I have major sleep issues.
For people that know me, that little fact is really nothing to write home about.
I haven’t slept in years.
Doing my Monday morning errands this week, though, I ran into some people who I think may have been a little sleep deprived themselves; either that or badly in need of a Monday morning attitude adjustment.
I thought a trip to the library that day would be a good plan of action in light of the fact that I just read an article in “Scientific America” that talked about how your brain has a built-in garbage disposal that gets rid of toxic proteins and that much of this “cleanup activity” takes place during sleep.
In light of the fact that I’m not sleeping too well these days, and probably have a lot of garbage floating around in my brain, I thought a library visit would be a healthy choice of action for me after my morning adaptive P.E. class.
Concerned about my next “garbage pickup date” and needing to challenge my brain as much as possible, I checked out one of Janet Evanovich’s summer reads and headed back to the parking garage to pick up my car and continue my errands for the day.
As I was walking to my car, humming one of my favorite songs (I kid you not!) – “If I Only Had a Brain” from “The Wizard of Oz”- I was unpleasantly greeted with the repeated beeping of someone’s car horn, when I noticed a gentleman in a Toyota sedan erratically backing into the front end of some lady’s Mercedes as she was driving down the lane.
Immediately realizing that the offending horn-tooter was the woman in the Mercedes, I saw that she was in the right of way and was laying on her horn because (I assumed) she didn’t want the front end of her car mangled.
The Toyota dude apparently saw it differently, because the next thing I heard him yell was a not-too-friendly, “F-yourself! And go around me!”
The dude backs up into her (on a one way lane!) and HE swears at her.
I figured it was a good time for me to get the hell outta Dodge and go to the Target Dept. Store for errand number 2 of the day.
I get to Target and spend 15 minutes looking for a type of protein bar called “Kind”. They used to be healthy for you, so Target always had them in the aisle with the other healthy, protein bars. Guess they’re not so healthy for you anymore. According to one of the clerks, there’s some class action lawsuit against the company for not disclosing the fat calories in their almonds or some such nonsense, so they have to put them in another aisle.
They had a sale on them – buy 4 boxes and get a $5.00 Target gift card. I figured the “Kind Co.” thought if they were going to secretively get you fat with their almonds, they’d best give you some incentive to do so.
Alrighty. I’m game. I like bargains just like the next guy. I’m not getting too much sleep these days and thought the added protein would help get rid of some of that extra brain garbage that I’ve been carrying around and help me sleep.
With the help of a store clerk, I found the Kind bars in the cookie aisle and finished my shopping. I headed for the check-out area, when I noticed unusually long lines at each of the registers. Accustomed to using the express line most of the time, but wanting my $5.00 gift card for my “Kind bars”, I opted to stand in one of the long lines, so I’d have access to a human cashier.
I quickly analyzed each customer’s basket of items and decided that aisle number 5 looked the fastest to me.
Well, Erma Bombeck here couldn’t have picked a slower lane if she wanted to! After all the other aisles got crammed with a bazillion customers, I discovered that aisle number 5 was being serviced by a handicap clerk with access to only one hand.
“OK. No big deal,” I said to myself.
“I’m a retired special ed teacher and I’m happy to give up a little time to accommodate his handicap.”
Well, of course the customer in the front bought over 25 items and lucky me – two of the 25 items didn’t have price tags – so they had to call customer service.
“No big deal,” I said to myself. Ruth, our chair Yoga instructor, recently taught us some stress relieving exercises that you can do for situations just like this.
“I’ll do one of them,” I told myself.
Well, apparently, before I could start my “de-stressing,” I was smiling too much at the little girl in the shopping cart in front of me because the next thing I heard was this little munchkin say,
“Mommy, this lady’s smiling at me. I don’t want her to smile at me.”
Evidently, this smiling, over-weight, gray-haired, old woman standing with 4 boxes of “Kind Bars” and 2 different types of cat food, must have seemed dangerous to this munchkin. So, not wanting to send this child into therapy sessions well into her old age, I decided to try to win her over and said,
“Hi Sweetheart. You helping Mommy shop today?”
The Mother, hearing my question; abruptly turned around, eye-balled my smilin’, clueless self from head to toe and snapped, “Haley, you don’t have to look at that lady or answer her if you don’t want to.”
I totally understand teaching kids “stranger danger”, and I can appreciate how stressful it is for parents these days keeping their kids safe, but ya think maybe we’ve gone a tad too far when we start treating everyone like they’re dangerous pedophiles and nut cases?
There used to be a time when people bonded while standing in unusually long lines and chatted about the weather or one of the headlines in the current Rag (magazines) on the check-out stands. Now-a-days, people go into a yoga pose or just impatiently breathe heavy and check out their Smart Phones. What’s happened to socializing with another human being?
I don’t know who I felt sorrier for that day – the Mother, who frowned at me with disapproval – or the little munchkin, who also scowled at me like I was something “bad”? Maybe I felt sorry for both of them.
And maybe, just maybe, I’m feeling sorry for society, as well.
After patiently waiting in line for 15 minutes, behind Snagglepuss and the kid-version of Grumpy Cat, I finally got rung up and then told that I had 3 of the 4 type of Kind bars that were eligible for the $5.00 gift card and that if I wanted the promotion, I had to go back and get the other kind or I was “outta luck”…
By this point, I wasn’t smilin’ too much and was thinkin’ maybe I could understand Mr. Toyota Dude from the parking garage this morning.
Have a good one, People! And remember: we’re all carrying around a lot of garbage these days – some of us more so than others. Be kind to one another and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes.