Sunday, March 22, 2015
I gazed out the window as my husband Geoff drove through the grocery store parking lot. “There should be parking a few rows down,” he said.
“ I don’t mind walking, first nice day in a ----- look out!” I screamed.
A black SUV cut in front of us. Geoff beeped the horn. My head turned and I saw a woman chatting on the phone and drinking coffee as she drove. Geoff kept his hand on the horn as the woman merged in front of us, almost clipping the car.
“What a clueless idiot!” I cried. “Let’s follow her. She almost hit us!”
“Not worth it,” replied Geoff as he pulled into a spot.
“But she was talking on the phone and drinking coffee as she was driving! She is a menace on the road!”
The woman parked her car, and as she exited I got a good glimpse of her.
“Honey, forget about her. Let’s go in and meet up in ten minutes. I’ll pick up the crackers and cheese that my brother likes,” said Geoff.
As I shopped, I couldn't get the woman out of my mind. I threw avocados and salsa in my cart. I continued throwing things in with a vengeance. Geoff’s brother was coming over and was a huge fan of guacamole. As I turned into the onion aisle, the woman from the parking lot almost crashed her cart into mine.
“Watch where you’re going!” I screamed. “Learn how to drive!”
The woman stared at me like I had two heads. I stormed away. I saw Geoff and scurried over.
“You’ll never believe what happened! I saw her... that woman from the parking lot. She almost hit my cart. I gave her a piece of my mind, and she stared at me like I had a problem!”
“Michele, just let it go.”
LindaI yawned as I sipped my coffee. My date with Alex was a disaster last night. I finally met someone I connected with, and after three months I felt like I was falling in love. After polishing off eggplant parmigiana and two glasses of wine , he told me he didn't want to see me anymore. I almost threw up the whole dinner. I barely slept due to my broken heart and acid reflux from all the tomatoes.
As I sleepily maneuvered the car, the phone rang. I glanced down and saw it was Alex.
Maybe he changed his mind! I picked up the phone.
“Hi!” I said, way too enthusiastically, as I almost dropped my coffee in my lap.
‘Oh, Linda, sorry, I must have dialed you by mistake,” he said.
“Are you serious?” I asked. “ I don’t underst---”
I saw a car in my path. I gave them a pleading look while still talking and drinking. They wouldn't stop “Linda, Linda, are you okay?” asked Alex.
I continued to drive, almost hitting them.
“I’m fine. Just this obnoxious car that wouldn't let me merge. So--”
“Look, I’m sorry about last night, but I gotta go. Bye.”
I parked and looked at the phone and felt the tears coming. Why was I so unlucky in love?
I got out of my car, grabbed a cart, and mindlessly shopped as I drank my coffee wondering what I did wrong. This was the worst week of my life. As I rounded the corner, a woman almost collided into my shopping cart and then started yelling at me. I thought I would burst into tears. What else can go wrong?
“Geoff, I can’t let this go. People like her annoy the crap out of me. We could have gotten killed in that parking lot!”
“We really weren’t going that fast. Give it up already. I’m going to pick out some chips and beer. How much more stuff do you need?” asked Geoff.
I looked down at my full shopping cart. “Oh, I need one more thing. I’ll be right back.”
I scooted through the aisles like a madwoman on a mission. I spotted the woman from afar and ran up to her.
“Excuse me, miss,” I yelled loudly.
I aimlessly walked through each aisle. I picked up a loaf of bread, then put it down. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Thoughts of my ex husband, my kids-- who seem to like their dad better than me, my financial misery and miserable love life, all flooded my brain. I knew I was feeling sorry for myself but didn’t care. The only good thing that happened recently was Alex, and now he was gone. The tears filled up my eyes, threatening to leak out. I tried desperately to suck them back in. The last thing I wanted was to be caught crying in the supermarket.
I heard someone yelling “Excuse me, miss” and turned around to be face to face with the mean lady from the onion aisle.
MicheleI was in a bad mood and was ready for a fight when the woman turned around. Her eyes were red, blotchy and watery. “Yes?” she asked timidly.
The anger leaked out of my body as I looked at the sad woman in front of me.
“Um, uh, are you okay?”
The woman stared at me, started to open her mouth, and burst into tears.
GeoffI whistled as I rounded the corner with my beer and chips. I loved watching sports on Sunday afternoons, especially when my brother visited. Being recently divorced, he spent a lot of Sundays with us.
I caught a glimpse of my wife with the lady from the parking lot, who was sobbing loudly.
I stiffened as I plotted how I could make a run for it. I loved my wife but knew she had a temper and couldn’t let things go, which embarrassed me at times.
“I’m mortified, I’m so sorry,” I cried, as I frantically looked for a tissue in my purse.
The woman whose face softened pulled out a tissue and handed it to me, asking, “ Are you okay?” She looked very uncomfortable. “I’m Michele,” she said, fidgeting.
“I’m Linda. Can I help you with something? Do I know you?”
“ You cut my car off in the parking lot. I was going to give you a piece of my mind, but you look really upset,” said Michele.
“ Just having a really bad day, week, month, year, life! I’m sorry... I was distracted in the parking lot. My boyfriend, who broke up with me last night, called and I got excited, but it was a mistake. He either butt called me or has a new girlfriend with the same name as me.”
Michele’s arms engulfed me. “ That sucks, I'm so sorry.”
I don’t understand women. Now my wife looks like she is comforting her. All I want to do is go home, see my bro, watch the game, and drink my beer and eat my chips. I guess I’d better go over. If I ran out of the store, I would suffer tonight.
I don’t normally hug strangers, but this woman looked so lost and sad. She had soft features and big blue eyes. Not having kids of my own, I got the mother hen urge once in a while.
“Don’t worry. These things happen. Can I do anything? ”
“ Find me a man?” she joked. “Only kidding... I’m hopeless.”
My matchmaker gene kicked in. “ My brother-in-law is coming over today. He’s a sweetheart. Do you want to come over? If you like to cook you can help as the boys watch sports.”
Linda hesitated. “That’s very kind, but you don’t know me. I do love to cook, though.”
“Come over... we live five minutes down the road.”
Geoff appeared hesitantly. “Hey!” he said with false enthusiasm.
“Geoff, this is Linda. Linda, this is my husband. Linda’s coming over this afternoon. She’s going to help me cook.”
GeoffI felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. A few minutes ago Michele was ready to throttle this woman and now she is coming over? Plus, Michele freaks out if anyone is remotely near her when she cooks. Now this woman is going to help her cook? What was she thinking? I’ll never understand women.
After I hugged Linda goodbye, I watched her leave.
“There is no way she’s really going to come over. I felt sorry for her so I thought it was the right thing to do. Plus, I was feeling guilty,” I said to Geoff.
“She might show up. Not sure if she’s my brother’s type, though,” said Geoff.
“Don’t worry, she’s not coming,” I said confidently.
I really hoped Michele was right. She would be a nervous wreck if this strange woman came over to help her cook.
After I paid for my groceries, I skipped out of the store. I was ecstatic. I was going to meet a new man and spend the evening cooking with my new friend. Life was good.