Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cleanup In Aisle Nine!

(Blogger's Note: Being rather new to this whole blogosphere, I wasn't aware that Blog Neglect is as serious of a crime as it is. After ignoring my own for more than a week, apparently some sort of electronic signal was sent to the Blog Police, who showed up at my door on the eighth or ninth day of blog inactivity, and hauled me away to Blog Prison. Forced to raise $9.14 for bail, I called nearly all my friends and family to come to my aid. "What are you going to do when you get out?" they asked. To which my reply was, "I'm going to blog, of course." Chuckling as they hung up the phone, they chose to leave me where I was. I cannot even mention some of the unspeakable things I had to do to earn the nine bucks and change over the last few days to get out on my own. I wish I could promise that this degree of neglect will never happen again, but I know how quickly the days pass sometimes, and I know how lazy I can be. So I've started my own Blog Bail Fund, to prepare for next time. Meanwhile...it's time for an entry.)

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Some people believe that how you meet your soulmate should be left up to chance. That it’s all a matter of fate, or destiny, or kismet. Call it what you will.

One example that I’ve heard more than once goes like this: “I always figured that I’d be walking through the grocery store one day, and I’d drop a gallon of milk on [his/her] foot and look up into their eyes and know they were the one.”

That thought has made me keep a keener eye when I’m buying groceries. No, I don’t try to force the issue by hanging around with a gallon of milk at the ready, or a dozen eggs to use as ammo from an aisle away. (“Hey, aren’t you supposed to be my destiny?” *splack!, right in the forehead* “Ohhh, here. Let me help you with that egg shell in your eye.”)

I’m a tad more subtle than that. But I do remain alert at all times.

Case in point: I was rushing through the grocery store the other day, and grabbed the just-shopping-for-one hand basket by the door instead of the here-to-stock-up-my-fridge shopping cart with the heavy-duty suspension.

In front of me was a well-dressed woman…white shirt, black pants, heels, those “smart glasses” that make you look like you could be a card-carrying member of Mensa.

I don’t claim to have a master’s degree in fashion. In fact, I’m not even sure that I have a G.E.D. I’m just saying that she provided a much better distraction than inspecting celery stalks in the produce section, OK?

As it turns out, I found myself behind her in line at the checkout (no ring; yes, I checked), and it was here that I began to wonder how critical a role the contents of one’s shopping basket played in whether or not they were viewed as soulmate material at the supermarket.

For instance, would this mystery woman immediately offer me her phone number when she glanced back and saw me unloading...among a few other things...Totino’s Pizza Rolls, and taco dip?

Not my finest hour, I realize.

I had visions of freezing time and rushing back to the meat department, picking up a freshly trimmed and wrapped beef tenderloin, and adding no fewer than five jars of spices to my basket, three or four different fresh vegetables, along with a bag of flour and some yeast for good measure.

“I make all my own bakery from scratch,” I’d explain to my Ms. Right as she eyed the flour and other ingredients, “with recipes and techniques my great grandmother taught me, that she brought over from the Old Country.”

Instead, my fate was already sealed. It was clear by my grocery item selections that my favorite cooking utensil was the microwave oven.

As I sit on my front porch years from now when I’m old and gray, slowly rocking in my rocking chair, a parrot squawking on its perch inside the door as my only companion, I’ll think of the one that got away at the grocery store, and what might have been.

Foiled by a processed frozen pizza treat.

I should have dropped a gallon of milk on her foot.

"Destiny is not a matter of chance.
It is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for,
it is a thing to be achieved."
—William Jennings Bryan

1 comment:

  1. Ah, but the woman of your dreams would become disillusioned after she figures out that her "healthy baker man" is in fact a microwave popper in disguise. And then it all goes to hell.

    Do what I did. Go on the internet and find her. You can get to know her via chat, E-mail and phone calls first. It's a lot cheaper. And you can do it in your underwear.

    999 still set for next Saturday.