On New Year’s Day this year, I woke up, looked at Randy and said “I will be 60 next year.”
I’ll be 59 in less than two weeks and have to tell you, I am behind in the successful transition to old ladydom.
Last Monday, Randy and I went to the grocery.
On most days, that is not noteworthy, even for this blog where I talk about the most mundane of things.
But it was my first foray out after being sick for a month. I was over the flu, COVID, and a nasty stomach bug. By over, I mean the symptoms had passed, but I was still wrung out.
Randy thought it would be a good idea for me to get out of the house and move around a bit. I was agreeable. I was so sick of my couch and my bed that I would have agreed to just about any outing.
We went to Jungle Jim’s which is our favorite grocery. It’s fabulous and huge and familiar.
I made it from the car to the front door before being completely winded. No way I was making it through the whole grocery.
They had mobility carts! Yes! I would just grab one of those carts and I’d be fine.
Old people do it all the time. I am really butting up to being an old person, so it would be okay. I mean, how hard could it be?
First lesson learned? Don’t fucking back up. My god, the noise.
So, backing up was right out. I didn’t need that kind of attention.
I followed Randy and he’d start to go down an aisle. So I would turn to go down the aisle, then he’d say “Oh, it’s not this aisle, it’s the next one.”
But I was already committed to that aisle, so I’d go buzzing down the aisle muttering to myself the whole way. “You said THIS aisle. Not the next one.”
I realized that I spent many years being a little judgmental of people riding on mobility carts.
And here I was, muttering to myself and trying to get all the way down the aisle so I could go all the way down the next aisle and catch up with Randy.
I was one of them.
I understood my sisters and brothers on mobility carts. They weren’t crazy people talking to themselves. They just got juked on which aisle to go down.
I stand with you, my sisters and brothers. Or really, I sit with you.
We made it through the general grocery area. We traversed the lanes and lanes of beer. We got through the bakery, the meat section and the enormous produce section.
Way on the other side of the store, in the international section, the mobility cart decided it had had enough for one day and ceased to work.
I believe we were in the Hispanc aisle.
You can’t push these things. If they aren’t moving? Then, they aren’t moving.
Stopped sideways in the aisle, I blocked the chorizo on one side and salsa on the other.
Randy: Well. I will go back and get a regular cart.
Me: I’ll just be here I guess. Blocking everything.
So, he took off.
About 20 seconds later, I got the cart to work.
I took off after Randy and blazed down the aisle at a casual strolling speed.
I tried yelling after him, but my voice had been off for weeks. I had no yelling voice, only a raspy voice accompanied by the occasional squeak.
I called him, but he didn’t hear his phone.
As I set my sites on him I had the Wicked Witch theme from Wizard Of Oz in my head. I would catch him. Oh yes, I would catch him.
I did. Way back in the general grocery area. The other side of a 200,000+ square foot grocery store. He finally heard me squeaking his name.
I stopped the cart when we met up. Which was a mistake. Because the cart died again.
He took off again and once again, I got the cart to start back up after a few tries.
You guys, I could see the entrance. I could see where all the other carts were, manual and electric.
Then, three little old ladies walked in front of me. I was forced to stop.
One of them looked at me and said “You should have beeped your horn.!”
I didn’t even know there was a horn.
I said “Oh, gosh. I don’t ever use these. I just don’t want to run over anyone.”
The cart started again. I was going to make it to the cart corral.
Randy: You are such a liar.
Me: Am not! I don’t drive these things.
Randy: But you totally want to run someone over.
Me: Fair. That’s fair.
I let the person working the front door know that their mobility cart needed service or a charge or something.
We transferred our groceries to a regular cart, went back through the dairy section, and then checked out.
I mean, I guess if I have to use one of those carts again, I’ll be better prepared, but damn. I wasn’t very good at it. But to be fair, it was mostly the cart’s fault. Mostly.
I might have been fiddling around with the buttons while Randy looked at hot sauce, but that doesn’t mean I broke it.
I might have broken the cart. But it probably was a defective cart. Which of course is the one I would pick.
I went back to work last Wednesday and made it about 4 hours before bowing out. I worked from home the rest of the week.
I’m going back tomorrow. Wish me luck. There aren’t carts or anything there.