Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Disorient Express Lane

Today's PromptLearned the Hard Way. What’s a lesson you learned the hard way? Write about it for 15 today.

You'd think I'd have learned how to handle this by now.

I mean, I shop for groceries once a week. I have a tidy little list and a tight budget, a route through the store, a system.

Except where my blood sugar is concerned.

I start in the produce section hovering in the 130s or higher. By the end of the 45 minutes it takes me to complete my shopping, I'm struggling to make sense of what's happening at the cash register. My monitor is beeping.

The items ring up and I watch the total go $40 over my budget.

What do I do? Something looks wrong.

"Um, sorry, I...can I take a few things off?" "Sure, ma'am."

A sea of boxes and packages are in front of me.

What was I doing? Fuck, where is my kid? Oh, that's right. She's watching a cartoon on my phone in the cart. Where's my phone? Oh yeah, in the cart. What was I doing? He's looking at me. Oh yeah.

"Um, here. I don't need the granola bars. Or um, I guess the chocolate chips."

"What about the rice krispie treats? The other candy?" asks the overly helpful bag boy.

No, I need those for low blood sugars. Low blood sugars. I'm low.

"No, thanks. I'll keep those in."

The total drops only $10. I'm confused and embarrassed. Whatever. I swiped my card already, right? Where is my card? I put it back in my wallet. Where is my wallet? It's in my back pocket where I keep my phone. Fuck! Where is my phone? Where is my baby?! Oh, that's right. He's home with his daddy. Where is my phone? Argh! My toddler has it. Then what's in my back pocket? My wallet. I need to get out of here.

I start to roll the cart away.

"Um, ma'am? I need you to sign."

Nervous laughter. "Oh, gosh. Sorry. Silly me. Knew I had forgotten something."

That's a lie.

I walk back to the card reader and stare at the screen. What do I sign?

"Where am I signing?"

"It must have timed out. You need to swipe your card again."

Where is my card? Oh yeah, in my wallet. Where is my wallet? Did I put it in the diaper bag? I can't find my wallet. I need to call Hubster. Where is my phone? Oh, Sweetie has it. Then what's that in my pocket? Oh, my wallet. Why is he staring at me? Oh yeah, my card. In my wallet.

I swipe the card and sign for the groceries I've spent too much on.

"Would you like help out, ma'am?"

Embarrassed. Confused.

"No, I've got it. Thanks."

I reach for my glucose tabs and find only three left. Hurriedly chomp down the chalky tablets.

On this day, I don't get lost in the parking lot like I sometimes do. I know what my car looks like and where I parked and I even remember that my keys are in my left pocket.

I get to the car and get the bags in the backseat. Toddler still has my phone. More addled brain trying to figure out how to put cart up, get toddler out, get toddler in car...what's the right order? Somehow I figure it out.

I'm the lady standing outside of her car ripping a banana off the bunch and tearing into a bag of Reese's Pieces in front of her little kid. Shoveling all manner of crap in her face.

If you walk past me, it's likely you judge me as on some kind of binge while my two year old is engrossed in an iPhone app.

I can't drive until the arrows point back up. Don't wait for my parking space. It's just my weekly trip to the supermarket.

You'd think I'd have learned how to handle this by now.

1 comment:

  1. Oh hon, I had tears in my eyes as I read it. I'm so sorry for the low. I envision this as my daughter one day. Hugs.