Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," on the second consecutive gorgeous autumn Sunday in the Great Blue Northeast! Oh, it was beautiful here this morning. I wasted six good words on it before setting out on a walk.
There are several strings of dreaded words in every parent's life.
First there's AR (assembly required).
Then there's NI (needs improvement).
Let us not forget SAT (you know what that is)!
And the ultra-dreaded PDT (project due tomorrow).
Today's project for my charming daughter The Spare was to create an animal cell, somehow being creative about it. So she decided to make a cake, cover it with homemade fondant, and use candies as the organelles.
This necessitated a trip to the latest blot on the South Jersey landscape, a mega-supermarket called Wegman's.
Wegman's tries to be everything at once. It's a full buffet restaurant. You can buy lavish prepared foods that only have to be warmed in the microwave. Artisan breads. Gourmet desserts and chocolates. Organic. Greek olive bar. Cheese island. Flower shop. A model train chugging around overhead for the kiddies. And the biggest regular grocery store in the county ... except they don't stock TaB cola!
There's also a candy aisle.
This whole multi-acre spread has a metal ceiling painted some grisly hue of burnt goldenrod. Seriously the ugliest color of paint I have ever seen in my life. The lack of windows makes it dark inside, like a casino.
And the place was packed.
People drive across the bridge from Philly to shop in this over-the-top emporium. And I swear that today the whole Fourth Ward was in the store. Carts bumping together, people dodging other people, babies wailing, kids cajoling. And The Spare, blithely charging through the many aisles she needed to visit in order to get all her($$$$$) supplies.
Finally I just stopped pushing the cart and leaned my head down on it. The Spare didn't care. She wanted me to stay where she could find me.
So I guess I was just resting there, with my head in my arms on the shopping cart, maybe about two or three minutes. I felt someone tap my arm.
It was a young woman in jeans and a jacket. She said, "Are you all right?"
And I said, "Well, honestly I hate this store, and it's really extra-crowded today, and I'm alright, I was just resting."
She said: "There are chairs and comfortable sofas up in the restaurant area. Why don't you go sit down?"
And I said, "This is where my daughter expects to find me. So I'd better stay here. And honestly, I find all parts of this store equally repulsive, so I don't really care where I am in it."
She asked me again if I needed her help, or did I want her to call someone? I said no, really, I was fine. Just trying to escape the immediate reality.
At which point she said, "We're so sorry to hear you feel this way about our store. We try hard to make everyone happy here. Sometimes it's just not possible, especially when it's this crowded."
Oooooooops! She didn't have on one of those sappy uniforms! I had no idea she worked there! Must have just ended her shift or something! Lord love a fruit fly, I sure was embarrassed!
I didn't apologize, though. I meant it. Wegman's is a blight.
But the next time The Spare scampered into view, I told her I was going to go and sit down on a chair in the coffee section. Which I did.
Then we searched the checkout line for the hottest cashier. That cheered me up considerably. Because not only was he good-looking, but the employees are judged harshly if they're not super-nice. So he even smiled.
Then we came home, and the dreaded PDT commenced. What a day.