Friday, October 19, 2012

Stay Inside All the Time OR Interact with People Only If It's Online

Since becoming a self-employed writer in September, I have been, as you say, a hermit. Part of the problem is that the husband and I have a single car*, but I do have access to the bus and, although everything is about a fifteen- to thirty-minute walk away, I can get out of the house.

However, much like a dog, I apparently need socialization training on a regular basis. I've been pretty much home-bound hermit for coming up on two months, and you'd think that it wouldn't affect me as much as it has. I've turned into a Grade A Snarky Bitch in public. Nearly everything irritates me, which, to be completely fair to myself, isn't really something new; but it is so much more prominent a reaction.
These ladies live inside my brain.
Take the other day where I had commandeered Chiquita for the day. I was going to accomplish shit, like shop for groceries, get some watercolor supplies**, Christmas-present-idea-browse at Target***, etc. And by God, I did it, but not with some very, very good examples as to why I probably need to get out more and remember how to deal with jackasses.

First of all, a lady - in an effort to get from behind an old lady who couldn't quite recall why she was at the grocery store in the first place - hit me with her cart. This was about two minutes after I had gotten in the damned place and had just nearly been hit by a vehicle outside because hahahahaha he was on his cell phone, so I was having none of this. She got an ear-full of why she was an impatient asshole and why she should probably look before she whipped her cart into some random person who had no inclination of letting her get away with it. Granted, I was also pissed because she was mad at me for getting in her way. If she had been apologetic, I probably wouldn't have gone off on her. Probably.
I said probably. Not definitely.
Then, about thirty minutes later****, I wheeled my cart into the self-checker thingy and speedily scanned my groceries, spending less than I expected to and happy about it. But then, literally five seconds (and I use literal in the literal sense) after I paid for my merchandise, this bitch comes up from behind me and starts to try to check her shit out. I look at her and then meaningfully glance at my bags that are still on the carousel, but she does the sassy white girl tap-your-foot dance that just makes my blood boil. And seriously, I only have like five bags. It won't take that long. You'd think she'd learn the first time the computer voice yelled at her for trying to scan her own purchases, but nope. I'm on my third bag (and trying to move quickly because, even though I'm pissed, I'm still courteous), and she tries again.

"Please remove all merchandise from the [whatever you call it] before you try again," comes the cheery mechanical voice.

The girl then again starts tapping her foot, and I'm just fed up.

"You can wait," I said, putting my hands on my hips.

She got embarrassed and looked away. I had to fight the urge to flip my middle finger out at her as I walked away, but I had success in that arena. But then a small child runs in front of my cart at full speed, and his mom glares at me. I was about :thisclose: to smacking her, but instead, I said, "Your child nearly hit my cart. Please rein it in."

I don't believe she appreciated it. But whatever. It did almost hit my cart.*****

Now, this was my first place to go, so the rest of humanity was not going to fare well in the rest of my outing.  I went home to recharge a bit, and to make sure that my meat didn't get all gross in the car while I went about the rest of my day. Although I'm not sure which was more important to me at that point: the solace or the non-festering meats.

After spending some time with non-humans (Zola, Kitkat, and Bina), I ventured back out into Humanland and went to the library branch that's closest to my apartment, which is normally one of my favorite places to go. It's small and not a lot of people use it since my area of town is kind of slowly dying; the selection isn't that great, sadly, unless you count children's books. And I don't because I don't read them at this time. I had ordered a copy of Year Zero to be sent there once it was available and I'd gotten an email the day before, letting me know it had arrived. Yay!! Except that everybody was going to the community center for early voting, and the community center is - yep, you guessed it! - right next to the library. To be completely honest, I don't know how I forgot about that, but I'm blaming it on my mental state. I got in and out of the library pretty quickly, which I found odd because I was able to find parking with no problem, but then everyone and their mother was like, "ZOMG TO THE COMMUNITY CENTER HOOOOO!" Three cars were vying for my parking spot, and of course, that made it nigh impossible to maneuver out of the spot. I had to go walk to the last person in the line and ask them to back up so the cars in front of them could so I could get out and dear GOD it was a mess. I got the hell out of there, attempting to avoid clueless pedestrians.

Which, okay, aside.

Pedestrians. I get it. If you're in a parking lot, you more often than not have the right of way. I do get that. But this does not mean you should walk in the center of the aisle/lane/whatever you call it. Or that you should walk diagonally to your destination. Please. You are being assholes. And that's why drivers have to tell themselves not to hit you out of spite, minus the arrest warrant that would ensue. Also, pay attention. And corral your children.
Remember what pisses you off as a driver? Yeah, don't do that as a pedestrian. PROBLEM SOLVED.
End aside.

