An unusual amount of people hovered around me. They were so busy trying to get to the bakery for mediocre cookies – that’s right I said it, MEDIOCRE! – they forgot to use the sanitizing wipes to get rid of the ebola virus living on the carts. I guess.
All I needed was some bananas and paper towels. That’s all. No milk the baby could spill while trying to fil her cereal bowl on her own, no crappy snacks that I’d regret eating 20 minutes later, no ice cream that would sit in the freezer for more than six months before someone saw it. Just bananas and paper towels.
I couldn’t get to the paper towels I wanted because a couple blocked that section of the aisle. And not just any couple, but two people deep in the throes of a young couple’s argument where the girl is pleading her case: why can’t we just go out with so-and-so and her boyfriend and then we can party afterwards? I don’t see what the big deal is! I can tell everything this girl says ends in exclamation points! And the guy calmly tells her: because they’re assholes and I don’t want to party with assholes. And she says: you’re the asshole, asshole! And he’s like: of course, I’m always the asshole. And then she says: you’re right, asshole! And he says: do you know how to say anything else more descriptive than asshole?
I cleared my throat and they both turned and glared at me because holy fuck they’re entitled to this stupid argument right in front of me and my paper towels. What else could I do but shrug my shoulders and admit: hey, I’m an asshole, too! They didn’t move an inch and they continued their stupid glaring match with me as I Mary Lou Rettoned my way around them to get my paper products.
South Floridians at their best.
One item down, one to go.
I made my way to the bananas, those gloriously green, organic bananas that my dad says are stupid to buy because they’re over-priced and probably not even organic. I buy two bunches just to spite him and laugh to myself at the ridiculousness of my logic since he lives in Seattle and doesn’t really give a shit about what I buy at the grocery store, as long as I’m not stealing it.
And then it happened, in slow motion of course. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw a gaggle of teenagers, five or six girls, all in their trendy short shorts and cropped tops and super long and unusually wavy and frizz-free hair and I wanted to yell at all of them enjoy it now, ladies, because you can’t fit into those shorts in your 30’s. But I refrained.
Instead, I turned to quickly push my cart forward and instead of walking towards the check-out lines, I slammed my left thigh into the display case for the bananas – a stupid, effing metal shelf with brackets on the side. Haven’t you heard of plastic, you idiots?
The pain exploded through my thighs and I felt the blood and swelling through my you’re-not-fooling-anyone yoga pants. If I were in a comic book, my face would contort in monstrous shapes and blood would splatter onto everyones’ faces like a Quentin Tarantino movie.
The paper towel couple had somehow made their way to the Starbucks inside Target and were again glaring back at me. The teenagers stared and giggled at me. They all expected me to grab my leg and fall down in a crying fit and call for my mommy.
Well, not today! Not. Today. YOU FUCKERS!
I pushed my cart towards the closest aisle – the jelly and Nutella and the how many different kinds of salad dressings do they sell here aisle. No limp, no grabbing my leg, no tears running down my cheeks. I heard a whisper behind me: God, she must have legs of steel.
Damn straight, I have legs of steel.
And in the safety of orange marmalade and peppercorn ranch dressing, I cried out in pain and wished for my mommy to carry me and put a bandage on my boo-boo.