Monday, April 4, 2011
Got no reason to live...
When you live with someone for a long time, I suppose you take on some of their characteristics. While I'm still waiting for the wicked math skills to transfer from MathMan's brain to mine, I have noticed that I'm cognizant of patterns. MathMan has always been a pattern guy. He could become exasperated with me sometimes when he'd try to point them out and I couldn't seem them until he got out the Crayolas to create visuals. But now I see patterns. They may not be complex like MathMan's patterns that require a TI80 Disco Edition calculator to explain, but I see some. Before the patterns may have skimmed across my awareness, ricocheted off my memory bank and landed - ignored and lonely - in some dusty, dark, mostly dead brain coil along with 8th grade Algebra, the location of that I.U. sweatshirt I lost in 1990 something and the plus que parfait portion of French verb conjugation. Now I take notice.
For example, I've noticed that each time I go into a store with one or more of my children, they manage to find The Gopher of As Seen on TV fame. For the next ten minutes or until I start making threats involving leaving without them, I drift around the store repeating quit it, put that thing away, stop it, and don't make me call security while being menaced by one or both of them wielding the metal and plastic pincer claw grabbing my butt, my upper arm flab and whatever coupon I'm holding.
Add to this familial pattern, the fact that even alone in the CVS last week, I noticed a young husband pick up The Gopher and tease his pretty wife with it. Yes, she repeated Quit it! and Stop it! as well. She was sweet enough to add endearments like sweetie and silly to her admonishments though. They must have been newlyweds.
My last trip to the grocery store made me realize that perhaps the Universe is telling me something. I could actually use a Gopher. See, I'm short. Really short. I topped out at five foot three quarters of an inch, but it's likely that through the pull of gravity on my skeleton and an overuse of a pumice stone on my feet, I'm probably not even that tall now.
When you're this close to the ground, grocery store shelves can seem pretty high and many things are out of reach. Saturday night I nearly put an eye out using one bottle of stain fighter to hook around the trigger of the one I actually wanted to buy. One good pull and both came tumbling down on me.
Irv, clean up on aisle seven!
Sometimes I'll hang around for a minute hoping that someone tall and approachable will come along so I can ask to borrow their height. Other times, I'll find an employee to help me out. If I'm desperate and don't have to pee, I'll risk it and scale the shelves like a housewife version of Spiderwoman in a hoodie and yoga pants. Instead of crime fighting, I' on a quest for the right size bottle of French's Worsterschire Sauce to match the B1G1 sale and my coupon.
I've heard some too late store employee say "M'am, we'd prefer it if you'd come on out of the freezer now." But once I've committed, I'm not leaving that freezer without my bag of chopped onions, damn it.
So I can see the beauty of the Gopher. It could come in quite handy (pun intended.) Just this week, I could have used it at our Publix. The Truvia (stacking store and manufacturing coupons made it free!) was on the top shelf and way, way back there. What a pickle. Climb? Beg for help? Or stick the coupons back in my ziplock bag and harrumph away. It's not like I'm going to give up sugar anytime soon anyway.
Walking away from the free product irritated me nonetheless. Enough with the height discrimination!
A few minutes later, I was once again staring at the top shelf - this time in the refrigerated section. The strawberry thick and creamy Yoplaits that Nate likes were in stock, but out of reach. Oh, I could have climbed up on the bottom shelf and risked putting a foot through one of the Dora the Explorer yogurt packages, but I didn't like the odds. Plus I was wearing sandals.
Luck for me, a tallish woman came by and helped. After thanking her profusely, I walked away thinking there had to be a better way. A Gopher! Its usefulness can't be denied. There are other benefits, as well. I could walk by kids who've just hit the bakery for their free cookie and snatch those cookies in a flash and be gone, stashing the evidence of my wrongdoing in my cart before the harried mother could figure out that I was the culprit. I could grab butts. And snatch coupons from my competitors. I could spice up a trip to the grocery with that annoying as shit tap you on the shoulder, look away innocently game.
I could even make myself useful by reaching things for other Short People.
All I need now is a coupon for one...