Seriously, I think I might hate Valentine’s Day shoppers even more than Christmas shoppers. It’s probably all the unobtainable chocolate wrapped in pink and red wrappers.
For singles, Valentine’s Day is a real depressing drag. I hate not being in a fun, deep and meaningful committed relationship that’s loaded with plenty of hot sex. Seriously, I loathe it.
I mean, I’m happy for the happy couples. I truly am but, it makes me feel lonely. It takes a huge amount of force to make me feel lonely. I was an only child and I never felt lonely.
I miss the snuggling, the hanging out on rainy days and reading together, each with our own tome. I miss vacations and road trips together. I miss making and sharing meals and cleaning up together. I miss trips to the beach to watch sunsets or hiking trips. I miss going to coffee houses and drinking overpriced espresso drinks together or long (95+ miles) bike rides together or photography safaris. I miss the conversations over how incredibly dry Thomas Kuhn’s, “Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” is but, how interesting and important the topic is.
And, of course, I miss bedroom maneuvers.
All this flashes through my mind when I pick up some dude’s flower 🌸 bouquet and scan it’s little black and white barcode and tell him his total due. I inwardly sigh.
On this, yet, another roseless Valentine’s Day, I left work at Sprout’s and drove to my ex-employer, Walmart, in Oviedo. I hadn’t been in the store in over a month. It’s just a straight drive east down Aloma Blvd from Winter Park. I needed to get their store brand nasal dilators (i.e cheap Breathe Rights). They may be drug-free but, they are addicting because actually getting air up your nostrils and into your lungs is a comforting feeling that one does not want to abandon.
I parked in the lot, went into the store-through the proper door-snatched my, hopefully, sanitized cart and bid hello to the two guys in yellow vests at the door. I forget their names but, they are nice college age kids.
It felt weird rolling through the secondary doors and onto the sales floor. Dead ahead: gobs of flower bouquets. Yay! I decided to get a live plant. A tulip. It has buds that look like they will blossom into pink flowers. I thought about getting a bouquet of roses but, the thought of buying my own roses just depressed me more. I settled on this live tulip 🌷 and, it was only five bucks. Good because I will probably kill it.
I used to kind of have a green thumb. Sometime in my 30’s that skill left me. Maybe somehow my brain traded plant tending skills for coffee house skills. All I know is that The Universe most likely never lets me meet my favorite singer and only serious celebrity crush, Robert Plant, because, hey, he’s a Plant and I would probably cause him to wither. That would be devastating.
I had to get coffee filters and I was surprised they had the right ones. When I worked in this store it seemed like every time I needed some, the store was out. In transit from the tulip end cap to the coffee aisle I went down the candle aisle in domestics and found a new smelly wax. Aquaholic. It’s different I can’t describe it. I tossed it into my cart and pushed on to get my coffee filters.
I do miss having easy access to the scented wax melts. Walmart does have good prices on them. I used to make candles when I was a teenager and simultaneously drive my mother bonkers. “Oh my God, what you are doing to my double boiler?” she complained while rolling her eyes. My mom was a good eye roller. I guess that is from whom I get the skill.
I often think about making candles and selling them online. I want to use soy wax, however. It’s much better for the environment. In this COVID economy, though, it might be kind of hard to sell something that’s not essential. I’m trying to take cues from the customers I ring up-mentally take note of what they are buying. Of course, the Winter Park crowd is a good target audience.
Finally, I got my fake Breathe Rights and headed to register 12 to see my buddy, Vicky. She wasn’t there; she was on break but, she returned as I was paying so, we got to chat a little. It was great to see a few of my ex-work buds. However, I do not miss working for Walmart. I don’t miss working self-check out and having to watch every customer like a hawk because people are idiots and you would not believe the extent some people will go to to rip off the world’s largest retailer. I do not miss wearing those hideous vests or dealing with customers who don’t wear masks. But, I did meet some great people, many of whom I consider friends and there are a handful of regular customers who are awesome too.
One of the great things about working at Sprouts is that maskless customers who refuse to wear one of the surgical masks we offer them are escorted out if they do not take up our offer to shop for them and bring their order out to their vehicle. As I was going on my 15 minute break a gruff sounding big guy who looked to be in his high 30’s was mouthing off to one of our head cashiers about his lack of a mask. He was already in a checkout line so, he probably walked in through the out door (great Zeppelin LP, btw-In Through the Out Door) where there is no monitor/greeter person. He was hollering, “It’s not a law.” The head cashier answered back with, “We don’t have to ring you up, then.” I didn’t see the resolution because I was headed to the breakroom but, I think he was walked out the door.
Note: the cartoons I posted are from, Cheryl, one of my Facebook friends. She didn’t mind that I stole them.