|HAD I KNOWN I WAS GOING TO BE SPENDING HALF AN HOUR on the floor of a Giant Tiger store while on a distress call, I'd have done my hair and worn something nattier.|
The call came, as most urgent calls do, at a most inconvenient time. I had just finished a workout at GoodLife and was dressed in my most craptastic sweats and, because it wasn't MY idea to put a Giant Tiger right irresistibly next-goddam-door to my gym, I figured I'd dash in and grab a few groceries before heading home to swill vodka and ignore the housework for the rest of the weekend. No one will accuse me of not budgeting my time wisely.
So there I was, comparison shopping, weighing the merits of no-name brand freezer bags versus the vastly more expensive but superior Glad freezer bags, when I felt my phone vibrate. GADDAMIT! I huffed, it's probably one of my obnoxious exes calling to tell me he can't live without me. BLAHBLAHBLAH if I had a nickel for every time I heard that one.
But then I saw the name on the caller ID and realized it was actually someone I like. In fact a dear friend.
I hesitated the merest fraction of a second ... I was mid-shopping, after all ... and then answered.
"Good morning you contagious slut!" I said breezily.
The slight pause was my first clue.
The catch in her voice when she said "Fuck off you dirty whore," was my second clue. She usually says that with such affectionate panache.
"Hey," I said, a little offstride. "You okay?"
Well that was all it took. A flood of hiccupy tears and confessions followed and so I stepped out of the checkout queu, pacing and clucking and huffing, "He didn't! No way! The bastard!" at all the right places, but it soon became evident this was a much more indepth crisis. This was, in fact, a meltdown.
So as my friend poured her heart out about her very bad Friday night and her confusion over who was actually to blame for what had transpired ... (Bestie Rule No. 1: It's ALWAYS his fault. Even if it's her fault) ... I was drawn more and more into the orbit of crisis and out of the orbit of shopping until finally I figured "Feck it," and just plopped the grocery basket on the floor and sat down beside it and gave myself over completely to listening.
Finally, after about 15 minutes, my friend started to sound like herself again.
"What's all that beeping?" she asked. "Where are you, anyway?"
"I'm sitting on the floor of Giant Tiger, with my grocery basket beside me. In my hoodie," I said. "Everybody's looking at me like I'm a vagrant. If Giant Tiger had a budget for security, they'd be harassing the hell out of me right now."
My friend laughed. It was a good sound.
"Omigod," she said. "You're trying to do your shopping and your crazy friend calls and has a five-alarm crying jag. You should blog about this!"
"Oh, honey, trust me," I said, as I snapped a selfie. "I plan to."
"That's hilarious!" she chirped. "You cheered me up so much! Thanks for listening. Oh ... and, er, you won't mention my name, right?"
"Of course not, you herpes-infested harlot," I retorted.
"Thanks beyotch," she tossed back. "You're the best."
Ahhh, friendship. It makes up for all the shitty things being a woman has to offer.