as I go about my day on a particular Monday, I do as little talking as possible. I have mastered the sort of facial expressions that render talking unnecessary. On this day, most of my socializing will happen with Corinne, the checkout lady at the supermarket. M and I have a list of 18 things to get. We're tight on time, so we decide to divide and conquer. Now, to most people, that would mean nine items each, but because he knows me too well, and I know me to well, we settle on 16/2.
M knows that I dawdle and that I'm prone to distraction by shiny things, he knows I get overwhelmed by too many choices, so I get stuck finding rice and bread. This should be easy. If I was sent to find any loaf of bread, it might take hours, but M has specific bread, of a specific brand, of a specific color. I don't even know what the brand is, I just know where to look. We need two loaves; I find one. This is a problem. You see, in mundane situations like this, my brain finds no motivation to be decisive. I stand and look at the empty shelf for too long. I find an employee by the milk and decide to talk to her (against all my insticts):
me: "hi there. Do you think you might have more of these in the back?"
employee: "did you find that in the international isle?"
my head: "why is that relevant?"
without saying anything else I decide she's useless and walk away. Now on to the rice. Again, there's specific rice I should be getting; again, I have no idea what the brand is, I just know it's orange. The bread is purple and the rice is orange, I feel like a pre-schooler. There's no orange on the shelf. I have no idea what sort of rice it is: long grain, short grain, medium grain. When where all these developed? Why do we need all these options in our lives? I pick up a blue packet...yes, I'm like a five-year-old and pick things based on color. I make my way to the check out and my boy's beat me to it. That he got all our shopping before I managed to get my two items is a surprise to noone. I didn't even get what I was supposed to get really, but this is not rare and it doesn't matter. One loaf will do and rice is rice, so there you go.
1.35 pm -- the bus leaves at 1.40 pm, we did well. The lady in front of us seems confused about life, and M points out to her where she should enter her pin in order to process the payment. How people get through life without our help is beyond me.
1.36 pm -- we're cutting it close, but I'm optimistic. M's losing hope. I move forward to bag our items...everyone else just does it wrong. The bagging lady looks me up and down and says: "I hope you're aspiring to more than this." I don't know how to take that considering it's her profession of choice.
1.37 pm -- I look over at M and know he's cursing Corinne in his head as she goes into some story or other that makes it impossible to also do her job, further delaying the process.
1.38 pm -- "I use to go home in tears when the supermarket started charging people for plastic bags. People got really intense!" M and I stand there. We don't care. Why people never pick up on the fact that I don't care about their stories is beyond me.
1.39 pm -- I subtly reach for the tomatoes Corinne is weighing and I'd like to think she got the hint. We pay and start walking off. Corinne yells after us: "You'll need your receipt for the car park." We keep walking and with this we say: "We don't drive, we don't have cars. We're done with you Corinne; you're a nice-enough person, but I've decided that our relationship os over.