One Day at Panera Bread
Mama Snee enters the Panera Bread and orders a soup/ salad combo and a drink and pays a hundred and nine dollars for it. She is given a restaurant-blinky-buzzer to tell her when her food will be ready. She goes to fill up her drink, and her blinky buzzer starts buzzing and vibrating all over the drink counter, and falls onto the floor. Mama Snee bends over to pick up her blinky buzzer and drops her keys, phone, and two tampons onto the floor, and comes within an inch of having her finger crushed by someone’s big clumsy foot while trying to pick everything up out of the cola-sludge on the floor around the drink station in a 3ft X 3ft area crammed with sixty people trying to fill up their drinks.
Mama Snee juggles her food, drink, and bag into the dining area and spots an empty booth with some trash on it. She puts down her food and picks up the empty plastic (not even a Panera-branded cup/ lid/straw deal, just a Dixie) cup and crosses the room to continue filling her drink and throw away the trash. She returns to her booth to find a man and a woman standing over her food. They give her the evilest evil eye.
Woman: Did you put your stuff on our table?!?!
MS: Sorry, I didn’t realize you were still using it. I thought it was empty.
Woman: DID YOU SEE MY CUP HERE?
MS: Yes, I thought it was trash.
Mama Snee is gathering her food, drink, bag, kitchen goddamn sink to move to another table.
Woman: It is not trash! I was drinking that water!
Man: Blink. Blink.
MS: (calmly) Okay, I’m moving.
Woman: WE JUST GOT UP TO GET SOME MORE COFFEE, AND YOU STOLE OUR TABLE!”
Man: We were just getting more coffee.
Woman: WE WERE JUST GETTING MORE COFFEE!!”
Her tone was the tone of someone finally standing up for herself, someone telling it exactly like it is, then pointing their finger toward the door and shouting, “And stay out!”
I did not respond again, just so you know, but spent the next forty-five minutes coming up with really clever things I could have said. Things like “Fuck off.”
And then, just because Panera asked me to, I bussed my table and separated the dishes into a nasty buss pan and my trash into a garbage bin. I paid a hundred and nine dollars for lunch, put myself in danger to find a seat (that woman was rabid), and then bussed my own table, and separated out the trash. I’m surprised I got out of there without washing my fucking dishes. No more, Panera. We are through.
Recently, everywhere I turn, somebody has skin cancer. They’re having it biopsied. They’re having it removed. They’re worried about it. I’m worried about it. It’s on the front page of CNN.com. On the radio. It’s part of the chapter on the Integumentary System and Epithelial membranes for my test. My grandfather. A friend. A blogger I read religiously.
So I’m pretty sure it’s some kind of sign. (Go ahead, look it up in the DSM-IV. I think it’s called Ideas of Reference. I may be bordering on nuts, but at least I know the name for it.) This is the way the Universe is choosing to tell me to get to the doctor, because don’t you remember all of those sunburns from childhood? No, I don’t have any weird moles, but they’re all weird if you look at them long enough.
In Other, Less Paranoid News
Birdy has three teeth! I know! And she can point to her head, her tummy, and (sometimes) her Mama and Daddy. She can bah-boh-bah and turn the pages to read a book by herself. She can slide her tongue back and forth across her lips if you do it first. She gets cracked up at the weirdest things, like marching around the house with her on your hip, kicking your leg out every third step and grunting “Chah!”. She knows the sign for milk (not that she uses it, but she knows it). She kind of took a step tonight.
Kind of, though. Not a for-real step, because I ‘m not totally ready for that. She was just bridging the gap between her bookshelf and the rocker. So I guess it was step-ish. It was definitely step-ish. Yikes.
She also slipped in her ducky tub yesterday and banged her cheek on the very hard and cold side of the bathtub. So now she kind of has a little shiner under her right eye. I’m pretty sure I‘m the only one that notices it, but since I was also the only one in the bathroom with her when she slipped and I’m the only one that could have caught her, I’m definitely going to be the one who notices it. No, not beating myself up over it, I’m just saying. I’m gonna see that kind of thing.
The Lovers, the Dreamers, and Me
Oh, and for some reason I cannot define, the song “The Rainbow Connection” makes my eyes well up. It isn’t a sad song. What gives?