I am given a free pass by my dearly beloved.
I’ve played the pity card and won.
Due to my gross inefficiency, our household lacks one or two essential items, without which life is not worth contemplating, for reasons that are too complicated to explain. The net result is that I am given permission to go to the supermarket on my own, whilst my knight in shining armour minds the kids. The only penalty attached to this window of freedom, is that I have to take his car. His car is a nasty little thing without a roof. If I wanted to whiz along with the wind running through my hair then I’d ride a bike. To save the environment, I really should ride a bike, but the thing that I need to buy is to heavy.
Because I have had to attend a meeting I am dressed like a human being rather than a mum.
I skip out to the driveway to enjoy my 30 minutes free pass. I fight with the car lock. I win. I switch on the ignition and am instantly deafened by 50 decibels of rock music. I punch buttons on the dash board until silence returns and my heart starts beating again. I drive the nasty little car to the supermarket cautiously. I am so close to the ground that I’m in danger of grazing something that I’d rather not graze. Every car on the road is a giant. My line of sight matches everyone else’s shiny hub caps. Because I am driving a vehicle that might loosely be described as a sports car, other drivers give me a wide birth under the misapprehension that I will drive in an unpredictable, fast and erratic manner. Strangely, that is exactly how I normally drive in my jolly big car, when I have a far too many children in the back seat.
On arrival I park with car and wander inside the shop. I amble up and down the air conditioned aisles without a care in the world. I select all the right items with ease, as I have no distractions. I am an efficient shopper for the first time in a decade. I go straight to the top of the class. I am a little star. I glide to the check out wait behind a woman with an overflowing cart. I am in no rush. The woman slams her items on the conveyor belt and glances in my direction. She glares. I check behind me, but no-one is there. I decide that I should practice smiling. This would be the ideal opportunity to reveal my perfect smile, a little exercise. My braces are off, now all I need to do is remember that there should be some muscles around the mouth area. I wait for her to glance back again. When she does, I’m ready for her and honour her with a generous flash of the enamel.
“I’m goin as fast as I can!” she shouts.
“Oh I’m in no hurry,” I beam back. She shakes her head and then pauses to lean on the rim of her cart. Her lips part but then she shakes her head again and continues to empty the cart.
She stomps back to the bagging area, dumps her purse on the shelf and wipes her brow. There is wrangling with the payment and the coupons and the check book. The checker is harassed. The queue behind me has grown considerably. A dodgy pen doesn’t assist her and she swears, mildly, but with venom. Her eyes dart towards me. “What are you lookin at?” she shouts. I do a double check. Me? Or someone else? Apparently me! “Oh nothing really,” I whimper with just a hint of enamel. I remove my bifocals so that everything is a blur, which is bound to help. I position myself in front of the magazine rack and enjoy the gaudy colours. I hear her rattle her cart free of the stock and march away. I am careful to avoid watching her departure and scurry to deposit my own items. I’m through, paid and bagged in a trice, so that I am free to skip past the electric doors and out into the glorious sunshine.
I cannot find the car in the parking lot. Where could it possibly be? Then I remember that I am in the nasty little car. I hunt around for the very tiny, easily hidden, nasty little car. Ah! There it is. I hoppety skip to the car. Next to it, is a big family mobile. The door is open, as is the trunk. The trunk is over flowing with paraphanalia, very much like my own. The woman hurls bags of groceries into the body of the car. She looks hot and harassed, much as I usually do myself. I slide past her and toss my bag onto the empty passenger seat and slip into the driver side.
“What?” she shouts, and yes, there is no other human being around.
“Have a great day!” I offer in what I hope approximates a happy positive friendly tone. She folds her arms under her mighty chest, a gesture that I find vaguely threatening and leans back against her own car to tell me, “You just wait til you have a couple of kids, then you won’t be so fuc*** happy!”
And that my fine friend is irony, as opposed to sarcasm.
And in my other "life".......