True Story, or as Close as I Can Get

When we tell a true story, especially one in which tempers flared, the tendency is always to make oneself the good guy in the retelling. I’m going to do my best to relate the story of an interaction I had yesterday in a Publix grocery store as rationally and objectively as I can. Wish me luck.

I’d had a beautifully relaxing facial on Thursday morning, and was driving home to Doright Manor when I remembered that we needed a few items from the grocery store. Since I was just a mile or so from a Publix store I changed my route slightly and headed there.

First I went to the beauty aisle to pick up some shampoo for Studly Doright. He’s the most manly of men, yet he likes what I call, “Froo Froo” scented shampoos. Lots of florals or fruit essences. Sometimes I sneak in a more neutral scented shampoo, but I always end up having to use it because he won’t.

Then I shopped the produce section, searching for apples, oranges, strawberries, bananas and pineapple to satisfy our juicing habit. Studly really enjoys making juice every evening, and I try to keep fresh fruits on hand to encourage this new habit. Better fruit scented juice than fruit scented hair, I always say.

Finally I went to pick out a steak or two for him. I seldom eat meat anymore, but Studly does. I pulled my cart up parallel to the meat case, leaving a couple of feet between the cart and the case so others could peruse the section, as well.

I picked up one package of meat, placed it in a plastic bag inside my cart and turned to get another one. At the same time this big bruiser of a woman pulled her cart between mine and the case, moving me out of the way. I politely waited, thinking she’d be through soon, but she pulled out her phone and made a non-food related call.

“Excuse me,” I said. “Are you going to be awhile?”

“As long as it takes, lady.”

“Do you think perhaps I could have some room to get to the steaks?”

“When I’m done,” she said.

Okay, here I was wearing my peace sign t-shirt, feeling my blood pressure spike. This woman was almost my height, maybe an inch less than my 5’8″, but outweighed me by a good 50 lbs.

I indicated my cart, and said, “In case you hadn’t noticed, I parked my cart to allow others to shop as well. Not for you to block me out.”


“Listen, lady, I’m going to look at the steaks whether you move or not.” I proceeded then to put my hip into her cart and push. Whew. Not smart, but damn. She had my dander up.

That’s when she threatened to knock the shit out of me. Her exact words.

Now, I should explain here that I did take a step back, but at the same time I said, “Bring it, bitch.”

My brain was screaming at me to shut up. There’s no way I wanted to fight, and I have no idea what I’d have done if she had taken a swing at me. Thankfully I didn’t have to find out. She turned her back, allowed me to find my steaks, and then I went to the checkout counter.

I’m sure she’s telling somebody about the mean hippie chick who threatened her at the Publix today. I still can’t believe I let her get to me like that. The steaks would’ve been there if I’d walked away for five minutes and come back to shop at my leisure. I’m so not proud of myself.

To top it off, I ruined the good vibes I had going from my facial. Damn.

Peace!!!! People.

Hairy Situation

On Tuesday I had a haircut and color scheduled in Blountstown, but first I had to drive into Tallahassee for a few groceries. I knew that the Publix on Tennessee would have everything I needed, and it’s on my side of town, so I pulled in there. After gathering everything on my list, including some amazing tomatoes, I went to the checkout.

The young lady stationed at the register complimented me on my hair. I thanked her then told her I was scheduled for a trim that afternoon. All perfectly innocent, right? Wrong. The slightly older-than-me woman who came up behind me in the line began a rant aimed at me and women like me.

She began with a rueful laugh, “You modern women,” she sneered. “You think you can ignore God’s law.”

I’m sure my eyes grew large, but I continued with my transaction and smiled at her, hoping to calm her down.

She quoted 1 Corinthians 11:15 in a scary voice, saying, “But if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.”

“You have shamed yourself,” she cried. “God’s word is not negotiable.”

Now, I looked this woman in the eye and calmly said, “Ma’am, I’m a breast cancer survivor.”

You should’ve seen her face. She backed down without saying another word. Of course I didn’t tell her that my diagnosis was 11 years ago, and that since I never had to undergo chemotherapy I never lost my hair, but the self-righteous old biddy deserved a bit of a comeuppance. No regrets.

Peace, people


Yesterday as I exited the Publix grocery store on Ocala Street in Tallahassee I saw a little boy, maybe a seven-year-old, playing on the sidewalk directly in front of the store. I spoke to him, something innocuous like, “Hey pal,” but he didn’t respond.

I looked around, but didn’t see any adults nearby. He seemed to be keeping close to the store, so I went on to my car. No sooner had I packed my groceries into my car than I saw a little blur dash behind me. It was the little boy running hell bent for leather through the busy parking lot towards an even busier street. This 61-year-old, out of shape grandmother took off after him.

Just as he reached the intersection a car turned into the Publix parking lot and with inches to spare missed hitting him. Without hesitating the child swerved back into the parking lot and just stopped, standing stock still. The car’s driver, a young college student, pulled over and the student’s mom got out and took the child’s hand.

I had begun calling 9-1-1, but so had she. Now that I was close to him I realized he most likely was autistic. Leaving the child in her capable hands I walked back to the store and found a manager and a clerk looking out into the parking lot. Figuring they might be looking for the little guy I asked and sure enough they’d been approached by an anxious mom who’d lost her kid while shopping. So I took them out to where the woman still held the child by the hand.

We watched as mom and child were reunited and the woman who had held his hand while I ran up to the store kind of fell apart for a minute. So did I.

