Friday, June 10, 2005

Notice To Man In Ralphs: I Am, Though Uninformed About the Appearance Of Jicama, Neither Single Nor Desperate.

Is it possible for a six-year old to make their mother, the very one that gave them life, look like a cheap dimestore whore? Here, let me show you how.

There I was at Ralphs, loading up at the salad bar, happy to pay the $5.99 per pound for cut-up vegetables, ‘cause you know, I'm a busy woman and I don't have the five minutes it would take to chop them myself. Plus, then I'd have to wash the knife, and the cutting board, and well, you know. I had the girls with me, and they were busy, or so I thought, salivating and licking the packages of fluorescent cookies that were stacked nearby that I refused to buy. (Hey, $5.99 for some pulverized veggies, okay, but $2.99 for a dozen cookies - do I look like a millionaire?) As I was trying to decide on the cornucopia of produce laid out before me, I innocently asked a man next to me if he thought that the odd-looking, stringy white objects in one of the bins was jicama, to which he replied no, and then spent the next .005 seconds speculating on what it was; Noodles? Onions? Cheese! That was the end of the human-to-human interaction, that is until Kiyomi came rushing around the corner and said in a voice loud enough for the entire south end of the store to hear, "Mom, did you meet somebody new? AGAIN?"

Now, call me paranoid, but this sounded like something a child says to her desperate single mom, after witnessing her trolling the supermarket aisles, repeatedly trying to hit on unsuspecting man-targets at the salad bar. I glanced up to see him giving me a smug smile, and I tried to remain cool, mumbling some incoherent response. Ha! Kids! Must Kill! Ha ha! What I really wanted to do was throw myself into the deli-slicer nearby and get sliced into thin thin pieces along with the pastrami, but thought that would be a tad too dramatic. So instead I got out of there, fast, depriving myself of the entire last third of the salad bar, missing out on the tempting bins of cauliflower, slivered radishes and three-bean medley (Oh, they call it ‘three-bean’ but yet I only saw kidneys and garbanzos – the third bean ominously absent. I should have taken this as an omen.) Later, in the car, I asked Kiyomi where her comment came from and she explained that "You always meet someone in the supermarket! You know, last week you met Benjamin's mom there." I tried to explain the fine nuances between 'meeting someone' and 'seeing someone' but I was preoccupied, thinking up ways to fashion a muzzle out of the grocery bag in my hand.

I hustled them both off to the bakery counter to get them cookies - because I wrongly assumed that plugging Kiyomi's mouth with a blob of dough and sugar would stop the madness and allow me to compose myself and appear as married and un-desperate as possible. I also took this opportunity to give her a lecture about saying things that were "Inappropriate and may give someone the impression that I was trying to 'pick them up.'" Unfortunately, I failed to notice that we weren't out of ear-shot of my salad-bar john, and also that I was talking to a six-year old not well versed in dating slang, and Kiyomi replied even louder, now so that the other, north end of the supermarket could hear, "What? PICK THEM UP? What do you mean by PICK THEM UP?!" Being an idiot, I looked back at the salad bar, you know, JUST TO MAKE IT EVEN MORE OBVIOUS, and saw Mr. Not-Jicama looking over at us again, with a look that distinctly said, “Stay away woman. I am not available to support you, your brood and your escalating crack habit.”

Can it get worse? OH, YES IT CAN, because, the questions, they kept coming, and I frantically tried to clarify myself by explaining in a hushed voice, "You may give them the wrong idea, you know, that you LIKE THEM" which piqued her interest even more, and she exclaimed, digging my grave even further into the linoleum floor, "Huh? You LIKE him? You don't even KNOW him!"

At this point I considered running up to him, showing him my wedding ring and and shouting "I AM NOT A DESPERATE SINGLE WOMAN PICKING UP MEN IN THE SALAD BAR. REALLY!" but luckily I stopped myself, as I noticed him starting to inch ever so slowly towards the checkout, now looking very nervous. In fact, soon he was actually running away, obviously eager to call his wife on his cell phone and inform her that he had just narrowly escaped the conniving clutches of a lettuce-toting welfare hussy seeking love in Aisle 7.


And she bought all her groceries online from that day forward. The End.

Archive File: Offspring | This Life

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  1. Oh, Please, PUHLEEEZ have mercy on my splitting sides - i am now thoroughly bruised from rolling on the floor laughing and all my neighbors are wondering what i'm smoking!!!

  2. well I had to read that one out loud to Marianne - it is just too too precious a moment to enjoy all alone -

    wow... so, marsha, marsha marsha what time should I meet you at the salad bar - you said Ralphs, right?

    that was the winner so far - for kids say the darndest things...

    you rock!


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