My Excellent Adventure With Murphy, Insurance Guy, Begoggled Girl, Lord Vader, Deli Chick, and BagMAN

June 22, 2005    By: Kristen J @ 9:05 am   Category: Life

I should have known that this would be a Murphy’s Law day from the moment the phone rang at 6:30 am. The life insurance guy wanted to let me know that he would be running a half an hour late. The original appointment was set for 7:30 am but he wouldn’t be able to make it until 8:00 am. Now for most people this wouldn’t be a big deal but I am so not a morning person and Darth Vader had slept in my bed again last night, super-velcroed to my side! “Ok, that’s fine,” I croaked to Life Insurance guy. Then I tried to go back to sleep but Life Insurance Guy called back just in time to catch me as I was drifting off to sleep again. Now he wouldn’t be able to come until 11:00am to draw my husband’s and my blood to determine if we were worthy candidates for a life insurance policy.

Now this actually was good news, I could try and salvage a little bit of sleep until my kids woke up. Looking over at Darth Vader I figured that I had a good half an hour to 45 minutes of sleep time left, hallelujah! But no. My neighbor called at 8:05 and then again at 8:22, I chose to ignore her calls, we could talk later. She had asked me earlier in the week if I would give her 4 year old a swim lesson or two. I must admit that I was flattered when she asked, somebody actually thought I had skills! (Admittedly swimming skills are not nun chuck skills.) Initially I told her that I would teach Jesse (the 4 year old) around 8:30 on Monday morning. I guess I figured that my neighbor would get the hint that I was not ready to give Jesse her swimming lesson when I didn’t answer my phone the two times she called, not so. She showed up at my door at 8:35, begoggled and towelled 4 year old in tow. Why do the sleep gods conspire against me? Did I gravely offend them in a previous life? Why Banjo why? Sorry, let me get a hold of myself. We jumped in the pool, I shared the skills and sent her on her way.

Now it was also laundry day, need I say more? The day was full of little irritants, enough to make me really fun to be around I’m sure. Kids banging there heads constantly, laundry, neighbor kids running in and out, laundry, forcing wounded children to practice the piano, laundry, paying bills, laundry, you get the picture. I decided that what would really make my day even more special is if I went on a major grocery shopping trip. My husband works from home so fortunately I often get to leave my older kids at home when I shop. It’s a nice thing. He does draw the line with the baby and sometimes Darth Vader has to come too (see Star Wars: Episode Me for Vader’s identity). So I grabbed my list and the baby and headed out the door leaving Darth in the middle of a temper tantrum. He would only come to the store if he could wear his light up sandals but they were currently residing in the black hole in our house. I told him it was flip flops or nothing and he agreed to nothing and I ran out the door as fast as I could.

Here I was just me and my babe at the store, maybe I could just enjoy myself and not think about laundry for a little while. Let’s see, what do I need? Oh yes, a pound of roast beef from the deli counter. I found the right beef, on sale, and waited for my turn. I waited and waited and waited…finally the deli girl makes eye contact with me, it’s my turn! I tell her just which beef I want, the $7.50 per pound beef. She grabs some beef from the back and heads to the slicer where she proceeds to slice. It won’t be long now, I think, soon I will get the meat and get to the rest of my shopping. I don’t though, instead I go into this weird waiting and zoning out mode, it’s taking this girl a really long time to cut a pound of beef. I think I’ve been playing “I’ll drop the keys and you pick them up” for at least 10 minutes with my baby. I kind of wake up from my zoning out and start to feel really irritated, but I tell myself, “Be patient she’s probably new.” So I wait a little bit longer and eventually she hands me the meat, yeah! I look lovingly at it and, oh no! It’s not the $7.50 beef it’s the $10.99 beef. I just grimace and throw it in my cart, I can’t go through any more waiting, just don’t tell my husband I paid that much for sandwich meat.

I continue through the store and eventually I make it through my list with minimal catastrophe. Thankfully salad dressing is now packaged in plastic and can withstand a long bomb thrown off the cart by my sweet little cherub. I didn’t ever manage to find toothpicks though; does anyone know what aisle toothpicks are normally in? I get to the check out stand and find the lines to be very short, now that’s nice! The check out lady is fairly efficient but the bagboy looks pretty stressed by my large order. He grabs a separate cart and starts throwing bags into it. Oh great, now I have two carts and the bagboy is going to have to help me out to my car. I hate it when bagboys help me out to my car.

