I’ve been chronically unfunny lately. I don’t mean just here, in the virtual world, but also in real life. It’s as if I’ve lost my sense of humor.
I used to write about swearing in front of my nephews, and the bizarre encounters I have on my walks to the library, and the stupid things I do in front of my customers, but I rarely do that anymore. Has all the color drained from my life? Have I become completely grey?
Why, no! (Though I am tired a lot. )
What happened to my sense of humor? Where did it go? When did I stop laughing at things? When did I stop observing all the amusing things in every day life?
Funny things happen to me all the time. I’ll try to write about them more often.
Did I mention that on the last night the Mirons spent in our home, Joel and I walked to Safeway to buy ingredients for dinner? Well, we did. But because I’m on a self-imposed budget, I had only the $14 in my pocket to spend, and I refused to spend more. This forced us to slink around the store searching for Great Deals.
Kris wanted tomatoes, a vegetable (or fruit, if you want to get technical about the whole thing) about which I know very little. I certainly can’t tell a good tomato from a bad tomato, unless the bad tomato is Very Very Bad. So I put Joel in charge. He sniffed them first, looking for those with the most tomatoey smell. I know this method works well for pineapple and watermelon, so it made sense that it also worked for tomatoes. Considering our financial restraints, he very carefully weighed out three or four Roma tomatoes for use in our American tacos.
(Kris loves American tacos, the only dish she remembers fondly from childhood. (She loves her mother, but she did not love her cooking.) What are American tacos? In Kris’ world, American tacos require those gnarly U-shaped crispy shells, lettuce, tomatoes, ground beef, cheddar cheese, and — the coup de grace — ketchup. No, salsa will not do. Nor will tomato sauce. For Kris to be content with her tacos, she must have ketchup. And she says I have food problems…)
So, Joel gathered the tomatoes, I grabbed some strawberries, and we headed for the juice. Joel chose some miscellaneous juice, but I pointed out that the Safeway-brand cranberry juices were on sale: buy-one-get-one-free and the first one was only $3. What a Great Deal! We picked up a couple more items (gnarly U-shaped crispy shells and real tortillas), then headed to the register. My total was only about $13. I had a dollar bill left over after all that shopping.
Walking home, we passed two teenage girls loitering on the sidewalk. One of girls, clad in a tight blue tube top, smiled at us and held out some cash. While it would have been flattering to believe she were propositioning us — and we may not have declined — she actually wanted us to participate in a different sort of illegal activity. “If I give you some money, will you buy us some cigarettes?” she asked.
Joel began to speak, but I was quicker: “Nah, we’ve got to get home to make tacos for dinner.” Joel stifled a snicker, and we walked on. (I never did ask him what caused the stifled snicker — which sounded sort of like a pig-snort — though I can imagine any number of possible sources of amusement in the situation.)
At home, Kris was disappointed in our shopping skills. “These tomatoes suck,” she said. “They’re not ripe. They’re way too firm.”
I adopted the only possible defense. “I don’t know anything about tomatoes;Joel picked them out,” I said piously. “He even sniffed them!”
“Well, I guess I can salvage one,” she said.
“What does it matter?” I asked. “You’re just going to smother your taco in ketchup.” Kris glared at me, and I left the kitchen.
We had a grand meal of American tacos, but nobody drank the bargain cranberry juice which had been such a Great Deal.
The next day, Kris and I walked to the bank. On our way, I was telling her about the teenage girl in the blue tube top that had offered us money for cigarettes. “Is that her?” she asked, pointing up the street to a teenage girl in a blue tube top down. It was! It was the same girl, and she was still wearing the blue tube top. She must love that thing. She must also have found somebody to buy her cigarettes, because she and her friend were smoking. Oh so cool.
Meanwhile, I still had the dollar bill in my wallet.
In fact, that dollar bill stayed in my wallet, unspent, until this afternoon. (It was finally put to rest in order to procure a Costco weenie for my dining pleasure.) I’d like to be able to claim that this is evidence of my parsimony, but that would be, well, untrue.
It is true that I’ve been quite frugal with my personal money, and have, in fact, spent almost nothing since that grocery trip a week ago; however, I’ve been spending Computer Resources money like it’s going out of style: a digital camera here, new software there, and heck! let’s get a book or two while we’re at it!
But I’ve got two unopened bottles of cranberry juice in my fridge. They were a Great Deal.