With only 5 days (or should I say nights?) left at the hotel I've become increasingly more aware that I need to take notice on the everyday awkwardness that surrounds me. I think it's safe to say that the general public can make any simple occurrence uncomfortable. My new mission... well, I guess it's the same as the old mission but outside of the hotel purgatory I've been living for the past 11 months.
A few days ago, as I was leaving my parents' house to head back to Charleston, I stopped by a grocery store to pick up a whopping two items. The elderly woman in one of the check-out lines was buying not even a handful of groceries. Using simple math, but not adhering to the possible annoying behaviors of human society, I picked what looked like the quickest trip out of the store. Math, you failed me. How exactly does one attempt to exercise "extreme couponing" on a tiny amount of products. Many of her coupons were expired and the argument became heated. The woman eventually gave up and paid what she owed only to remember that she was a senior citizen. Yes, I was slightly annoyed but she may not have a lot of money and I wasn't in a huge hurry. And then it happened.... the conversation. I'm pretty confident that many people would back me up in saying the check-out line is the wrong place to start up a conversation with the cashier when there are other people in line. Every time the woman looked like she was about to leave, she remembered something she wanted to add to their little talk and would butt right back in front of me. This happened about 3 times before I caught wind of the very stimulating topic. She grabbed my arm said "If you must know, we are talking about homemade banana ice cream."
My reaction was either:
A) "Well, if you must know, I'm trying to purchase my own items!"
B) "ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?"
C) "Oooooo, do tell more! I'd love to hear about the world's worst flavored ice cream!"
If you guessed any of these, you're wrong. I've always found the best way to get around these issues are just to stare blankly at the perpetrator and check your watch (it's even better if you're not wearing one) until they feel uncomfortable enough to leave. Ah, my point was made without a single word.
Note to self: Grocery shopping (and the rarely used Wal-Mart shopping) is a time to call in pessimism. Don't fight it, use it to get your dirty work done.