say i’m the only bee in your bonnet

Yesterday afternoon I stopped in the store to pick up a few items. While wandering though the frozen food section, I saw two young girls staring slack-jawed into one of the freezer doors. I had to see what had stopped them in their tracks. As I approached, I heard one say in a hushed, awed voice, “They make Girl Scout Cookie Ice Cream now.”

I stopped dead in my tracks. I stared at the containers of Thin Mint Cookie Ice Cream. My mouth, too, went slack.

“They make Girl Scout Cookie Ice Cream now,” I said to them like a Stepford Wife.

One turned towards us, “And look how they say the proceeds go to charity, so we have to buy it.”

The other raised an arm towards the product. “No. Look how it says ‘Limited Edition’ so that we REALLY have to buy it.”

We all sighed simultaneously.

“So not right,” one of us whispered. And we walked off. As they rounded the corner, I walked back and picked up a container. “It’s for my boyfriend,” I said aloud to no one.

Because I didn’t want to be caught by the Will Power Girls, I went straight to the check-out counter. And I stood there and thought, “I’m hiding from strangers. I don’t want these women who I drooled over desserts with to see that I’m so weak that I’d wait for them to walk away so I can buy myself ice cream. And then I just shout to absolutely nobody some lame excuse about the ice cream being for my boyfriend? What the hell is wrong with me?

A woman pulled her cart up behind me in line.

[scripty]
WOMAN BEHIND ME IN LINE
Welcome to my Monday! You’re all going to hell.
[/scripty]

I had to turn around. She wasn’t even shouting, it was like she was hosting her own television show. Knowing that it’s impolite to stare, I tried to look at the Enquirer as I listened intently to her program. She was very angry at all of her groceries, and would throw packages of bologna onto the conveyer belt as if each food item was mocking her. She was fascinating.

[scripty]
WOMAN BEHIND ME IN LINE
Fuck this. Fuck all of that. You think you’re buying eggs, but you don’t know. You don’t even know. I gotta use food stamps because Jesus took all my money. Him and the President.
[/scripty]

I entertained that image for a few seconds. I imagine Jesus holds her arms while the President searches her purse and takes a few pennies and loose bills. I looked over at her things. Leeks, tomatoes, apples, sandwich meat, and seven Tootsie Roll bars. I assume that’s payment for Jesus so he’ll stop stealing her lunch money.

I walked up to the cashier and watched my items go through check-out.

[scripty]
CASHIER
Where’s your birdhouse?

PAMIE
I’m sorry?

CASHIER
You get a birdhouse. Because of the cards.

PAMIE
No. I don’t want a birdhouse.

CASHIER
You bought four cards here. That’s worth a free birdhouse.

PAMIE
No, I know. I just don’t want a birdhouse, is all.

CASHIER
They’re very cute.

PAMIE
No, sir, I know they’re cute. I just don’t really want one.

CASHIER
So, you give it away as a lovely Easter gift.

PAMIE
I don’t know anyone I could pass a free birdhouse off to.

CASHIER
You don’t know anyone?

PAMIE
If I shipped a free birdhouse, which would make me feel guilty anyway, it would cost more to ship the thing than just getting a real gift sent.

CASHIER
A birdhouse makes a lovely gift. Especially ones as nice as this one. And it’s free. Just go pick yourself out one. They are absolutely adorable, don’t you think?

PAMIE
I really have no use for one.

CASHIER
Even as a gift?

PAMIE
No, because I’d never send the thing, and then I’d just have a birdhouse sitting around my apartment, and I’m really trying to streamline my apartment right now.

CASHIER
Such a shame. Completely adorable, and totally free.

PAMIE
Would you like to have my birdhouse?

CASHIER
Oh, now. You’re just saying that.

PAMIE
I very much want you to have my free birdhouse. I give you full permission to take my free birdhouse.

CASHIER
I’m sure I couldn’t take it.

PAMIE
I want you to have it. It’s a gift from me to you.

CASHIER
It is a lovely birdhouse. I wonder if I could take it.

PAMIE
I want you to have it. I’m not taking it, so after I leave, you just decide if you’ll take it home with you, okay?

CASHIER
You’re too kind.

PAMIE
Happy Easter.

WOMAN BEHIND ME IN LINE
Yeah, Bitch, I’m buying peas. You got a problem with my peas? You best not have a problem with my peas, Bitch.

PAMIE
The ice cream is for my boyfriend.

WOMAN BEHIND ME IN LINE
Ricky Martin loves my pussy.

PAMIE
I know just how you feel.
[/scripty]

I probably shouldn’t leave the house anymore. I end up spending too much time in grocery stores. I make plans to do all of these grand things when I get home like clean and organize and everything, and then I end up just watching Will and Grace and talking on the phone long distance. Anybody know how much it costs to call Canada? Jeez.

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