Friday, August 13, 2010
eek on one more...
The stars are shining down.
Everything is right with the world, or at least my world. (knocking hard on wood)
Isn’t it amazing that there are some days when nothing happens as planned and then there are others that everything seems to go right? How does or can that happen? It’s like everyone was given the memo to make sure that you…have a glorious day.
The good happening seems to cover everything. From the traffic lights changing serendipitously in your favor allowing you to cruise along to your destination without a single stop. To expecting a long line (per usual) at the post office and finding that you are alone in the building three tellers waiting for your package. From finding the perfect outfit to wear to the wedding this weekend, on sale mind you, to winning twenty dollars in free gas for being the 10,000th customer.
I had one of those days the other day.
When I popped into Marc’s Discount store, which is notorious for it’s low prices but unbelievable long lines at the checkout, I shopped and then with trepidation approached the cash registers. There's normally a big traffic jam near the checkout. People with their full carts jockeying for position at one of the few registers open. The store itself isn’t planned out quite right. The area near the registers is small, to accommodate longer shopping aisles which crams in more merchandise. This makes navigating the aisles a nightmare. It’s hard enough to coax your cart past another in a row, but when you near the end cap at either end of the lane, making the turn is near impossible. Especially at the north end of the store where the registers are.
Trying to make your way around with those waiting to find a line to pay for their goods and you are just trying to get to the coffee, well…let’s just say I’ve found it easier to make several small trips to Marc’s carrying just a basket than to do big shopping with a cart.
As I turned the corner, I did in fact see about 8 people eyeing each others carts and baskets gearing for a possible line jump if one moves along faster than another. I scanned the area and decided that staying towards the left of the store would be most prudent. Only registers 8, 5 and 4 were open but those by 5 and 4 seemed to have overly filled carts which would , for obvious reasons, take a long time to make it through the line.
Marc’s is truly a deep discount store. You can buy pints of locally picked blackberries or raspberries for a buck. I bought a pair of Converse tennis shoes the other day for three dollars and a Coleman cooler for ten. You never quite know what’s going to be there. And they only take cash.
It has a pretty full grocery on top of all the rest of the items available. I used to avoid Marc’s because of the lines, a little on the worn side (i.e. beat up carts and shelves) and many of the consumers haven’t probably even heard of Nordstroms. The Marc's consumer is a good heaping slice of the socio-economic pie.
They have large displays of whatever close out they got their hands on at the register lines, which actually create the line space. Thousands of cans of tomato soup or Cheez-its. Spontanious purchase buys there for the taking. I always looked at these shoulder high stacks and wondered how long it took to pile these all up so perfectly. And what would happen if I accidentally on purpose drove my cart into it.
One day while waiting in line I looked over to see what other items were lined up. I’m a ‘didn’t know I needed it until I saw it’ kind of shopper. Three aisles down were cases of Ramen noodles. Oooh! And at a really good price too! As I reached over to grab the supposedly chicken flavored variety the man in the next lane blew a huge luger into the stack. Needless to say, I was disgusted.
This one guys lack of personal hygiene and manners caused me to set down my little basket of home grown goodness and promptly walk out of the store. I went home and scrubbed my hands until they were red and showered. I witnessed this instance. How many others might there have been? Could I possibly have been handling merchandise with dried foreign substances on it? The thought just made me want to gag.
It was eight years before I returned.
I can’t remember how or why I went back to Marc's to shop, but when I did the bargains were so great (ream of colored tissue paper for two dollars) that I vowed to just examine with my eyes thoroughly for any questionable matter before touching anything and watch my pocketbook grow with the savings rather than shrink while shopping at Target to get 10 sheets of tissue for five dollars.
But on this shopping day, as I eyed the checkout, mentally tallying how long this is going to take me to get out of this damn store, a cashier said, “Hey…I can take you right here.“ Aisle 10 was now open for business.
He hadn’t turned on the lanes light yet and as I set down my basket of blackberries and wine his manager told him to ‘Take your break after this customer’. So he hooked the chain behind me blocking anyone else from entering the hollowed realm of 'I'm next!', rang me out and I was quickly on my way. As I walked towards the exit door I noticed all the other people that had been right were I was were still all tapping their feet, looking at their watches and overall looking rather exasperated with the slow process of buying their goods.
It’s a trade off. Good prices? Or good customer service.
But for me, this day of all things gone right has turned into all things gone right…for a week! It’s been amazing. I think that maybe I shouldn’t have written that, I may jinx this spell. (fingers crossed tight!)
Only this weather has really blown. So oppressively hot you perspire without even moving. While watching sweat slowly drip down the back of Charlize Theron’s thigh might be extremely sexy in the movies, feeling beads of sweat running down my back into my crack….is not.
Thank God my neighbor has a pool in which I take a daily dip. They have been gracious enough to allow me free access. It’s sort of like the water house in Thailand that my friend Melissa tells me about. She spent a year with the Peace Corp in Thailand. Each day when the heat became unbearable you'd enter the water house, disrobe and splash cool water from a large basin of rainwater with a ladle to bring down your temperature. When I complain of the heat (which she concurs has been bad) she says, “You don’t know heat unless you’ve spent a year in the back country by the equator.’
I don’t. The chances of me spending a year there are pretty close to nil. Unless they build a Ritz-Carlton and ask me to run the concierge floor, with my own room there to live in….thank you very much. God bless her that she has had this experience that I can listen to and live vicariously through her, but in the meantime when the sweat starts to bead…you’ll find me floating blissfully in my neighbors pool.
Coolest thing about that?
Yesterday Andy brought me out a beer while I floated on their raft.
What was he doing? Yard work.
Mine was completed, so I had the time to relax. In his pool.
You see, the teenager neighbor on the other side has been seeking some extra spending dosh….so he did my work. As I lounged at the other neighbors house in the pool. With a beer. Listening to the drone of the hedge clippers in the mid-day heat.
See, I told you it’s been a good week.
Hope yours is the same….