I’m Really Just an Old Man on a Park Bench Yelling at the Pigeons

So I had a patient visit today, in a little town out past the suburbs that’s getting too big for its britches, if you ask me. I stopped for lunch on my way back through the ‘burbs, and I would like to say this publicly: If I ever declare that I am moving to the suburbs, you should know that this is code for “Jesus, take me home, I’m ready to go.” I know it works for some people, and sometimes it even seems appealing to me, what with the wide sidewalks and lack of people picking through your trash for cans. But still. For me it’s a no-can-do.

The suburbs do crazy things to me, and the soccer-mom traffic makes me hostile and free with the fuck-yous. (though I do not give the finger. Ask my friend J. what happens when you give the finger. You get a brick through your window, that’s what.) But anyway.

The suburb I was in today is totally Snootsville. I only stopped there because I had a little extra time and I knew there was a Target + Panera plaza, and I figured that after I watched my patient’s daughter stick a tube in the tracheotomy hole in her neck and suck out the mucous, my employer could spring for a soup and salad combo. Also thought I might try to find myself an inexpensve lightweight jacket to wear over t-shirts and tank tops to work, with maybe my gnarly old black heels, maybe something in an army green. Surely Target would have something like that.

What I actually bought: Lucky magazine*, because I like to window shop when I am in the loo, two pumice stones from the dollar bin, and a light blue tee shirt that would have gone great with a lightweight army green jacket, had I found one.

What happens to me when I spend too much time in Snootsville is that I start saying things outloud, kind of under my breath, that are actually directed at people– things like:
Are you fucking serious? (by far the most common grumble) Do you really need that much car? Do you think that looks natural? No, really, YOU go first. Extensions? Really? Do you expect people to believe those are your actual boobs?

Things like that. Under my breath. Because I just get so fed up. And the mumbling and grumbling at people just brings me one step closer to being just like the crazy guy in my neighborhood that points at passing cars and hollers and does a little jiggy shuffle. Except that he actually has a lightweight, army-green jacket, and I have yet to find one.

There was a woman at Panera that came in at the same time I did, balancing a toddler on one hip and dripping with bags of various sizes and shapes on the rest of her free arm space. At first, I really felt for her. I know what it’s like to be a pack mule. But then she just kept stomping around the place in her gigantic heels, sighing and rolling her eyes at everything, bumping into people and cutting in line at the drink station and jumping in front of an older couple to place her order and just being extra-rude in general. And then I noticed that one of her bags was actually a purse-dog carrier.
With a fucking purse-dog in it.
So I said, sort of under my breath,
“Good thing you brought THE DOG.”

And she heard me.
My first reaction was something like a little internal “eep!” and I tried to look away, but then got ballsy and looked her right in the face and took all the stink eye she could give me because geez, lady, don’t give that old guy a bunch of shit because you just had to bring your fucking dog to Panera.

I also saw a high school cheerleader in uniform and I am not even kidding you when I say that the skirt did not come close to covering her ass. By the time Bird hits high school the cheerleaders will just be naked, slithering around stripper poles on the sidelines, letting everyone see their potatoes. (Hey, come to my eightieth birthday, everyone! I am old and crotchety!)

*I did notice in my Lucky magazine that everybody in the photos has these bangs I have, and I had no idea they were so much the thing. I mean, I guess I had to know somewhere in my brain but I really was surprised to see it on all of these swank models in the shiny pages. Of course, looking at myself in the mirror in the bathroom in my silver hoop earrings and white button-down shirt, and I look more like maybe I should be sitting in a little booth somewhere on the Jersey Turnpike collecting tolls.

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2 comments

  1. velocibadgergirl

    I have decided that you must come with me to the grocery store from now on, so that when Classy McTrashter and her three ill-raised brats crowd us, you can turn around and tell them how we really feel.Because I HATE being crowded in line by the Unbearably Entitled, and yet I am too chickenshit to ever say anything about it, even under my breath. I need you to be my Tim Gunn of grocery store whoopass. Sound good? I can’t pay much, but I could totally trade you some Bird-sitting!

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