IT HAD TO BE YOU


Big shopping day at Costco yesterday; three items divided between the two of us. Seems a waste of time to have such a short list, but it was a nice day to get out. Dr. A has joined a large group of people who have become highly aware of the ethnic clientele in Costco. I have begun to appreciate my failing vision, because though I hear the music of multiple languages, all I see are legs and feet. In this time of year we see shorts, colorful saris, and all sorts of pants on all sorts of bottoms. As for shoes, there are high heels, low heels, sandals, flip flops, trainers. School is still out for another week or two, and there are progeny of all sorts clammering for attention. A trip to Costco is an education.

While at the check stand I heard a voice softly singing the old song “It Had To Be You” with which I have been intimately attached to for 74 years, because it is “our” song, claimed shortly after Dr. A and I decided that we liked each other well enough to have a song. The words in this one seem to convey affection without becoming too mushy.

Do people today have songs they claim as “their” songs? I suppose they do, but it’s hard to get romantic listening to the music of today. It evokes such tender feelings to hear a song which has meaning to both parties. I was insulted years ago when attending a friend;s birthday party where they played “our” song for him. I confess that I have the problem of becoming proprietary about things like names, songs, etc.

I was sorry to hear about the death of Aretha Franklin today. Her inimitable music will be greatly missed. It was music with meaningful lyrics delivered by an amazing God-given voice. RIP Aretha.

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THE BATTLE OF THE SHOPPING CARTS


I wonder, as I do each time I do the shopping at the local Costco store; where do these people come from? My mother and grandmother would stare in confusion to the crowds of people from other countries, all speaking in their own language. and all at the same time.

Costco no longer offers a wheelchair for those of us too lazy to maneuver the aisles, so I take my own walker in order to sit upon whilst waiting for Dr. A to come and relieve me of what part of the list I have been able to stuff into my cart.

The majority of customers I see shopping here are from some part of Asia, however there are a great number of people who seem to be from the Middle East. I am quite happy to realize that I no longer wish to to visit their countries, simply because they are all here.

We continue to be disappointed in the manners of fellow shoppers who apparently have not learned the English words for “Excuse me”, “Sorry”, “Thank you”, and “Yes please”; this last in receiving a sample from the food vendor. I forgive them though, as long as they continue to pick up a word here and there of our language. I would be the same in their country.

I won’t go into the subject of child rearing. It is painful to watch small children scream and slap their parent/grandparent because of the lack of their attention. I was always under the impression that children from another country were quiet and well behaved, as opposed to our own. After all, the ploy my mother used to get me to finish my dinner plate was to make me aware of all the starving children in China, so I always held a certain amount of pity for the poor kids.

In the crowded post office the other day, while a mother was trying to make herself understood at the counter, her rotten little boy was screaming for her attention. As a mother,, grandmother, great-grandmother and former teacher, I admit that I didn’t even try to stifle myself when I glared at him with narrowed eyes and yelled “STOP THAT”! His mother looked around vaguely and patted his head.

I don’t remember that shopping was such an experience in the old days. In fact, my mother had our groceries delivered, and I did the same from the same market when I was first married. The small store we frequented was family owned and hired a couple of high school boys to deliver. I had a mighty crush on one boy while I was still in high school. As is the habit of all people, male or female when hormones begin to be active, I found I needed to go to the store more often than necessary simply to gaze upon the object of my desire. He finally invited me to the movies. In preparation I sprayed myself liberally with my grandmother’s Shalimar perfume, which is either a powerful aphrodisiac or equally powerful bug killer. We took the bus from Alameda to Oakland. both of which put him in close proximity to the intoxicating stench.

He didn’t ask me out again, but he eventually married and divorced the girl who became my maid of honor. We saw him again last year at our 70th class reunion, on his walker with his son accompanying him. He was a nice boy and I’m glad he made it one more time.

ROOM FOR ONE MORE


It’s a fact of Life that whether we’re talking about dogs, children, plants, chocolates, or paintings, we can usually squeeze in just “one more”.

In my case today it’s a little bit more complex. One of our destinations of choice is Costco, our local “big-box” store, which deals in furniture, plants, office equipment, liquor, electronics and TV’s, and oh yes, groceries.

We fill the larder every week or so from the careful list I keep on hand. I am an organized shopper, and on the Costco day, we try to visit Trader Joe’s, Safeway and maybe one more additional store to complete the list.

Costco is quite large, and Dr. Advice gets his exercise by pushing my wheelchair up and down each aisle while I give him orders about what to put in the small basket attached to the store-owned wheelchair with the 14″ x 24″ basket in the front. “Turn left here. No! Not right, the peanut butter is left, and if you push me up that aisle I think the ravioli are in one of those cases.” The basket fills up fast, and things like the peanut butter, eggs, orange juice, large paper napkins, oatmeal, etc. begin filling my lap and snuggling up next to my hips.

By this time, the groceries are piled over my head in front, and I can’t see in front of me. The list has been filled but at this point, I invariably say “We aren’t through yet, there’s room for just one more thing.”

Dr. Advice is very polite, and this wheelchair is very long, so it is hard to judge just who may be coming around the corner, and try not to bump into them. We live in a very ethnically diversified community, composed of many Silicon Valley tech people from other countries, some of whom do not speak English as yet. I am smiling widely to show that we did not mean to hit their basket, and Dr. Advice is apologizing and telling the ladies how nice they look, or admiring the many cute babies and children running loose with them. They are all very understanding and sometimes even help us get a place in the long lines formed at the check stands.

You can build up an appetite shopping like this, so after running my debit card through the machine, I say, “I’m tired, find us a place to sit if you can, and I’ll get in line for a hot dog.” It works for me!