Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Learning how to function in society

Posted by kuri, ping, the pinglet, & mini-ping on 5/17/2006
God, it's hard getting back into blogging when you've been away. I'll just have to treat it as homework for the next couple of days until I get back into the swing of things.

Have you ever come across someone who is just truly weird? I mean, weird in a way that you think that there must be something wrong with them?

That was me in the grocery store when I was in New York. Since my mom was at my grandfather's house a lot of the time, she asked if E7 and I would go pick up some things at the store. I was all gung ho, thinking I would be fine in the store...I mean, a store is a store, isn't it?

We had to pick up 5 things. Five. It took us (well, me. E7 was just pushing the cart around in a daze) 40 minutes to find everything. I couldn't find anything. I would go from one end of the store to the other, leading E7 around like one of the Three Blind Mice. "I think it's down this aisle. No this one. No this one."

Pretty soon, E7 just stopped walking and asked me why I couldn't find anything. Well, um, that's cause I live where you live now, darlin', is what I felt like saying. But inside, I was asking myself, "Yeah, why can't I find them?"

This was nothing in comparison to the fright I gave a 16-year old part-time worker...at the supermarket, of course. My mom sent me down to the store to order a cookie cake. All I had to do was walk into the store, locate the cake counter, and place the order. This should have taken me all of 5 minutes, including the walk to and from the parking lot.

It took about 30 minutes because I never realized how many choices there are. First, I had to pick out a size. I had no idea what size or how many people were going to take part in this little shindig, so when he asked me what size I wanted, I just shrugged helplessly and made big random circles in the air, all the while saying, "the regular size, the regular size."

Then, I had to figure out what to write...I was OK with this. Then, I had to tell him if I wanted flowers or something along the edges of the cake. I was like, "you know, whatever you usually do, why don't you just do that?" Then I had to pick out a flavor for the icing and THEN I had to pick out what color I wanted. By this time, I was almost foaming at the mouth. I had to go to the bathroom and just wanted the torture to end. I mean, here I was giving him the chance of a lifetime to break out his artistic flair and pretty much do what he wanted.

If the story ended here, it would be a blessing. I got home and told my mom what I had gotten and she said, "Oh, we're going to have to change the wording on the cake and get a smaller size."

So back I go. I get out of the car and I see my little friend walking back into the store. Trying to avoid his gaze (and I could see him trying to remember who I was), I walked nonchalantly back to the cake section. And he was right behind me.

"Remember me? I just ordered a cake about 30 minutes ago," is what I said with an ingratiating smile.

"Oh, I remember you."

Humph.

"Well, remember that order we did before? You haven't done it yet, have you?"

"Um, well, you wanted to pick it up tomorrow morning, so no," he says, all the while probably thinking, no, I haven't finished your cake yet, you psycho. It's only been 30 minutes since you left.

"OK, well good. We're going to have to start all over again," I said and I swear I could hear him telling himself that minimum wage was just not enough if he had to deal with people like me.

And the next morning? Mom went to pick up the cake and they had spelled one of the names wrong.

8 of you feeling verklempt. Tawlk amongst yourselves:

Granny said...

I don't mind regular shopping but I hate the fancy stuff.

I'm grandma again - Jim and Melissa have a boy. 8 lbs 9 ozs. All doing well.

Granny said...

Have you ever figure out psychic blogging that causes people to leave comments on each other's blogs at the same time?

Thanks for yours.

kuri & ping said...

LOL! :)

illahee said...

LOL i kinda want to read his blog entry on that day! ;)

Cari said...

Welcome back! Yeah reverse culture shock, esp shopping wise, is bad. Too many choices and options.

Jess said...

What a funny story! I bet it is kind of a culture shock to just be in a US store after being used to being somewhere else.

FWIW, we tried to get a bday cake for a friend in college and the woman at the counter, had, well, a tough time understanding what we asked for. She wrote "HAPRY BARFDAY, JOKE" (our friend's name was Jake) on the cake, which we didn't notice until we got it to the party. Good thing he thought it was funny! :)

L. said...

Jess` "HAPRY BARFDAY, JOKE" comment above made me laugh out loud.

Sometimes, real life is even funnier than anything we could make up!

Belinda said...

It must be weird to go back home and be spoilt for all that choice. It must seem more of a pain than anything at times!

I can imagine the look on the guy's face when you went back - classic!!! :)

 

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