It was a simple task, really.
My nephew and his wife had their second child last week, a girl.
I always do natal charts for new members of the family. All of my sisters except one, appreciate it. Jessie, my little sister, believes that they are satanic and requests that I NOT do them for her side of the family. All THREE of her daughters (ages 21, 19 and 15) have requested that I do theirs on the sly. I've obliged. Shhhh.
So, I did my new grandniece's chart. I decided to buy a book to send along to her big brother too. I found one of those big padded envelopes, got it all ready to mail. Told Bing that I would be home for dinner a few minutes late tonight since I planned to stop at the post office and send it off after work.
Well, shit. I got to the post office and sighed. There is always a line. Always. I have never ONCE been there when there wasn't a line. But, there were only about 8 people in front of me, it would go fast.
Well, I thought so anyway. Until I noticed that there was only one woman working the counter. And I could see why the line was long. She was a chatter and WAY too helpful.
Now, I know what you're thinking. How can someone be TOO helpful?
This is how: the woman at the front of the line had a newly purchased Yahtzee game in her hands. Not wrapped, of course. She went to the counter person and said, "I need to mail this to my sister in Oklahoma. I need to buy a box."
Well, first step...you are an idiot right off the bat. NEVER buy a box at the post office. They are too expensive. Go to Walgreens or do what we do: save all your boxes in the basement. I guarantee you that there will be one that is exactly the right size.
But, no. So..the cashier brings out two boxes. They try the first one. Woman (let's call her Ginnie because I detest that name....) sighs, tips her dipsy head. Thinks hard. Thinks some more. No, she decides, it is just a little too loose. They try the other box. It is too snug.
Those of us in line are shifting from foot to foot, annoyed because there are workers standing around in the back doing not one frickin' thing.
And then...when she finally decides on the right box, the cashier offers to help her tape it all up.
Oh, C'MON. At least give her tape and tell her to step aside and get it all taped up.
No. They chat as they tape up the box while the rest of us natives are decidedly getting very, very restless.
And then, OH WAIT. YES. She needs to fill out another form with the sister in Oklahoma's address on it. She isn't sure what it is. Let's see...she looks in her purse, finds her address book and starts paging through it.
I am ready to slap both of them now.
A man in front of me turns around and says in a loud voice to me, "For PETE'S SAKE, can't she step aside and do all this without help? How old is she? TEN?"
This earns him a scolding stare from the cashier and a hurt, baleful look from Ginnie. Let's just call her Dumbass Ginnie.
Finally, another worker lumbers up to help. The line is out the door behind me now.
This guy is a joker.
A man steps up to the counter. He says hello and how is his day going? The worker, let's call him Don, because I believe he thinks he's Don Rickles, smiles sarcastically and says, "Hey, I'm just livin' the dream, friend. Just livin' the dream."
He is faster than the female worker, though. She is still noshing with Dumbass Ginnie about the weather in Oklahoma, how much snow they've had, has it been as much as ours? She has sort of a kewpie doll mouth. I sort of want to punch it.
Finally, another worker comes forward...another dude. This guy is fast, but he is a stickler for rules. When he finishes with one customer, he gets snarly if someone steps up to the counter before he says,"NEXT?"
He actually tells some impatient guy who jumped the gun to please go back and stand in line until he's called. The guy does this, but scowls. By this time, the talky female cashier is finally finished with Dumbass Ginnie and she waves him over.
She says, "How you doin' today, sugar?" as if she's in a movie where she plays a wisecracking waitress with a heart of gold.
The guy says something unintelligible, like fine, fine and he refuses to play her wanna make me guess what's inside the package game. He looks like he wants to tell her there's dynamite in that box, but is smart enough to know that this would be so not funny and might land him in jail, so he just says, "Please mail it express. I know it costs extra. That's fine." She unhurriedly rings him up.
I am getting closer. Finally.
Only one person in front of me. She gets the jokey cashier.
The stickler-for-rules cashier is finishing up getting a package all ready to go. His customer has already left. I know that he will reprimand me if I step up before he calls, "NEXT?", so I wait patiently.
A very large woman with a very whiny toddler is behind me. The child has been whining that he wants choklit milka for the last ten minutes. She has continually told him to "shut his trap" and "stop bugging me, I'll stop at the store on the way home...but if you ask me ONE MORE STINKING TIME, you get nothin', Marvin."
She has said this numerous times, so of course, he keeps asking for choklit milka over and over because she isn't one to follow through on threats and even at the young age of 3, he has her ticket.
This same large woman actually gives me a little shove towards the stickler-for-rules cashier, says, "GIT up there, wouldja? We ain't got all day."
I know, I know....Marvin the snotty nosed brat needs his choklit milka. I want to tell her to keep her lousy hands off me, but I am always careful not to annoy people like her. They are the ones who slap their kids when they are mad at someone or something else. So, I ignore her.
She snorts and CUTS IN FRONT OF ME, walking briskly up to the stickler-for rules cashier. He does not look up, continues finishing the package. I am seething, but again....I stay calm. She can be in front of me. I don't like Marvin one little bit, but I don't want to see him decked in a car as I walk out of the building.
Stickler looks up and motions to me.
"I believe you were next, come forward."
He ignores Marvin and his Mother. She looks incredulously at him. Tells him that she is standing right HERE, mister.
He looks at her as if she is sour milk.
"It is not your turn. Please return to the line, ma'am."
I suddenly kind of like stickler man, but I am worried about Marvin. I decide not to worry about Marvin and I step forward.
Big momma heaves a huge sigh and mutters something about "racist bitch" to me as she yanks Marvin back to the line with her.
I almost laugh. ME? Why am I a racist bitch? What the fuck did I do? But, I don't comment. I step up to stickler man. He quickly rings me up and we are finished in less than a minute.
By this time, he and the sarcastic joking cashier have each rang up at least three times as many people as the chatty woman cashier.
I walk out and one of the men in the doorway holds the door open wide for me.
"You're kinda pretty, but you're old," he says to me.
I stop and turn around.
"You're young, but you're kinda rude," I say.
He laughs. I don't.
As I am starting my car and adjusting my seat belt, I see big Momma and Marvin coming out of the building. He is struggling to get the wrapper off a sucker that was obviously presented to him. She yanks the sucker away from him, rips the wrapper off and tosses it on the ground even though there is a waste bin right next to her. I suspect that they are off to get some choklit milka since he was such a good boy at the post office.
Now, I know how this works. This child will go through life and think that it is fine to cut in front of people and blame racism for everything that happens to him. He has already learned that whining and acting like a brat will get him what he wants, so I pity his kindergarten teacher, I really do.
I am pretty late when I get home, but my bad mood immediately brightens when I see that Bing and Liv have made one of my favorite dinners. Well, they SHOULD have. They both were off all day long for a snow day.
The table is set with my favorite bright green placemats and soft tan napkins. They have made my favorite chicken: breasts sprinkled with Italian dressing and baked in the oven. They've made corn bread and a salad with lots of cherry tomatoes and pretty circles of yellow peppers. And the best part? Bing had Liv bring up some homemade applesauce that we canned back in August.
I change into my sweats and feel my back relaxing already. Tonight, Liv starts a new basketball tournament, her last one.
My belly is full. My bones are comfortable in my skin. The temperature is supposed to hit 50 by Thursday, so the snow will MELT.
And I have nothing that needs to be mailed.
Life can be frustrating, but it can also be good.
And best of all, Marvin and his Momma don't live next door to us. Neither does chatty cashier lady or Dumbass Ginnie.
And there is a box of thin mints on the kitchen counter.....
Always a silver lining to every bad day. Always.