“I thought my son was going to hit him,” she cried on my shoulder.

“Thank God for young reflexes,” I said, patting her on the back while shaking her son’s hand.

I honestly thought I was going to see this little guy go under the wheels of a car. Once back into my own vehicle I sat shaking before I could even start it up. His angels were working overtime yesterday.

And now, the Beatles. How’s that for a segue?

Cloudy with a Chance of Goof Ups

I was almost late to my doctor’s office this morning for my scheduled annual physical, so I didn’t check the forecast. The sky was overcast, but I knew my trusty umbrella was somewhere in the car. No worries.

I knew it was going to be an interesting day when I arrived at the doctor’s office, and the nurse asked, “Did you bring the samples?”

And I said, “Samples? Carpet? Wallpaper?”

“I sent you containers in the mail for urine and stool samples,” she said.

“When did you mail them?”


“Well, they’ll probably be delivered today.”

She eyed me skeptically. “I’m sure you got them.”

I returned her stare. “If I’d gotten them I’d have done my duty (heh!)”

After several long heartbeats she looked away. “You’re going to have to give us a urine sample now. We can send the cup for the stool sample home with you.”

“Well, it’ll probably be there today,” I intoned, trying to keep a straight face.

With an honest to goodness “harrumph!” she indicated that I should go into the restroom where there were paper cups. I knew the drill, so I printed my name and the date on the cup and proceeded to do my thing. 

But when I went to put the cup in the little urine sample compartment I hit the bottom of the cup on the edge of the compartment and, you guessed it, liquid went everywhere. 

So I called for the nurse. She was so not happy with me. I offered to do the clean up, but noooo! Martyr.

Now I lacked any urine in my cup or anywhere else, except for the bit that got splashed on my capris pants. I used a wet wipe to clean that off. Now I have to take a sample back when I’ve managed to produce some.

The visit with the doctor went well. I told him some stuff. He nodded and wrote some prescriptions. But he knows how much I hate to take meds so he asked, “Why do we even bother?” 

“Because you’re an optimist at heart?”

He threatened to throw my chart at me, but I know his aim is as awful as his handwriting, so I didn’t even flinch.

From his office I went for my annual mammogram. The skies had opened up and rain was gushing down in buckets by the time I reached the breast imaging center. I reached into the backseat for my umbrella, and came up with only an atlas and a Publix shopping bag, neither of which make very good umbrellas.

Crap. There I sat in a white T-shirt trying to wait for a lull in the downpour. As the time for my appointment drew near I knew I had to make a dash for it. Gathering my purse to my chest and holding the Publix bag above my head I ran as quickly as my flip flops would allow and arrived at the front door drenched from head to toe.

At that exact moment I remembered that the doctor’s order for the mammogram was sitting on the passenger seat of my car. I cursed creatively and ran back the way from which I’d just come, dodging a close lightning strike on the way.  Taking brief refuge from the storm I sat in my car and laughed. Surely this would be a great blog article, if nothing else. 

I grabbed the bright pink mammogram sheet and scurried back to the center. Checking in with the main desk I took a clipboard and began filling in the necessary information. After turning my paperwork in I went to dry off in the restroom and noticed something odd on the front of my t-shirt:

Pink splotches all over the breast area. That was weird. My soggy purse wasn’t pink, so it didn’t come from there. Then I remembered the mammogram order from the doctor: 


So, my physical’s in the books for this year; although, I have to take in those samples and have some bloodwork done. My annual mammogram is checked off. Clear sailing from here on in. Well, we can always hope. 

It is still raining. And I still can’t find my umbrella. 

Peace, people!

Fitbit Fanaticism 

I’ve done a lot of strange things in my life, but since strapping on a Fitbit I have to admit my list has grown much longer.

The first thing I do each morning is look at the number of steps I’ve taken in the night. With a goal of 10,000 steps every one counts. I know exactly now how many steps I take going to and from the toilet with a stop off at the sink on the way back (25).

Then I check the quality of my sleep. My Fitbit indicates how many times I was awake during the night and how many minutes I spent in a restless state. Finally I have evidence proving that I don’t sleep. Studly Doright has to believe me now!

I also have become efficiently inefficient. Take laundry for example. In the days B.F. (Before Fitbit) I would carry arm loads of folded laundry from the chaise lounge in the den, dropping off various items in their appropriate places. 

After Fitbit (A.F.) I make a separate trip for each grouping of items. Studly’s boxers get one trip, his socks another, and so on. I do the same with clothing I’ve hung to dry in the laundry room, sometimes making a dozen separate trips. 

You don’t even want to know my new grocery shopping technique. Suffice it to say that by the time I’ve completed purchasing basics like milk, bread, and beer (yes, beer is a basic) I’ve crisscrossed the nearest Publix a dozen times. And parking has become a game to see just how far from the store I can park. 

Since the Fitbit also counts the number of flights of stairs I’ve climbed I’ve found myself walking in strange patterns at both of our malls. I never thought I’d say it, but I’ve become a mall walker. 

I can get all of the flights climbed in my own neighborhood just by walking up my side of the loop three and a third times, but until fall comes along it’s just too darned hot and humid out there. I did buy a small container of pepper spray so that some day in the future I’ll be brave enough to walk the entire loop again.

Have any of these machinations paid off? I don’t know yet, but if they allow me one beer in the evening, they’re worth it.

Peace, people!