We head out to the car and as we get to the trunk he looks at me and says, “Do you want help unloading them?” Now I’ve had it, off course I want help unloading them you @#^% ! It’s 110 degrees out here and I have TWO carts! But suddenly I take a closer look at him and realize he isn’t a bagboy he’s a bagMAN and he doesn’t seem quite normal to me. Maybe, I think to myself, he’s got special needs and this bagging job is his dream come true. I could just picture his little mother sitting at home so proud of her son and his new job. I feel more charitable towards him and it spreads from there. Maybe the deli girl had special needs and the life insurance guy too. Oh heck, maybe my neighbor even has special needs! So I tried to go through the rest of my day being a little more tolerant, a little less needy myself, and a little kinder to those around me. It turned out that Murphy went home and I learned that life is much better when charity gets involved.


  1. Why Banjo why?

    Hah! There’s nothing like an obscure quote from an old episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast to make me laugh and confuse everyone else.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 22, 2005 @ 1:30 pm

  2. I think toothpicks are in the aisle with all the pans and kitchen utensils and such.

    I have this disorder that forces me to go up and down every single aisle every time I walk into a grocery store, and I think I saw them once.

    Comment by Crystal — June 22, 2005 @ 7:01 pm

  3. Crystal, that is really cool. I have those kinds of disorders, just about different stuff. I will probably forget, but it would be nice to know who to come to. I looked all over for potato things once.

    I would have asked the bagman very nicely to yes, please unload my groceries, then help me get my kids in the car, then, if he values his life, just get in the car, come home and help me unload and put them away. I have actually done that. They always think I’m joking.

    You had a tough day. But oh, what cute little kids, little darth looking for his shoes. I made a Darth Vader cake for my son, who would be 32 this year, and put those candles on it that re-light, for fun. His younger stepbrother finally spit on the candles to put them out. Boy, homicide was right around the corner. That was one mad 9 year old. It’s a happy funny memory now, “remember when Jared spit on James’ Darth Vader cake?” I mean really spit. Sigh….those were the good old days.

    Comment by annegb — June 22, 2005 @ 9:06 pm

  4. You know, my grocery store disorder is going EXACTLY in order of store layout on my grocery store list and if I realize later that I have to back track and get something I forgot I get a little twitchy.

    I swear I looked by the kitchen utensils, the baking stuff, and the barbecue stuff but there were no toothpicks anywhere. Maybe the store manager got poked in the eye with one as a child and now refuses to stock them in his store. I don’t know, I can’t even remember what I wanted them for now.

    Annegb, that sounds like one cool cake. Can I send an order for cool kids birthday cakes to you? That is one area where I’m a dismal failure.

    Comment by kristen j — June 22, 2005 @ 9:21 pm

  5. My son spit on his own birthday cake when we used the trick candles. Classic.

    Comment by Susan M — June 24, 2005 @ 7:37 am

  6. Moral of the story here: Only use trick candles on teenagers and adults. Other moral of the story, if you want the cake all to yourself than spit on the candles to extinguish them.

    Comment by Kristen J — June 24, 2005 @ 8:27 am

  7. That was twenty-something years ago. My friend bought the cake pan at the craft store, and the black food coloring. We all shared that year.

    Comment by annegb — June 25, 2005 @ 10:33 am

  8. I dream of the day when I can become a bagMan, or better the door greeter.

    Toothpicks, my kingdom for a toothpick, I finally used bamboo kebab skewers for toothpicks!

    My son had a soccer ball cake that had that black food coloring on it and it took at least a day for all the deep purple to come out his uniform, the car, the cat, and everything else he touched.(hey daddy look what color is my tounge, my hand, my tummy, etc…) That is what we get for letting the coach buy the cake at Wal-Mart, my future employer, ahhh door greeter (fade to dream sequence: happy music plays, smiling families entering, getting carts and stickers, me smiling and waving….)

    Comment by Casey Blau — July 1, 2005 @ 11:47 am

  9. Oh you know if you’re my door greeter I’m going to make you hike out to the back 40 to get a cart for me!

    Comment by Kristen J — July 1, 2005 @ 2:42 pm

  10. Heading out with my straw hat and my orange vest, big dopey smile on my face.

    Comment by Casey Blau — July 1, 2005 @ 3:02 pm