So, after that fun experience - and I actually pat myself on the back for not being a complete bitch to every single person in that line of cars - I head to Michael's, the only craft store in Bellevue and the only store that carried soap supplies until recently grrrrrr, and I'm almost immediately annoyed. As I'm pulling into a parking spot, this woman, who had parked in the spot directly opposite from the one I was pulling into, started driving forward even though I was already halfway in. She then started waving her hand for me to move, but I put my car in park then crossed my arms. It was a staring match, but I was like, "Bitch, I will get out of my car and go into Michael's right now. I have nothing to lose here." My car was already fully into the spot since, ha, it's an Aveo and is pretty much half a car. Eventually, she figured it wasn't worth it, flailed her arms, and then backed out. I pulled up a little further and went in, luckily only encountering some annoying crafters who were arguing over the color of a particular ribbon.

"It's pink!"
"Well, what kind of pink?"
"Who cares?"
"I do! It might not match the pink that's on the dress!"
"You mean the tiny spots of pink that I thought were white?"

It kind of reminded me of an interaction between an instructor and a fellow student from one of my art classes in college. The student said purple and the instructor flipped the fuck out, "YOU DON'T EVER CALL IT PURPLE. IT'S VIOLET!! I WILL FAIL YOU IF YOU CALL IT PURPLE AGAIN." About half of the class dropped and the teacher wasn't there after that semester.

When I checked out, purchasing a new watercolor palette (which I will be trying sometime this week! Eeeee!), I chose the closest line, which I immediately regretted. The woman who was at the front of the line had an adorable little girl who was just being a little girl, but her mom?
Resisting. Urge. To. Maim. 
She spoke to her daughter like she was a pet. Not even a dog; I'm thinking more hamster. But she had brought this entire cart up there and was only purchasing a quarter of it. I think it was to appease her daughter or something, who totally didn't seem to care and was more focused on trying to get attention from the very obviously bored cashier. And she was making the cashier come out from behind the counter to grab things from the cart that she wasn't buying, which again was essentially all of it. She walked out of there with one bag and a gleefully oblivious little girl. Then the lady in front of me, understandably aggravated, was just downright rude to the cashier, who was only moderately affected by this woman. 

"You should have told her that now she had to buy all that stuff or go put it back," the woman said to the poor cashier, whose response was a, "Yeah."

But then it devolved into this five-minute name-calling thing, where the woman was calling the cashier incompetent. "You obviously can't deal with difficult customers."

And of course, my bitchy self said, "Like you?"

The woman turned to me with this snarl but my expression was enough to make her realize that any retaliation was unnecessary. 
I'm not quite as Sassy Will Smith as I'd like to be, but I'm honing my skillz.
 I headed home after that encounter, even though I had planned on going to Target. I just didn't have enough energy to deal with people any longer. And Target is notorious for being replete with morons that bother me. Honestly, I was a little worn out emotionally and psychically, and once I get that way, I just know that I won't be able to hold my tongue. At all. The majority of my outbursts that day were tame compared to some I've given in the past. I guess having the constant respite of being home by myself, save for the husbeast or the animals, has lowered my ability to handle people. 

Which, I mean, I kinda care? But kinda don't? It just gives me an excuse to not be around them, which I think is ultimately a win. 
Damn, now I want a cigar. DAMN YOU, STARBUCK.
Now, I suppose the crux of all of this is that I don't actually hate people. I am, after all, a person. I have my group of friends and I, in general, enjoy connecting with others. Despite the fact I am mostly an introvert, having interpersonal relationships is very important to me. But I like that sort of contact to be in between bouts of Me Time. 

So the moral of the story is for me to remain a hermit and do all of my shopping online, followed up with small dinner parties and one-on-one get-togethers. It works out for me and the rest of the population at large. Plus, Three really likes grocery shopping (I told you he was weird), so I don't even have to do that. I have a free pass to not deal with people! 

Also: I love Louis C.K. He just seems to get me. 

* Although honestly, this is probably a good thing because I would go to Target and buy all the things and we would have nowhere to live. But a lot of nice drapes and funky cleaning supplies.
** This is my new obsession. Just watch this video and tell me it doesn't make you want to paint with watercolors:
This girl has an entire series and I have watched them all at least ten times each. LOVE. 
*** I'm doing Santamoose again this year, which YAY! So excited. And I know that my mom will be sending me email requests (in addition to in person, because she's efficient like that) for a Christmas list for both me and Three (who has no desire to get presents, but there's a story behind that one). I want to be ahead this year, damnit.
**** The whole time, I was That Person in the grocery store. I eyerolled and loudly sighed and was generally curmudgeonly towards every person I encountered, except an equally curmudgeonly old man who only wanted to buy some canned ham. He was my spirit animal. And I even helped him find the best deal, since he didn't have his glasses with him (I was hoping they were in his car, because damn, if he drove without them? That's a scary thought.), and he was appreciative.
***** I honestly can't remember what gender the child was, but I purposefully called it an "it." And no, I do not care.
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