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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Blinker

We needed to get out today because, well, let me tell you why. We went to the grocery store yesterday. We knew we wanted to get about six different items, most of which were part of the weekly specials which change every Wednesday. After buying several reusable grocery bags worth of food, half-price Easter candy, and other stuff, we got home and realized that we hadn't gotten everything that was on the list that we neglected to make. So as I said earlier, we had to get out today.

In our effort to get the most out of our shopping dollars, we had a plan that involved going to three different stores (four in the end, actually). There were one or two items on sale at the store we went to yesterday. We had to go to another for some over-the-counter medication, and yet another for the butter that was on sale. Finally, store number four for the things that we thought of while at the other stores but were too highly priced there. 

True to form, in our efforts to save money and spend sensibly, we were sidetracked by the oh, look what else is on sale! syndrome. We found more to buy than what was on our actual written list. We probably spent about twice what we intended to because we were like a couple of dogs trying to walk sedately and getting distracted by squirrels. I'm pleased to say that none of the purchases today included post-holiday candy. We were actually quite practical, filling the spots in the cupboard that were getting bare.

We also enjoyed one of our favorite pastimes, which is enjoying The Greatest Show on Earth, the human race. While we were at our first stop, a woman came down the aisle in the opposite direction from us. She had a not-quite toddler in her cart, and said baby was tugging down the front of her shirt. With a bland expression that told me she would be a great comedic actress, she said, "We're not even friends. I don't know you...I've never even seen you before." It made us both break out in huge smiles. If you just look at the words she was saying, you'll know that if they were said in an angry tone they would make for a terribly sad situation. But when you can tell that the words have been stripped of all negative connotations and are a part of the family's code language, the language that expresses the depth of their love, the words become a song of joyful interaction. Our grins were so huge that the next few people we saw in the aisles were infected with them as we passed, smiling back at us in return.

We had a few opportunities on the road to use some of our own inside jokes, for lack of a better description. We noticed quite a few vehicles that seemed to have no turn signals. We used something that came from a story told to me many years ago by my niece, Becky. Maybe I should call her Rebecca now that she's all grown? Anyway, when Becky was hanging out with one of her friends during the late or post-high school years, they were having some trouble shaking off her friend's little sister. They told her that they had some things to do that weren't going to be fun and she would be bored if she went with them. Where were they going? Well, they had to go to the auto parts store. Big Sister was almost completely out of blinker fluid. And she needed to check and see if they had any horn-in-a-can.

Since Little Sister was too young to have started driving, she bought the story hook, line, and sinker. And blinker fluid became part of my everyday language, and now is a part of Trent's. We saw some unusual maneuverings today, none of which included turn signals. "Wow," Trent said, "There seems to be a lot of people driving today that are out of blinker fluid." On the occasions that they ended up next to us in turn lanes, we discovered that it wasn't blinker fluid that they were short on, it was hands. One on the wheel, one on the phone, and none for the turn signals or other such unnecessary distractions.

Which brings me to another point. The fact that I get so irritated by people using their phones while their cars are in motion makes me wonder about myself. Am I just irritated because I am scared that these people are driving while distracted to the point of essentially being impaired drivers and might cause accidents, or am I a female curmudgeon? I think it's the first thing rather than the second. Some sources say that a curmudgeon is an older person with a cranky attitude. I have most often heard it to describe older cantankerous males, though. On a whim, I did an online search for "what is the female version of a curmudgeon?" Um, yeah. It seems that a female cranky-pants is more often referred to with far more negative wording. So although I don't think I am quite curmudgeonly yet, but only strong in my opinions, I am officially declaring that I believe that the word curmudgeon should indeed be used freely by any and all people who qualify. And please don't text and drive. Thanks! 



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