Wisdom among the cantaloupes

I came back to dust off this mother fucker and found this in my draft folder. I wrote it more than a year ago. I’m not feeling quite so full of angst today, but reading it still gave me what my college roommate called the “bubble guts.”

First of all – spelled cantaloupe wrong. Again.

I know it’s been a while, but it seems like writing this blog used to be a lot easier. Sit down, bang out a post, and publish. Done and done. But I am struggling over here, y’all. I feel like not a whole lot of stuff is happening in my life, but I know that’s not true. I keep a list on my phone of essay ideas, but I just can’t seem to string more than 20 words together.

Here’s one such post.

Just Stay

“Why do you have to move to Baltimore? Do you know how long it takes to get to Baltimore? I’ll never see you. You won’t come down here. Why can’t you stay here?

Just stay, okay? Just stay.”

I overheard this half of a phone conversation at one of my neighborhood grocery stores. I almost started crying right there in front of the JIF peanut butter (fuck you, Peter Pan). The angst in her voice was like a punch to the gut.

So I’m sitting there in the peanut butter/jelly/pickle/olive aisle (kind of a weird combination, but I can dig it), sick to my stomach. Because I have totally been there. Pleading with someone to just care. I stood there, filling my cart with an unhealthy amount of Nutella, fervently wishing it was appropriate to hug strangers in the grocery store.

(Side bar – what are the most appropriate places to hug strangers? Right now I can only think of one place – game shows, namely The Price is Right, just after you are invited to COME ON DOWN. If you are a person with good smelling hair, I would imagine that you could be giving out more hugs than you are currently dishing out. Hugs and donuts, friends – we could make the world a little bit better.)

No thank you

Every Wednesday morning Harris Teeter sends me an email filling me in on what’s on sale for the upcoming week.  Holyfoodporn I love it.  Harris Teeter even sends me a personalized list based on what I normally buy.  I know I should be creeped out that they are tracking my purchases, and it is a little unsettling when a sale on Tampax super absorbents just happens to coincide with my period, but mainly I love scrolling through the list and making a shopping list in my head.

It’s also kind of a stroll down memory lane.  You know, you’re right, Harris Teeter; I have been buying an awful lot of mushrooms.  And cranberry juice.  And peanut butter.

But this:

white asparagusThanks but no thanks.

Sorry Harris Teeter.  I don’t care how good of a sale you’re running, but I am NOT buying or eating white asparagus.  It looks creepy and human.

A man in a linen suit and flip flops, calling people turds. Yup…these are my kind of people.*

Today the air conditioning is broken on my floor at work.  When confronted with this news, I pretended to be sad and commiserated with my co-workers, but on the inside I am celebrating.  Working with menopausal ladies can be hard on us young folks who are still capable of maintaining regular body temperatures.  It is  ridiculous that I sit shivering in my office wrapped like a monk in my Slanket** while the matriarchs of the office waddle around in their sleeveless tunics and {shudder} open-toed sandals, fanning themselves with their TPS reports as they adjust the thermostat and complain about the humidity.  WTF, ladies, this is North Carolina in the summer.  Get a clue.  If I have to hear one more time about some one’s “personal summer” or “power surge,” I’m going to start slapping some bitches right across their sweaty, jowly faces.

Wow, can you tell it’s Monday?

I am full of hate.

Moving on…this Saturday I attended a Kentucky Derby party.  I know, I know, madras and seersucker and debutantes, on my!  While not typically a Bad Mutha Fudrucker-friendly event, my girlfriend Julie was catering the event and scored a pair of VIP tickets, which she waved in front of my face and said the magic words, ‘bottomless mint juleps.’  A $17 sundress and a borrowed straw hat later, I was eating fondue and throwing back Makers’ and water with the best of ’em.

I realized several hours in to the event that my dress was not, in fact, the black that I thought it was in the dressing room, but in the sun proved to be rather a dull brown color, which did not exactly match with the black hat and heels I had chosen to complete my look.  Another julep and I was care-free, too busy people judging watching to pay much attention to myself.  I asked a couple of older gentlemen in matching suits and straw hats if they took requests, but alas, they were not, in fact, one half of a barber shop quartet, but two elderly southern gentlemen sporting their Huckleberry Finn attire in earnest.  The twisted, sarcastic part of me was at a loss when faced with this much sincerity.  Grabbing a glass of wine and kicking off my shoes, I joined some stogey-smoking good ol’ boys in a friendly game of cornhole, which was more fun and not as gross as you would think.
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*Credit: Kristin Hains, 5/2/2009, re:Mint Julep Jubilee
**“It’s not product placement, I just like it!”

