Monday, April 10, 2006

Of safeways and sprouts

Today, I made my regular weekly trip to the Soviet Safeway for some provisions for lunch for the upcoming week. Some of us are a little too poor to enjoy the finery of Galileo grill every day, (but bless them for being open so much these days!) so I generally load up the work fridge with as much as I can. A girl's gotta be a little selfish sometimes.

Last week, I OD'ed on raisins and Lean Cuisines. I am officially OFF lean cuisines. I know they are gross, but when you can get 7 for 10 dollars, what's a girl to do? Really, I would much rather spend my hard-earned money on
shoes, jewelry, or a well-deserved trip (read, after I pay my bills and save for a new apt and all it's hidden costs).

So, I am anti-lean-cuisines-bistro-gourmet-you've-got-to-be-effing-kidding-me-this-pizza-is-the- size-of-my-fist. It's never as good as you psych yourself up to be. You think "this is going to be a party!" And then you realize that you have five Swedish meatballs and a handful of noodles in "gravy" that is some grayish brown color that looks like all the deliciousness was scientifically removed by the Swedish bikini team themselves, just to make those of us who are poor and looking to stay trim feel an extra kick in the pants.

You'd be surprised, what more a girl would want. Then that girl is dying of hunger like she's a third world orphan and needs to go to CVS to buy Pringles cuz they're on sale for 88 cents and she's got a possessed, starving glare in her eyes as she hands over that cvs extra-care card. At least I bought the low-fat ones, but a pringle's a pringle.

At the Soviet safeway, I came the closest I ever have to actually complaining and then retreating, giving up and carrying the anger with me in my little, passive-aggressive soul.

I waited for literally 13 minutes at the deli counter before someone decided to meet my eye-contact. At first I had the waiting posture that indicates that you know that anyone behind a counter deserves some respect, after all, they handle your black forest ham and they probably deal with some awful people so being nice is the absolute least I can do. But then I was full on arms-crossed, foot tapping, looking around for someone to even acknowledge that yes, I was waiting. Still. I just wanted a half-pound of turkey. One poor employee was stuck making sandwiches AND handing out some turkey and was being eternally patient with a 96 year-old-woman who needed her sandwich just so. The other was leaning on the counters, chatting at her, drinking sodas and bitching about how he didn't want to go clock in yet, but he were late so he should. Then he finally went to go clock in. And then he came back and continued talking at her and sipping his Tab. I understand that job must blow, but give me a break. My job blows. Get in line.

OH WAIT, I AM IN LINE. HOW NOVEL! Like you, sir, my lunchbreak is also an hour.

Situations like this always makes me think of the song Pixie, by Ani Difranco. That song surprised me very much, because for all her liberal leanings it brought her down to a human level in which she too, apple of my teenage eye, can have it up to HERE when a girl can't get a taquito with some semblance of timeliness. That always was sort of my green light to at least say "damn the man, but for the love of god, can I PLEASE HAVE SOME TURKEY" or at least "I'll be with you in a few minutes". Or at least a LOOK. Something. Anything.

Nothing. However, over-worked employee finally came over and apologized and I resumed my deference for her handling fine meat products and thanked her and wished her a nice day. I felt better about the situation because after I had circled the store 6 times trying to find non-frozen bagels and agonizing about what flavor of cream cheese to get, I heard her lay into her lazy co-worker real good, and I smiled for her.

And then, my smiling for her, and for fights for fairness, equality, civil rights, and all worthy causes swelled up inside my chest like a balloon filled with hope. I thought of all the people who would be swarming the mall today to protest their right to just get some effing turkey. On the walk home, I let a penny lie on the sidewalk, because I thought, "you know? Right now, someone else needs this luck more than me." On all my favorite blogs, I clicked their ads. All of them. On my walk home, I smiled at all the
people who looked a little forlorn, babies, and dogs, completely drunk on my own benevolent sensitivity.

I'm losing my edge. I'm becoming a little too emo for my own good.

Must be all the second degree hookah smoke.

However, this also led me to purchase alfalfa sprouts, and now I am concerned that my bacon-cheeseburger-eating, beer-drinking, combat-boot-owning self is getting all soft in her old age. And now I'm a little put off. I didn't know I was the sprouts kinda girl. But then I looked down at my black-cat-stamped-hand, holding a bottle of seltzer water, listening to KT Tunstall and panicked.

send help!

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