I have a giant boil right at the jowl of my face. I don’t usually get boils, at least not since I was a teenager. But I had this streak of fixation of daily saunas followed by sea salt baths. The over-heating, followed by drippy sweat, followed by the mineral oils in my last soak of Himalayan bath salts, left my chin all hived-up and splattered with a gigantic, painful boil.
I forced myself to leave the house, certain the boil was a red-flashing siren. So concerned I was indeed, that during the three stops to different stores, I had to go to the bathroom to look in the mirror to make sure the under-the-skin, ripening zit had not exploded.
The first bathroom visit was non-eventful. The second time, I had to wait, and wait, and wait. A kindly couple finally came out, with the elderly man pushing his wife in a wheelchair. I immediately felt guilty for having thought there was a fart-filled, big-bottomed man in the bathroom taking his sweet time and stinking up the place.
I don’t mind waiting when I’m alone. But the whole time I was outside the door waiting, I was standing next to a young man. I get nervous in close proximity to men. I avoid eye contact, and if I speak, I generally, and quite truthfully, make a fool of myself.
Tonight was no different. While waiting, in this narrow hallway, I kept staring at my cellular phone and pretending to be reading. Thinking all along that this guy likely thought I was addicted to my phone. I did all I could do to keep from making conversation. My only wish at the moment, beyond wanting the patron in the potty to flush and be done with his or her task, was to not have to look at this man at all.
It was finally my turn. Of course, I didn’t really even have to pee. But I flushed just incase someone could here me. I noted there were no seat covers (empty) and no papertowels (empty). I began processing all my flusterness and all the emptiness, when I absent-mindedly left my phone atop the papertowel holder (while I shook my hands). I had to wash my hands, just incase the person listening out for my flush was also checking to see if I washed my hands after doing my (imaginary) business.
When I returned to my cart and entered the produce aisle, I panicked fast. Checking all my jacket pockets and emptying my purse, I realized I’d left my phone in the bathroom. Crap, was all I could think. I returned to the small cramped waiting area. Someone was in the bathroom, again. As I waited, I was thinking from now on I really need to log out of Facebook. Too many personal messages anyone could read at the touch of my phone! I was thinking of how I had written to my friend in Facebook that the health insurance company I had to deal with today were penis heads. I was blushing deeper by the millisecond. Someone could have potentially been sitting on the toilet reading all about my personal life! At the same time, I was also thinking the store employees thought I had diarrhea or a bathroom fetish. I leaned against my grocery cart, and tried to smile casually and pretend I was waiting for someone.
Fifty thoughts later, and the door opened. Of course it was the same man I’d been avoiding out of fear of human contact. He had my phone and a big smile. He handed me the phone, and I mumbled some nonsense indicating thanks.
Thanks to my boil, I’d spent a good twenty minutes in the store doing absolutely nothing beyond bathroom stalking.
Outside of the hallway, I strongly thought about letting an employee know the bathroom was missing paper products, but I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I decided, there and then, to just keep my mouth shut.
Of course, as I’m processing this need to not socialize, I grab onto an organic pear, and my thumb presses right through it. “Yuck,” I announce, loudly enough for the older lady next to me to remark.
“Oh,” she says, “You really ought to take that to an employee. That’s what I do when something like that happens.”
I smiled. Thinking of how unsolicited advice sometimes sucks.
I slid the pear to the corner of the fruit stand and said kindly, “I’m sure they will see it here. This way no one else will get their hands all sticky.”
I could see immediately, this stranger was not too pleased. “I think there is a garbage near by,” she insisted. And then she glanced again at the nearby employee. In retrospect, a braver me would have chucked the pear at the lady’s face.
Begrudgingly, I looked down at the isolated, thumb-crushed pear. I made a face. I didn’t want to touch it. I then felt so foolish that I offered an excuse. Albeit a sort of lie, but not a full lie. I said, in attempt to justify my pear-retrieval hesitancy, “Well, I really would rather they put it in the compost.”
“They have a compost here?” she asked.
And so yes, in the end, I had to go up to the worker stacking groceries and explain about the broken pear. But I was sure not to mention the toilet seat covers.
Of course, I was overcome with anxiety, and had to thusly spill out said events to the young girl ringing up my groceries. I explained to her all that had happened, and she just kind of looked at me quizzically saying something like: At least you found your phone.
I wanted to tattoo socially inept across my forehead, at that point.
My final shopping excursion found me in the parking lot chatting it up with a lady my age. I have little trouble talking to women. I understand them somewhat more than the male species. I was telling her all about my van door that would not close because the sliding door latch was frozen over, and how all the way to the store, my light was blinking on and off and the van was singing a ding-ding-ding noise. She was excited to report that for the first time ever she couldn’t roll up her van window because of the cold air. “What a coincidence,” she exclaimed. I liked her immediately, and noted this brief encounter as the highlight of my day.
Inside the third store, I offered to assist a man with a cane; I sincerely wanted to help, but I also was concerned, based on the last thirty-minutes of my life, about my accumulated Karma.
A few minutes later I noticed it was Five-Dollar Friday. Which meant the pizzas were only five dollars. I stared at the empty shelves. No pizzas left. But that was just fine, as my family didn’t like the store brand pizza and wouldn’t eat it. Of course as I was bending down staring at the empty shelves and processing, a male employee came up and said, “Looking for more pizzas? Here you go!” He had a gigantic rolling contraption piled with freshly made pizzas. I was too shy to explain that I didn’t want any, even though I’d been bent over staring at the empty shelves for several minutes. So I took two boxes, a cheese and a pepperoni, acted giddy, and then secretly returned them to the shelves later.
After I’d grabbed junk food for an upcoming birthday party, and worried about what others would think of my diet based on the chips, donuts and flavored whipcream in my cart, I unloaded my items at the checkout stand. When everything was unloaded, I realized I’d forgotten the ice-cream!
So, I looked at the lady behind me, and sighed, “It’s been one of those days,” as I started returning the items to my cart. She was nice enough to offer to wait for me to return, but the last thing I wanted was to be worrying about taking too long to find ice-cream. I returned soon enough, unloaded my groceries onto the checkout stand (again), only to have the lid of the strawberry ice-cream pop off and be forced to wait for replacement.
All-in-all the day wasn’t too bad.
I did get a haircut, although I over-shared with my hairdresser about the Panty-Thing Blog Post. I did figure out how to register my son for homeschool courses, after I made a the mistake of waiting too long to sign him up. I also figured out how to write a letter of appeal to my health insurance company, after fifty-minutes of various phone calls that led to the discovery that the insurance company really doesn’t know what they are talking about. I too figured out what the man on the phone with the foreign accent was saying to me when my laptop malfunctioned and I called for tech support. Though I’m still not certain what I paid $39.99 for. And I managed to stick to my diet, until an anonymous someone shipped me chocolate, candies, and cheese straight to my front door this afternoon. I took this as a direct sign from the Gods to stop my no-sugar and no-dairy fast I’d implemented for two days.
And…I was able to find some great port wine (Can you say brandy?) to go with my cheese.
Life is so interesting. And to think, the day started with this ship stuck in the Puget Sound just beyond my balcony. I should have known that by me being so very happy over the fact that the ship was stuck in the low tide and icy waters, because this event meant I could take lots of photos of the ship and fog over a period of an hour, that I was setting myself up big time for the day ahead.
So here’s to Karma, and all things cheesy. May my boil rest in peace.