Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm old. And WalMart is scary.

This weekend, my cousin S and his girlfriend, A, came out to the boonies to visit. It's still a funny concept to me. S is more than 7 years younger than me and, as the oldest child of the family, I grew up wrangling all the littles whenever our families got together, and became the official babysitter once I was old enough.

Looking back, what were our mothers thinking?! I couldn't have been more than 14 when I was left with my 2 sisters and 3 cousins. At 31, 4 of my very own offspring can be more than I can handle!

Anyway, I spent the weekend with my Power Ranger-loving, Cheeto-hogging, can't-sleep-without-his-teddy cousin, who has just passed the GMATs and drinks beer. Weird!

His girlfriend is a fantastic girl, and it's easy to forget exactly how old (how young) she is. Until you realize that she doesn't know who The Who is (are?), and she's never seen Johnny Depp without eyeliner. While my formal education was just about over, hers was barely beginning. And it makes me feel old. No matter what she says. She can, however, participate in intelligent and entertaining conversation, which is more than I can say for most people my own age. Either that, or she's too polite to point out that I talk too much without realizing it.

It turns out, my little cousin has a lead foot. I had planned to run to our "local" Target and the grocery store before they arrived, but they made the drive in record time. In effort to save time, I found myself saying "I'll just go to the Super WalMart." And then I suckered A into coming with me for support.

I used to be a WalMart shopper, but that was when I lived in a relatively affluent, semi-metropolitan area. There was no escaping the long lines and crummy customer service, but that WalMart was typically packed with soccer moms. I don't think my current WalMart had a single minivan in it's parking lot.

We saw a family who seemed to have great difficulty understanding the implied meaning of "excuse me" which, in my world at least, is code for "get your ass out of my way." They seriously just stood there and looked at us we were speaking another language.
Then there was the man who has a fear of guavas. Apparently, Tropicana Twisters should be approached with caution. Bad things could happen. Fortunately for this man, there is a strawberry and banana flavor, and he was quite proud to announce that he knows strawberries! Hmm. He didn't comment on bananas, though.

Throughout the entire store, I kept falling into my bad habit of walking away from my cart with my purse sitting right on top. That's a bad habit in any location, but I didn't realize just how bad it was until the one time I did remember to take my purse with me, and came back to my cart to find a young man touching it, inspecting it's contents. I don't know if it was the rude Jersey or the rude hick in me coming out (or a combination), but I hissed at him. Yes, I hissed. He didn't notice. Or he didn't care.

The husband has forbidden me to take the kids to our WalMart. I think he may be kidding, but he really doesn't have to worry about it one way or the other. This was my third visit there in the 3 years we've lived here. I've had my fill for the next 12 months.

I think I've also eaten enough to last me a few weeks. What is it about having guests that compels people to make disgusting amounts of food? I have a pretty large refrigerator. Typically, I do a big grocery store trip every other week, and we still have room in the fridge. This weekend, I shopped for 2 days worth of food, and ran out of room.
I fully intended to to spend yesterday afternoon at the pool, but I was terrified that everyone would sink to the bottom like stones. Plus it's no fun wearing a bathing suit when you're all bloaty and close to a food-induced coma.

Hopefully, the kids will polish off leftovers in the next day or two. Me, I'm actually craving rice cakes today. I also have an enormous amount of housework to do. There's no better way to bring all of your clutter and carpet stains into focus than sitting with guests and looking at your house through their eyes. Who knew that ceiling fans could collect dust while in constant motion?!

S and A survived their weekend with us, and I hope we haven't scarred them too badly. They were able to sleep through my kids, my cats, and my dogs in the wee hours of the morning, so we either really beat them down, or barely effected them. If they ever come back, I promise I'll take them swimming and we won't go anywhere near WalMart!!

1 comment:

kwr221 said...

Oh, I can so relate. :-)

To Walmart, food, houseguests, etc.

And cousins who are in a time-warp...

I think that when you don't see people often, they get "Stuck" in your mind at the age at which you last spent time with them. My 30-something cousin is *still about 17 to me. And once in a while she morphs in to the "little peanut that I used to hold in my arms when she was a baby".