Friday, January 06, 2012

30-minute Redbox Return

After some designing, job hunting, and Parenthood watching, it turned into one of those days when 4pm rolls around and I realize that I haven't spoken to a human being all day. I decide it's time to venture out and return my Redbox movie. I brave the sunlight and drive to 7-Eleven. As luck would have it, the 7-Eleven Redbox "could not accept any movies at this time," which threw me off balance way more than it would have thrown people who have had normal world experiences within the last 24 hours. After collecting myself, I decide the closest Redbox is probably at Fred Meyer.

As I'm walking towards the Redbox entrance of Fred Meyer, I see the mom of one of my old soccer teammates. Surprisingly, she recognizes me, and we start chatting. She asks how I'm doing. I ask how she's doing. She asks what I'm up to. And instead of responding with something general like, "I'm currently looking for a job," or "I just graduated with my masters," or something situation-specific like, "I'm just returning my Redbox movie," I do the most logical thing: I lie and say, "I'm just doing some grocery shopping." Grocery shopping? I have absolutely no grocery shopping intentions. We walk through the entrance of Fred Meyer, past the Redbox machine, and we stand near the shopping carts to finish chatting. As we part, she says, "Good to see you. By the way, you look good!" and walks to get a cart. I, by the way, do not "look good." I'm wearing a family reunion t-shirt, slipper/moccasins, and my hair is a little untamed. I immediately start racking my brain for what homely high school image she has of me to come to the conclusion that this is me "looking good." She was probably just being nice.

Now I'm inside Fred Meyer, and I have to maintain this "grocery shopping" lie. Instead of doing something logical like simply turning around and going back to the Redbox machine, or at least grabbing a shopping basket to aid the "grocery shopping" facade, I quickly walk into the produce section like someone who doesn't understand the concept of grocery shopping. I wander the aisles, and it becomes increasingly important to me to not run into this mom again because she would then see that I'm holding no "groceries" of any sort. I make my way to the sporting goods section at the far corner of the store and feign interest in footballs and bikes. I finally decide I'm being silly (yes, this is the moment--not the 20 minutes of behavior leading up to this), and I head for the exit. As I'm walking out, I glance past the registers, and who is walking towards me with a cart full of bagged groceries? Soccer mom. I panic. Did she see me walking bag-less towards the exit? I quickly walk out, past the redbox machine, and slip into the adjacent framing store to wait for things to blow over. After five minutes of awkwardly wandering the frame store, and 30 minutes after arriving at Fred Meyer, I boldly walk to the Redbox machine and return my movie. Soccer mom probably thinks I'm crazy.

She's probably right.


Elisa said...

I don't know which part of this post was funniest (maybe the part about what you must have looked like in high school for t-shirts and moccasins to = good), but the whole thing is genius. I think you should write a book about this job-hunting period of your life.

I'm being totally serious.

Josephine said...

What is it about lying (about something unimportant of course) that is so attractive even though you know it's going to cause you problems! Obviously I have a problem with this as when I went to type cause I started typing solve.