I work four long days and take one mid day off, but this week I switched my day off to Friday, so I could spend some time with Mark.
On the way home I noticed the new Winco had finally opened in the food desert end of 82nd, ten blocks from my route home.
So I stopped.
The kids needed yogurt for lunches and there were bulk things I could stock up on.
I had, had high hopes that this mega store that took two years to open, would be nice, and maybe slightly more upscale than the ghetto Food 4 Less it was replacing, but no, if anything, if might be a bit worse, because of my expectations.
The place is a windowless, eggshell-white, cinder-block box, with shelving that goes to the ceiling.
The kind of place that induces panic attacks in my mother.
The kind of place Mark refuses to shop.
I like to embrace my blue-collar roots and frequent this kind of place from time to time, just because, and there is often cheap rice.
As expected it was packed to the gills with shoppers.
I wandered around and found the odd bulk items and the yogurt, and a few other odds and ends, and found myself on the one empty aisle.
The noodle aisle.
I was busy strolling, thinking about noodles and sauces, when I knocked over a stack of egg-noodles.
I contemplated just leaving them there, but thought better of my wickedness, and picked them up.
I picked them up slowly, one by one, because I was very tired, and lost in thought, about egg-noodles and beefaroni.
When I looked up, I saw a woman standing in front of me, doing that clenched fist gesticulating you do, to show that you are really angry and exasperated (I do it often, I should know!).
Then she made a little
sound with her mouth, and arched her eyebrow at me.
So naturally, I said "you could have just said 'excuse me', or 'get out of my way', if you were in such a hurry."
"Why don't you watch where you're going C---!"
and with that, it was ON, as they say.
"What if where I am going is right HERE!?"
I said, straightening up, into what I hoped was an intimidating posture.
She looked at me, and more importantly, I looked at her, and reassessed whether being called the C word was worth getting my ass kicked in the pasta aisle of a big box store.
This gal was young, tough and most assuredly quicker than me.
Both my mother and Mark have been telling me for years that my mouth was going to get me killed one day.
So I untensed a bit and walked away, resisting the urge to throw a bag of macaroni at her.