A moment in Tim

Well first and foremost I have to say…. I’m back!  To those of you who used to swing by here on a regular basis, I will apologize for disappearing on you.  It was never planned to disappear for that long.  One day I was writing and posting on the regular.  The next day life and moming and jobing and adulting got in the way.  And the words stopped coming.  I hope you’ll forgive my absence and visit again.  For those of you new to my Chaos, welcome!  I hope you like it and come back too!  Now, since the words have returned…so will I!

In the last year and a half, I have become a little bit of a CrossFit junkie. I decided after 20+ years of running that I needed to shake things up.  Seven days and over 30 miles a week just wears on you.  My treadmill was bored with me and I had run out of Netflix shows to watch.  That’s when I met my new love… CrossFit.  (My apologies to my hubby, but there is just something about throwing up heavy weights and climbing a rope that makes me swoon.  But that’s a blog for another day.)

In my world, workouts get down before the sun comes up. I love my family, but the only time I can get anything done without interruptions is to crank it out while they are dead to the world, so I am a solid up at 4:30 am at the box for 5 am class type of girl.

If you know anything about CrossFit, we are in the depths of The Open right now, a series of five grueling workouts that test you both physically and mentally.  A few days after the latest WOD, I woke up at 2:45 with tremendous, shooting back pain.  No combination of pillows or body contortions would make it stop so I could return to dreamland.  After 30 minutes of trying, I gave up and got on my workout clothes.  (You know, that activewear many just wear to actively get coffee and have their nails done.  I make mine earn its name.)  I had planned to pick up some groceries after class, but decided, since I was already up, I may as well hit the store first.

You know what Wal-Mart is like at 3:30 am…glorious.  Sure, there are employees in the aisles stocking shelves and palettes to dodge, but you now what wasn’t there…other shoppers.  It was phenomenal! I was able to navigate the whole store, get all the household items and a week’s worth of grocery for four (I have a 14-year-old boy, so it was more like groceries for 6), and hit the checkout in under 30 minutes.

And that’s where I met him.

You know what happens when there are no shoppers at Wal-Mart?  There are no checkouts open, so me and my overflowing grocery cart saddled up to the self-check out station and got to work.  Before I had even scanned the first item, the security guard walked over to me with a second shopping cart.

“Hi!  Good Morning!  Here, this will make it easier to you.  You can just put the full ones in it.”  

After wheeling me over the cart, he leaned up against the wall next to me and started talking.  At first it was the usual, the gorgeous weather we just had, hopes it would stick around permanently, fear we would get still one more snow storm before spring really arrived.  Polite small talk.  Nice.  Friendly.  Then he started talking about a meal he had recently with his mom and brother.  He lives with his mom.  His washer recently broke.  He didn’t have the money to buy a new one, so his mom found a place that sells used appliances and helped him purchase one.  He said it had actually broken weeks before he told his mom, but he didn’t want to upset her with the news, so he’d been washing his clothes in the sink for a while now.  

He has an uncle who has a vacation house and a boat.  Boat upkeep is expensive!  He wished he had enough money to be able to have a boat.  But his uncle is a very nice man.  Invites them over and helps him out.  The kind of guy who would keep giving you the shirt off his back time after time, no questions asked. 

They struggle, but they get by.  Tim’s dad was supposed to leave him and his brother some land and inheritance in his will, but he changed it right before he died and left everything to his step mom.  He looked hurt.  His dad wasn’t a nice guy.  We was a jerk (not the words he used, but I cleaned it up for you.) Oh well, that’s how things go I guess.

He shared about a visit with his dad from a while back.  His dad was starting to say something derogatory towards a person of color that was nearby.  He stopped his dad, told him you can’t say that.  That’s not ok.  His dad attempted to belittle him for not ‘manning up.’  I’m not that type of person.  I don’t feel that way about others.  People are people.  We’re all here together.  

I finished up the last of my items and headed out.  I thanked him for the talk and wished him a good day.

“What’s your name?” 

“Kerry”

“Hey Kerry.  I’m Tim.  Have a great day!” 

Tim stopped time.  Tim slowed me down.  Tim was kind.  Tim was honest.  Tim was open.  We could all learn a lot from Tim.  I know I did.

Already????

I took a quick pop into the happiest place on earth…Wally World!  What?!?!  Wally World is not the happiest place on earth?  That’s not what the Griswold’s total me, bunch of liars.  No wonder the moose wouldn’t let them in the park.

Anyway, I had a short list of a few things I needed to grab.  I was going to get in and out without fraying my nerves or killing my pocket book.

You know how the check out clerk always asks you if you found everything you were looking for and you mindless say yes because you can’t say what you what to, because if you could,  you’d say this?

“Well, actually, no I didn’t find everything I was looking for.  I came here for a fan.  You know, a little, sit on your desk or on your night stand fan.  I went to your home section and you have a WHOLE FLIPPING ROW of heaters.  Small heaters, big heaters, oscillating heaters, ceramic heaters.  Do you know how many fans you sell in this store??? ONE!   You sell one option for a fan.  A giant 3 foot by 3 foot box fan.  So no, I didn’t find everything I was looking for.  But while I’m ranting.  Right next to your row of no fans, you sell this

and I’m a little curious if you have a huge demand for outside, industrial style doghouses.  Are they really for dogs or does the weather barrier style door indicate they are actually for husbands?  Because if they are for husbands, then I understand why they are located in the home section and not the pet section and do you think my husband will fit in it?  And another thing.

