toddler seat. (btw, really? you leave your purse wide open? even 1/2 a step to select the perfect yellow squash is all a sinister-type needs to clean you out.) aaaand, I don't have to hear the two Meijer associates shelving and trash-talking their significant others. 

but then, the unthinkable happens in the meat department; my perfect solution wavers. the tremor to my perfection solution hits in the form of a woman, her large cart, and her insistence on holding onto the cart with one hand--arm's distance--while slowly perusing. this stance: body, cart hold at arm's distance, and large cart means she is taking up 3/4 of the refrigerated poultry section. 

and guess what?! I need chicken(!), the exact chicken that she is blocking with her 7 foot wingspan! seconds tick by... and no movement or acknowledgment that I'm next to her, clearly craning my neck staring at the very package of chicken breasts that is oh-so-close and yet  s o  f a r. 

she doesn't care. her exhale means she's going to have a nice long think about this week's dinner menu for Hubby and Junior before she gives up her refrigerator pole position(s).

I'm at a loss as to what more I can do to get her, and her rig, out of park and into drive. maybe if I had a giant purse, I could nudge her into backing away? purse envy washes over me, as I look at my tiny 7+ (plus, *overt eyeroll* yeah, right). 

never one to succumb to defeat easily, I regroup, do I reach across her? do I, *gulp* speak an "excuse me...", risking a crazy interaction? do I tickle her arm pit? seriously, what are my options? all I have is an iPhone for crying out loud!

and suddenly, a faulty perfect solution presented itself. faulty in that I would have to stamp down my inhibitions, but otherwise, with the tools I had on hand--perfect

the chorus, from one of my favorite playlists, Cross My Mind, Pt. 2, by A R I Z O N A fills my head...


"And I know I haven't been perfect, but give it some time
'Cause not a single day goes by where you don't cross my mind

And we spend our lives looking for things we can't find, oh

Oh, but not a single day goes by where you don't cross my mind."



I turn up the music volume, at first my voice is a low-whisper mumble, but it got her attention. so I get bolder, using my clear, steady "indoor voice" to sing as I pretend to peruse the rows of plastic wrap chicken flesh. my peripheral vision notes an uneasy glance at me, but no actual movement. I up the ante, and pat my thigh to the beat.




she grabbed her cart close and moved on to pork. thank the heavens above(!) that I didn't have to sing the refrain.


I'm hoping, that in some alternate universe, she's writing a blog about a blankety-blank Meijer crazy titled, "Meijer and the crazy off-key solo act."