I know it’s highly ingrateful of me, but Memorial Day is just one of those national holidays that I don’t pay a lot of attention to. Sure, I wallow in the mini-vacay of it, but it sits in a little bucket with Presidents’ Day and Labor Day in my mind. There’s only one memorable Memorial Day where I remember actually being [redacted]. (I’m just gonna go ahead and pull the “It was college” card on that one.) Since then, nothing interesting has happened on the annual three-day weekend.
Nothing interesting, that is, until this past Monday.
On Monday, Billiam and I found ourselves with the rare mutual day off. We tried to do some work in the upper half of the day. And then we said: We wanna picnic.
So we went to Safeway, where it wasn’t as busy as we had feared. The benefit of deciding to picnic when Memorial Day is already halfway over is that all the serious barbecuers and picnicers have already infiltrated your local grocery stores. Billiam and I aren’t that couple. We don’t use the same cart and I don’t make him hold my purse. Off we went in search of the nourishment we independently craved. It’s inevitable at some point for two separated companions to run into each other again in a dawdling-unfriendly place like a grocery store. I myself have a tendency to make a full sweep from the poultry to the breads, and then I zig-zag in between realizing that poultry and breads fare better enjoyed alongside cheeses and vegetables and juice. Billiam is generally more methodical. With my schizophrenic approach, though, the probability of us crossing paths simply increases over time.
So lo and behold, we separate, and when my basket is finally full I decide to look for my better half. I find him in the dairy section looking over his milk options. While he gazes through the glass doors, I stand with my back against the refrigerated surface, facing an aisle of things I do not eat, like coffee. I’ve definitely reached a point where I need to pick up nothing new.
While I wait for Billiam to pick out the winning carton of the day, an old white-haired White hippie lady makes gestures to the milk behind me, forcing out something to the effect of “‘scuse me.” She may have very well said nothing at all. She had a very grunty thing going on.
“Oh!” I say, quickly stepping out of the way. I position myself with my back to the coffee aisle now, so that I can watch for Billiam.
Billiam wraps up and Ye Olde Hippie Lady continues to stand there, facing the milk. The glass door Billiam had opened shuts. Hippie Lady stands there. She looks at me, she gestures with her basket at the glass door, now open to anyone searching for milk.
I gesture back to her with my basket to indicate that she may go ahead.
She steps backward away from the door, gesturing back at the milk.
I finally speak up, saying “I’m not getting anything, go ahead.”
Then she looks at me, eyes me up and down, and says “Oh, well you’re anorexic mumble mumble…”
She quickly turns on her heels and hustles off in the way only eccentric Berkeley hippies can. Her curly white hair bobs after her. I am stupefied.
I then turn to Billiam, who looks at me with wide blue eyes. “Did she just call me anorexic?”
“Yes,” he said, in equal disbelief. “But…Isn’t that a compliment?” he jokes.
So let it be known, for now and ever more, that on Memorial Day of 2009, someone called me anorexic. That’s a first and a last.
Still don’t know why someone would ask me to move away from the milk and then not take any.