Sunday, February 21, 2010

An Early Morning Lesson in Small(er) Towns

This past Friday was my father's sixty-fourth birthday. Since I am the epitome of a daddy's girl, I made the trek back to my hometown for a visit. And since it's scientifically proven to be impossible to buy birthday presents for fathers, I decided to make waffles for breakfast (and do the dishes) on both Saturday and Sunday while I was visiting. Happy Birthday dad!

In preparation, I called my mother to make certain she had most of the perishable ingredients needed to make waffles that would not make the trek with me from Indianapolis. When I found out that she didn't have milk, I offered to stop on my way home, but she repeatedly assured me that she would pick up milk before Friday problem.

Apparently this promise was forgotten. Two glasses of wine into the visit on Friday night (where alcohol seems to be flowing ever copiously,) my mother remembered that she had forgotten to get milk. Damn. No problem...I love my dad...I'll get up on Saturday morning before my dad gets up and buy some milk.

My dad gets up at 7:30am. Everyday.

My hometown is on CST while Indy is on EST.

So not only was I getting up at 7:00am on a Saturday, my body actually felt like it was getting up at 6:00am. I had also had two three a few glasses of wine. You can imagine how happy I was when I went to get milk on Saturday morning.

"I really love my dad," was what I chanted to myself repeatedly when I went to get milk at the crack of dawn. (It was either that or evil thoughts about my mother who had forgotten the milk in the first place. It was with great effort that I focused on the positive. I really really hate mornings.)

When I arrived at the closest grocery store to my parent's house (approximately a three minute drive, I might add) I had progressed from grumpy to crabby to certifiably evil. I headed to the back of the store to get the milk, cursing because I had to walk through the entire store to get to the dairy section, and seriously, what are we really accomplishing by setting up the store like this except making people who only need milk REALLY grumpy because they have to walk five miles farther than necessary in their trek? On my way to check-out, I grabbed a Starbucks frappuccino in an effort to help my mood and keep my familial relations friendly. Then I proceeded to get in the only checkout line open, behind two women approximately 70 years of age and shopping for their grocery needs for the next five months.

I looked around for the U-Scan, and finally sighed in resignation. Stupid small town. Stupid no technology. Stupid wait in line for 10 hours to buy milk and a frappuccino. Stupid waffles. Stupid people who shop for five months at a time. This would be so much easier if I were at home. In Indianapolis. Where there is technology and the world makes sense.

It was at this point in my internal grumbling that the lady in front of me turned around and said, "Honey, why don't you go ahead in front of me? You only have two items."

My early-morning brain literally could not process a response. I stood there in dumbfounded silence, during which the second little old lady turned and made the same offer. "Goodness yes. You only have two items. You go on ahead sweetie."

I should note that I did not know either of these ladies.

I stumbled over a "Thank you" and immediately felt guilty for my evil thoughts of only moments earlier. I shuffled to the front of the line, paid for my two items and got back to my parent's home within 15 minutes.

And it was thus how I was properly chastised by my small(er) hometown. Because you KNOW that for all the technology in the world, there's no way that would have happened in Indianapolis at 7:00am. In fact, the little old ladies up here might have even thrown elbows if I had dared reach around them to get a pack of gum.

Lesson learned. Small town living for the win!

Okay. Maybe not for the win...but not a complete loss. And for me to think that way about my hometown? Progress. Way to go, little old ladies!


Rebecca said...

I love it! I would have thought the same always make me smile!

zlionsfan said...

Not to rain on your parade, but your body should have felt as though it were getting up at 8 AM, not 6.

I would blame the wine.

ems said...

z - shhhhhh. It sounds better this way. Besides, early morning math is similar to sleep-math. It has nothing to do with logic and everything to do with melodrama.

Candace said...

I hope you father was sufficiently pleased with his gift of waffles and your cherry presence.

punkinmama said...

Hmmm... if I have 5 months worth of groceries in my cart, I always let the person with 2 items go first. And I'm not old. Nor do I live in a small town. Am I a freak?

JennyG said...

I do ao appreciate your effort for melodrama! Although, I read the part about the time change 3 times trying to figure out how Evansville was running a time zone east of the Atlantic ocean. After-lunch coma math must be the same as early morning math. :)

Next time you're trying to just grab a few things at the store, take 2 crying kids with you. People are MORE than willing to let you go first in line!!