Saturday, August 4, 2012

All I wanted was a crummy book

I'm going to take a wild stab and state that we probably both thought I wouldn't have anything to say on here for a while after marathon blogging in July. But then the gods all got together and presented fodder for your reading pleasure.

My idea of a fun Saturday night is going to a bookstore. While you all wipe your brow in relief that you are not my life partner, I'll regale you with this evening's events at the local chain bookstore.

As per usual, I put 276 books into a small shopping basket and lugged it up to the cafe, where I could open each book at a 14-degree angle and consider it over tea. And up there, I can look out over the store and read the topic headings and warmly think about how I want to read allll of the books: new biography, Civil War, cultural studies, teenage paranormal romance (what?) . . . So many books, so little time.

And then I hear this:

Loud woman peering into cafe food case: All you have is the spinach artichoke quiche?
Counter guy: Yes
Loud woman: No Mediterranean?
Guy: No, we don't carry that anymore.
Woman: Only spinach artichoke . . . So you don't carry the Mediterranean anymore?
Guy: No, not anymore.
Woman: Oh . . . Do you have bagels with cream cheese?
Guy: No, only what's in the case.
Woman: Oh . . . So is that the last slice of spinach artichoke quiche, or is there more out back?
Guy: No, we only have what's in the case.
Woman: Oh . . . It's just that, it's a corner, ya know?
Woman: I'm not really into that is all.
[three people are now behind her]
Woman: I'll have the berry tart.
Guy: Okay [moves toward case]
Woman: Can I change that?
Guy: Sure.
Woman: Can I get a blueberry muffin? . . . Toasted? . . . With a pat of butter? . . . and a fork?

That guy deserves a humanitarian award for not jumping over the counter and shaking her like a bad baby.

She then promptly sat down next to me and spilled her tea. And I sat there, with a pile of unused napkins in front of me, knowing that my options were to offer napkins and become the next conversational victim or remain silent and wait for karma to hit me later. I chose door number one. "Did you see how full he filled the cup?!" she started out . . .

Meanwhile, I had been perusing this little number:
I'm guessing the sad tulips are supposed to be my ovaries.
Thanks, Dummies folks. I needed that.

So, yeah, I have this condition. And we don't need to get into the details, except that the TOC was fabulously uplifting:

Side effects
  • Hormonal effects
  • Fertility problems
  • The battle of the bulge
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Digestive disorders
  • Insulin resistance
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Skin changes
  • Acne and oily skin
  • Hair in all the wrong places
  • Other potential symptoms
Psychological symptoms
  • Emotional manifestations
  • Depression
  • Irritability, mood swings, and other psychological symptoms

Really? Nothing about pants-shitting or having both gender parts? A third eye? I just can't understand why I'm single. Excuse me while I go crawl under a rock.

I narrowed my shopping basket down, finished my tea, and headed to the front register. I stood waiting while two girls behind the counter talked, until one of them said, "Oh! Right here! I'm open!"

Her: I'm sorry. She was just explaining who Nicki Minaj is. [turns back to other girl] So she's the one with all the colors in her hair, but she's mulatto? [beeps the books] Eh, there's probably a better word for it; I'm sure that's racist or something.
Me: [quietly leaning in] I think "biracial" is preferred.
Her: [rolls eyes and speaks more loudly] Oh yeah. Well, you know that's like [air quotes] "African American." [I stop punching in my PIN and look up at her--did she just use air quotes?] I have two black friends, and they're like, "Don't call me 'African American'; I'm black!" And then I'm here and I tell people I have [air quotes] "black" friends, and they're all [horrified face], "It's 'African American'!" [I start to take my bag and back away slowly, smiling at the third woman, who is doing the same.] I mean, then when people call me "white," I want to be all like, "I'm not white; I'm 'Caucasian'!" Your receipt's in the bag. Have a good night!

These conversations would never happen in an independent bookstore. I'm sure of it.