Thursday, August 18, 2005

Bless me father, on...

Something has been bothering me the last day or so. And I feel the need to come clean. I realize this doesn’t have quite the plush décor of a confessional but since, until my baby’s born, I’m kind of a lapsed Catholic (I like to think of it as having fallen off the wagon), this will have to do.

Yesterday, I went to Glen’s to buy some frozen ravioli for dinner. I needed it. Badly. I can’t explain why. Anyway, I was exhausted. You see, I have a cold. And I can’t take any medicine for it. And my body is busy trying to build a placenta these days. I am constantly tired. But life goes on, right? And besides, I NEEDED that ravioli. So, I went to the store to buy it and accidentally bought to little cartons of Ben and Jerry’s because they were on sale (2 for $5 – fantastic deal) and because they are HEALTHY ICE CREAM. No joke…25% less fat and sugar than the regular. They’re practically diet food! So I bought myself a carton of Half Baked (a combo of choc. chip cookie dough and chocolate fudge brownie) and I bought Owen a carton of Cherry Garcia. (Note: mine lasted a full 24 hours longer than his did.)

So, I am on my way home, exhausted from a day of placenta making, nose blowing and dedicatedly wasting time at work and deliriously dreaming of my two little cartons of goodness sitting on the seat beside me. I get into the car, put on my seatbelt, start the car, apply the break and release the parking break. I then release the break to push the clutch and shift into reverse so I am ready to back up. Then, as any good citizen would do, I checked my rear view mirror. There was somebody there. I’m not trying to be judgmental here, but she was a dumpy slob (one of those people who hunches over their cart as though it were a walker but who you know would have you down in 3 if it came to a fight over the last box of s’mores toaster strudel. My mom always says about them, “God, if I ever look like that all hunched over my cart, shoot me! If I’m that freaking lazy I shouldn’t even be at the store!” But moving on…). But I, being fantastically liberal, know in my bleeding heart of hearts that even slobs have a right to live (they’re a good reason I feel the way I do about things like the availability of birth control and abortion. Who WANTS them procreating???). So I do not commence backing up but, as a good citizen, I let her pass…and this she does v e r y s l o w l y.

In the meantime, I am checking either way over both shoulders to make sure the coast is clear once her royal slugginess has passed. I see nothing. She has cleared and I begin to back up. And what do I hear but BANG BANG BANG BANG. Startled, I looked in my rearview mirror to see a sans-cart complimentary slobby old man! I have commenced backing over him and he is pounding his fist on my trunk to make me stop. I wail on the breaks and can tell that he’s fine because he’s still standing and pounding and screaming at me that I shouldn’t back over people (which I already knew). Apparently, he’s so short that, in my scanning to back up I missed him behind the car parked next to me. Either that or I was too tired to see him. Or his slobbiness just blended him in like Petoskey camouflage it is.

In any case, I felt awful. Of course I didn’t back over him intentionally. I’m a liberal, remember? But he didn’t want to hear me. He wanted to stand there, the floppy jowls of his chicken-skin old neck wobbling and growing redder and redder as the foamy gobs of spit shot at the back of my car like venom. I could see little geysers of steam blowing out his ears like Donald Duck when he gets really pissed about something (even though we all know that Donald Duck doesn't have ears - he's a duck). He eventually kept walking, looking at me, yelling some more, and shaking his fist. I was too terrified to get out of the car or to say anything to him. As soon as the coast was clear I booked out of there, checking in my mirror once or twice to make sure he hadn’t given himself a heart attack or something. Oh yeah…I also began to cry. I’m not only tired but hormonal as well.

So I guess what I wanted to say (to make my short story longer) is that, to the grubby old man, I am very, very sorry. I’m sorry I almost ran over you and I’m sorry I was too afraid you might hit me to get out of my car and apologize. Not that I think you’ll read this or anything, but, just in case. Also, I just wanted to let you know that I checked when I got home and the car is fine so you don’t have to worry about that.

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