Twig and berries

balls

Balls.

Those are totally balls.

Let me back up and start from the beginning.

The morning of my sister’s bridal shower, my mom’s house was in total chaos. Chicken salad was still being made and frantically chilled, butter chips were defrosting, a complicated showering/blow drying schedule was being ignored, and there were still errands to be run. Since my step-dad had already claimed the coveted (at least, by comparison) job of removing the dog poop from the backyard, I gladly volunteered to run last minutes errands. Grabbing punch supplies from the local grocery store and picking up some balloons? Check and double check.

After throwing a couple of liters of ginger ale and frozen juice in to the trunk, I was off to the balloon shop. I was greeted by the sweetest old lady you can imagine.

Go ahead, imagine her.

Short, wrinkled, slightly hunched, arthritic fingers clutching balloons by their brightly covered ribbons. Can’t you just see her? She sent her equally old and equally adorable husband to the back to get the balloons my mom had already ordered, and I asked her if it were possible to get a couple more plain, white balloons for us to attach to the mailbox at the house.

It would be her pleasure, she informed me. As she turned her attention away from me and towards the task of filling a couple of balloons with helium, I took a minute to check out the merchandise. Even though the candies were marked  .99 cents (usually my pet peeve–it’s .99 DOLLARS, not .99 CENTS, unless you are feeling extremely generous), I wasn’t even upset. Old people are so cute, I sighed.

Mr. Ballo0ns came out with two big clear bags filled with balloons.  He instructed me to take them out of the bag ASAP to prevent them from deflating prematurely.  Roger that.

After I paid Mrs. Balloons, she handed me the two additional balloons I’d requested for the mailbox.  She said a lot of something about how to adjust the height on the balloons using the complicated knot she’d tied in the ribbons, but all I could focus on was her wrinkled old hand holding, nay, cupping, a delicate ball sack she had fashioned from extra balloons to serve as a balloon weight. 

Here, let me refresh your memory:

twig-and-berries2

I think she was playing a trick on me. Either that, or I was on Candid Camera.

Later that night my 4 year old niece was running around the house, rubbing the balloon weights all over her face and unwittingly teabagging herself. I may have peed my pants a little a lot.

86 Pat Hingle*

This morning I saw “Hats off to Pat Hingle” displayed on the marquee of a local diner. For the next 20 minutes of my drive to work, I wondered who Pat Hingle was, and what he/she had done to merit such public recognition. Had he coached his son’s pee wee football team to the pee wee Superbowl equivalent? Had she been the top producing real estate agent at the local Century 21 franchise? Had he (be still my beating heart) finally conquered the 8 lb. hamburger at the afore mentioned diner?

A little wiki-research revealed that Pat Hingle had played Comissioner Gordon in several Batman movies. Oh, that Pat Hingle. And that he had survived a near-fatal fall 54 feet down an elevator shaft. Wow.

It turns out that Pat Hingle died yesterday in Carolina Beach, NC from leukemia. So hats off to Pat Hingle, even though to my knowledge he never did conquer that monster hamburger.

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*The title comes from a horrible joke told by a co-worker when I was waiting tables. The kitchen would regularly communicate which items we were out off by writing “86 (whatever we were out of)” on a marker board in the kitchen. When one of the servers heard about Mr. Rogers’ death, he wrote added ‘Mr. Rogers’ to the list. Even though I was sad about his passing, I couldn’t help laughing. I will have a hard time explaining this to Mr. Rogers if I make it to Heaven and meet him there.

Really?

Bumper stick seen on the back of a Kia Rio this morning: “Sorry, Officer, I thought you wanted to race.”

First of all, I don’t think it’s a smart idea to taunt the police. There ain’t no talking your way out of a speeding ticket with that baby plastered to your bumper. Don’t even think about crying or showing a little skin, either. You take that ticket. Take it like a man.

Secondly, and more importantly…a Kia Rio? I don’t drive a flashy car (Honda Civic gas sipper, woot woot!), but I’m pretty sure a Kia Rio isn’t going to beat anyone in a race. Maybe not even those scooters I routinely get stuck behind doing 35, maybe 40 mph on the streets of Wilmington.

In conclusion, sir, I think you would be better served by a different bumper sticker. Might I suggest the following:

or