You know how that sentence ends, don’t you?
No, I didn’t sleep with gum in my mouth, or get smushed between two kids in the backseat of a Volkswagen Beetle. I did, however, go to the grocery store.
To be honest, it didn’t start out as a no-good visit. I was in charge of the cart. The little kind. The kind I can see over and maneuver in between the bananas and the apples. And when I say maneuver, I mean race. Fast. I could swear the wheels on this thing were burning up.
Halfway down the first aisle, that’s when this trip turned bad. Fast. So fast that the woman squeezing between the sushi counter and the bread baskets was a complete blur. If she hadn’t stopped short and gasped, I would have hit her for sure. My mom excused us and followed me into the meat department. “Do I even need to say anything?” she asked. Nope.
Then she laughed. “You could see the fear in her eyes,” she said. I could feel my face get hot. I just wanted to be out of there. Good thing we only needed a few more things, and that woman, she was headed down the baking aisle. I knew we wouldn’t see her again.
Dairy and frozen foods. Now that’s where this went from bad to very bad. I was still driving the cart. Slowly. This part of the store was still under construction, so I had to go slow to get in between the displays that were wrapped around the fixtures that were still poking out of the floor. It was like an obstacle course.
I parked the cart so I could get the coconut milk. They were out, as usual, so I grabbed the cart and started making my way down to where Mom was getting regular milk.
“Except I think she walked away with the wrong cart,” a man said from down by the eggs.
My mom excused us. “Say you’re sorry,” she said. I was sorry, but my eyes didn’t leave hers. I could feel the tears stinging. Could this day get any worse?
We had two more things to get: razors and a gift card. This should have been no problem. The cart was under my complete control; I would not race it or let it out of my sight.
But I would play with the Super Mario Bros. toothbrushes at the end of the next aisle. I would push their buttons. Push them one by one until the entire rack came tumbling down. Floss, Listerine strips, toothbrushes, even eight-packs of toothbrushes went flying in all directions.
My mom was not mad like I thought she’d be. Instead, she took a deep breath and starting picking up floss, Listerine strips, and toothbrushes. Lots of toothbrushes.
One. Two. Three people passed us by. No one stopped to help. I would pay for the one, two, three, four toothbrushes that broke open when they fell.
“No, you won’t,” my mom said. “It shouldn’t have fallen. It will be okay.” And there, right in the middle of the aisle, she hugged me.
A trip to the car for a forgetten wallet, a trip over my feet on the way back in, and a new stuffed animal from the Easter aisle later (don’the tell my dad), and my mom told me the same thing she always tells me at times like this: “Some days are just like this.”
And right then and there, the terrible melted away. The horrible turned and ran. The no-good and the very bad got up and left. And what I had instead was a story for my mom to tell on her blog the next day. How did she do?
I’m participating in the Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. Check it out!