Thursday, August 23, 2012

High heels, Walmarts and Karate Monkeys

I had to tell myself enough with the high heels today. Never mind all of my veteran teacher friends telling me my feet were going to hurt unless I ditched the clackers. I had to do it and I was pretending like I was fine for a few days. But they started to hurt, like, BAD. So this was the day when the benefit of looking more scary-teacher-y was outweighed by the bone-grinding pain I was experiencing in my feet every night. But there's something to that, right? I think the kids look at you differently when you're in heels, and I try to keep it going for as long as I can. At least at the start, when they're sizing me up to see what they can get away with. And Lord knows, there's a list of things a mile long that don't really bug me in the classroom, but there are things that do. Right now I need to win. For whatever reason, wearing heels helps me to establish the me-dominant society that is my classroom. Or at least to feel that way.

I'll try again tomorrow. I have to "train" my way up to dressing professionally again. Anyway, the point is that I wore flats and I feel better tonight.

But today on my break I had an errand to run. I'm still not even used to having a break, a "prep" period in teacher speak, because I've used mine for the last three years to high-tail it to the monkeys' school so I don't have to pay for childcare. But one of the things about having a prep is using your prep. And I've been frolicking in the magical fields of grading all week but today I needed to go buy a card for a former dance student of mine who was in a really bad accident last weekend.

Only, the thing is, my favorite old-timey grocery store closed last year. Remember how I was all nostalgic and pouty about it at the same time? So that's where I would have normally gone from work to buy a card. Instead, today, I had to go (over the freeway--gasp!!) to the Walmarts. Well, nobody ever really has to go to a Walmart, Lord knows I should have known better. I love me some Walmart but lately it brings up some deep-seated feelings of disgust. This was one of those it's not going to be so bad, it's 11:30 in the morning kinds of situations, and I kinda talked myself into it. The kids used up all of my shower gel, anyway. Walmart = shower gel + greeting cards.

I find my card and then I find some soap, and since I am experiencing the freedom of being child and cart-less, I make it up to the register in record time. Like a sprinter, I am. Don't even grab any processed foods (though I want them... oh, I want them).

Of course there are fifty people in line and only two registers open. Because why would you want to open enough registers for your customers? But I remember that our store has those "speedy checkout" (you know where this is going...) lanes for 10 items or less. So I find one of those, only the light's off and I stand there for a good five minutes before the nice gentleman in front of me kinda points up and goes "she shut down."

Grr...

I am LITERALLY spending less than three dollars, so at this point I've already spent too much time in line, but whatever. I choose again, one of two lighted registers, each with sizable patrons waiting with sizable amounts of junk in their baskets. I'm not good at math, but it looked like more than ten in both carts. Again, whatever. At this point I was starting to get worried about when I'd get back to work.

Finally the woman in front of me heaves all of her (I'm guessing twenty?) items on the counter, and neither she nor the woman checking her out seem to want to talk to each other. Language barrier? Perhaps. But at the Walmarts we can all get along. Just so long as we keep it movin'.

Of course we didn't keep it movin'. The chick with the stuff had a credit card that wouldn't work (why would it, right?) and she just kept on swipin' and swipin' and (I think) hoping that prayer was going to magically change her account balance. Meanwhile, I'm checking my work email on my phone, ever-fearful that I screwed up and am missing something. The woman behind me in line decides she'd like to stand close enough to french kiss me.

I am not joking.

Since I have work email open, I turn my back to her and hope she'll get the hint.  Nope, OF COURSE NOT. She moves in closer, and manages to get closer to my email again.

Finally, Swipey McSwiperson gets out a working card and is on her way. I hand the cashier my soap and card and move to the appropriate location where I can swipe my own card. (Who has cash this late in the month?) My best friend in line moved up RIGHT NEXT TO ME AGAIN. Like, here's me, standing at the debit card dealie, and here's her, closer to my hand typing my PIN code than I am.

RAGE.

Anyway. Some pictures from my day. The aforementioned flats, some earrings a former student made for me (on my awesome Walmart jaunt). Kids fighting pretend battles. Just because.

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