Is there some big ration on sugar I should be aware of?  I mean really.  Who does this?  I appreciate that you let me price match items, but when someone comes to the check out with 200 bags of sugar, don’t you give that person a nice talking to about sharing? And what’s the deal with this?

I’m all for Christmas.  I love the holiday.  I shop on Black Friday.  I listen to Christmas music from Thanksgiving through New Years, but dude, check your calendar.  It’s October 3rd.  Too soon.  Let me eat all that Halloween candy I bought first.  Other than that, yes I found everything I was looking for!”

That might be the last time she asks, but boy would I feel better.

Speedy???

As I was driving to meet friends the other night, I looked at my clock and realized that I was a few minutes early.

I knew that I was going to have to run by the store later that day for printer ink  (How are we out of printer ink AGAIN?!?!?  It feels like I buy printer ink every week!) and a fantasy football magazine.  (Yes, I have a fantasy football league.  I LOVE football.  I LOVE all sports.  I watch ESPN by choice.  I might be a dude.)

Just my luck, Wal-Mart was in the same shopping complex as where I was going.  SCORE!  I’m thought ‘I’m going to get in, get my items, and I’ll still beat her to the restaurant!’

I parked and ran in.

I found the ink right away.  (Side bar…what is the difference between standard capacity and moderate capacity?  Even the guy there didn’t know.)  Just pick one.  You know you’ll be back next week when the printer again refuses to print claiming to be out of ink.

Next, is the magazine.  Liddy’s Sports Fantasy Football 2012…looks as good as any, plus, it has Aaron Rodgers on the cover, so that’s a no brainer.  (For you non football folks, he’s the quarterback of my Green Bay Packers!  Kick off in two weeks!)

Oh Chex Mix!  It wasn’t on the list, but Bold and Spicy is Yummy and Tasty, so in my arms it goes.

Now it’s time to blow this popsicle stand, and I’m still ahead of schedule!

Speedy checkout, here I come.

And here I screech to a grinding halt.

There is exactly one of four speedy checkouts actually open and a line is eight deep.

I quickly scan the rest of the checkouts.  Only two other ones are open, and they also have long lines plus over flowing carts.

I take my place in the back.

Maybe she really is speedy….

Nope.  Time drags on.  My friend starts texting me.  ‘Are you here?’

Um, no, not even close.

Do they purposely put the slowest cashiers in the speedy lane to teach us a lesson?  They should add that scrunched up ‘Plan Ahead’ sign and pump laugh tracks through the sound system.

Finally, I put my head down, defeated.

Wal-Mart – 1

Inky, Chexy, Football Chic – 0

 

Lessons in the checkout

I shop at Wal-Mart.  I shop there every week.  I know they are an evil monopoly that push mom-and-pop stores out of business.  I also know they have the lowest prices out there and will price match anything…ANYTHING.  In order to compensate for the low prices, there are a number of things one must endure; the most interesting are my fellow shoppers and the employees.  Luckily for me, I write this blog, so they also offer me weekly material.  (Before anyone yells at me for dissing Wal-Mart employees, my brother is a former Wal-Mart manager, so I am well aware that not all employees are ‘interesting blog subjects’ but you and I both know there are a handful in every store.)  As I shop there weekly (or more if I forget things), I hope to make ‘Lessons from the checkout’ a regular post.

Picking a checkout lane is probably the most crucial decision you will make in Wal-Mart each trip.  Pick poorly, and you could be stuck in the check out twice at long as your shopping trip took you.  Younger males are almost always the wrong choice.  They’re usually ok speed wise, but they bag poorly.  Squished bread is always bad.  Middle aged women are usually a good bet.  No nonsense, want to get the job done well and quickly.  Younger women…its a role of the dice.  Well this week, I took a gamble and hit the jackpot.  Now she’s not overly speedy and her bagging skills leave a lot, I mean A LOT to be desired, but she is the best talker out there and sometimes, that is a trade-off that is worth it.  I don’t want to give away her identity, so I’ll just call her Jane.

I went to Jane’s line and started the regular chit-chat, talking about the nice weather and the upcoming weekend.  Jane mentioned that she was going to Kansas City this weekend with her boyfriend.  Once Jane starts talking, she just talks.  She doesn’t really wait for a response.  This is no give and take conversation.  This is the long and short of my talk with Jane.

Me – “It’s such a nice day outside!”

Jane – “Yeah?  I’ve been in here.  I haven’t seen it.”

Me – “Yes.  Very sunny.  I think it’s supposed to be nice all weekend.”

Jane – “I’m going to Kansas City this weekend with my boyfriend.  He’s a DJ and DJing this car show.  He’s got a hummer.  He broke up with me for a while, we just got back together and I find out he bought a hummer while we were broke up.  He’s showing the hummer in the car show too.  His friend’s going with us to Kansas City.  His friend bought a hummer too.  He things he’s so cool.  Whatever.  I don’t know what I’ll do at the car show, probably just wander around.  Then he’ll get all pissy that I’m off doing stuff on my own, but what am I supposed to do, just stare at him the whole time?  There are always these girls there that hang all over him when he DJs, wanting to be with the DJ.  They think it’s so cool to get with the DJ.  There’s this one that was acting like that once at this one show.  She’s all looking at me and giving me these looks and all.  I’m sure he slept with her and I just wanted to say to her, ‘Yeah, you where with the DJ, but you’ll only ever be just a one night stand.’  He might have been with her but he’s going home with me.”

Me – (Starring blankly at her.)  “Um, so Kansas City.  Sweet.  I love going to Kansas City.”

See what I mean!!!!  She might put my shampoo with my crackers, but she’s golden!