Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lowered Expectations

I have heard it said that the best place to meet a man is in the supermarket. I spend a lot of time in the supermarket, not looking for love, but doing far more mundane things like buying diapers and food and such. But whilst doing so, I have often wondered if anyone has ever met their soul mate during a supermarket encounter. Because all of the supermarket encounters that I have ever had have made me really skeptical. Recently, there was a man in front of me at the check out aisle. A hefty man, maybe say in the three to four hundred pound range. And his cart is filled, no overflowed, with 12 Packs of Pepsi (not Diet Pepsi- just Pepsi- rather bold of him I think, but I daresay that he may be rather advanced in his obesity for Diet Pepsi to make any difference at all), Smokies and Doritos. Like, I am not talking about a pack or Smokies and a bag of Doritos. I am talking about a cart overflowing with just these three items. And I'm like- either he's hosting some kind of a children's wiener roast for the neighborhood co op- or he came by his weight problem honestly. And as a nurse, I'm kind of worried about this guy when he gets home. Hello heart attack. It's like- Dude, if that's what you're buying then at least throw in a pack of Aspirin to hold off major heart damage until the paramedics can get to your house. Anyways, he must have seen my quizzical expression, because he offered me an explanation. Poker Night. And he goes on to tell me how he has to stock up on supplies for Poker Night because he lives out of town and yada, yada, yada- the price of gas nowadays (the price of gas- what an original conversation peice there) being what it is you can't drive in and out of town every week because his car only gets x amount of miles per the gallon, which translates to x amount of dollars per trip. And I'm thinking- damn those people who stole my wedding bands. And he's talking and talking and talking and I'm like- you know what, didn't want to hear your life story there Smoky Breath.
And then another time, I was buying lettuce and some guy comes along and he's like "ya, did you see that? The price is up again." And I looked at the sign with the price- because I never look at the sign- I know that lettuce is in around the dollar range and that's good enough for me. $1.38 the sign says. So I was like "well, isn't that usually what it is- around a dollar" And he was like "well, ya, but that's what I mean- it's gone up thirty eight cents." And I was like "oh." I mean, I can do the math, but it's just that it seems to me like such a minuscule amount of money that it's totally inconsequential. But he's like "you have to want a head of lettuce pretty bad to pay that price" and I was like, "I guess", but I didn't really know what to say. It was bizarre. Like, I mean, if thirty eight cents is going to blow your grocery budget then you're in deep shit my pal. I would suggest taking up a paper route or something. Anything. Frick.

So such encounters have led me to an idea for a book- "Shopping for Love" in which a young woman purposely peruses grocery stores to meet men and encounters similarly disapointing results. But then, I thought, realistically, it could be hard to stretch that out into a four hundred page book. So then I decided to write it as a short story. I am working on it now- it is coming slowly as I find it hard to write a frigging word these days that isn't a grocery list, but I am planning on submitting it to magazines and hopefully can be published in that arena first and maybe, maybe that will help me get my novel published. If I can give some kind of credentials that I've been published before. And at first I was thinking of like Cosmo or Vanity Fair, but now I'm like- you know what- who cares? I dont' care if it's published in some obscure Swedish magazine. I'll just change all the names to Sven and Johann. Whatever it takes to get my name in print. So I've lowered my expectations that way. I guess that is the real world. Success won't come all at once but from a series of smaller successes. I hope. I don't know. I just tell myself that to stave off self pity and self loathing and desperation and self mutilation.
Well, either way it probably won't come down to self mutilation.
I am scared of needles and that, need I remind you?
But ya. Those are the plans.

1 comment:

Lorrie said...

Okay...you are seriously a good writer because I can't tell when your lying and when your not. Let me guess...Fatty Fatterton the truth. Lettuce Head semi-truth? Like who would comment on that to a stranger??? Maybe the semi-truth comes from the fact that YOU were the one talking to someone about how expensive lettuce is, haha!
P.S. love the idea for a short story...you can fill it with those kinds of antidotes!!