I had to go to Safeway on the way home for dinner items – no stop meant no dinner. Just nip in and then get home and relax with a glass of wine before whipping the ingredients into something to put on a plate.
I chose what I thought was the smallest queue. Well, it was ..there were only 4 ladies in it, but each one of them had food stamps and each one wanted to buy things not covered by the stamps so it became the equivalent of 8 people with problems in front of me.
The check-out chick had a packet of chips open and in-between scanning items would take a few chips and munch away – mouth open. Then she had to have a drink. Then she had to talk the guy operating the register next to her. I had 9 items and cash and my patience was wearing thin.
After 40 minutes (seriously) it finally became my turn …. but then the woman behind me asked the check-out chick something about the cheese that is allowed on food stamps.
Check out chick tells woman that the cheese has a special symbol on the tag.
Woman – well, there isn't any.
CO Chick – yes there is.
Woman – no there isn't.
CO Chick – well she (pointing at woman in front of me packing her groceries into a trolley) just got some.
Woman - Oh - can I look at your cheese?
Okay – I don't have a problem with one woman showing another her purchases but can the CO chick please ring up my items while they do it? No …..she munches a few more chips and watches the exchange which is happening over the top of me!
I'm now up to 45 minutes and I'm thinking an entire bottle might be needed to chill me out. I head out of the store and power walk to my street where I quickly catch up with an elderly lady. As I'm about to rush past her getting closer to my wine, she says hello and I realise it is Miss Elise from across the street.
Now I'm in a dilemma – of course I will respond but I really want to get home. Miss Elise is nearly 90 and walks at a pace marginally faster than a snail. She had back surgery in March and every evening she takes a walk around the block. Uncharitably I think this wouldn't be a problem if she was walking on her side of the street. But, the thought was fleeting and I do slow to walk beside her – once I get to it, that first sip of wine is going to taste so good.
We get level with my yard and she mentions how good the chillies were that I gave her a few weeks ago. Oh – I see I have some more ready ones and I feel that I have to offer her some of these. I run inside for scissors (and yes I do consider having a quick gulp from the bottle while I'm passing through the kitchen).
As I hand her 6 or 7 peppers she says: "Oh thank you, you are such a nice girl"
When I finally got to the wine it actually tasted so much better knowing that Miss Elise was across the road enjoying my peppers served straight up sprinkled with some vinegar!