Saturday night, 9:30 pm, and I was pajamaed and tucked in. The preacher discovered he needed certain items for early on his Sabbath morning, so I rolled out of bed and fired up the Fiat. My strategy was military and precise: park down at the pharmacy entrance, dart in and grab the item, whiz through the ’20 items or less’ check out, and be halfway home before the security camera turned my way. Textbook. However, I found myself caught in the crossfire of the age-old clash between two women and slowed down to thoroughly enjoy it.
Clubber was standing in the ’20 item’ line in a black eyelet shorts-romper and those hybrid boot/stiletto/lace up shoes. Nails did, hair thick, straight, and blond, her success at the club was guaranteed. All she needed, all she needed, to blow the roof off the club, was a little more mascara. So there she stood at register 22, simply trying to buy one pack of mascara.
The customers in front of her had a tab of $208 which is certainly possible with only 20 items, but perhaps we can forgive Clubber’s visibly rising temper a little because there were probably more than 20 items in their buggy. And they were leisurely debating the last item with the clerk – was this little watermelon organic or regular? Clubber tossed her keys and mascara on the belt in audible frustration.
The Clerk, salt of the earth in her blue Walmart vest and having all her competitive woman buttons pushed by this bombshell, was taking her sweet time, speculating on the watermelon with the idle clerk at the next register. This was her moment; she was in charge.
Idle Clerk, to make her point and twist the knife, looked at me and said sweetly, “I can take you on my register.” Clubber saw red. I looked at Clubber and said, “Go ahead,” which she did with a huff and not a whiff of a thank you. Remember though what I looked like in my pajamas and ratty bun. I wasn’t even on her radar as a person, which was fair enough.
We both transacted our business, Clubber lurching out of the Walmart first on those hybrid, tilt-forward shoes, and Idle Clerk said to me with a ‘hoooeee’ eyeroll, “I am sorry about that. I was talking to YOU not HER.”
As it turned out, Clubber was parked right next to me and was sitting in her Focus applying her beleaguered mascara. Somehow I expected her to be driving something other than a Focus, which would probably gratify her to know.
How did my being in pajamas affect or determine my place in this skirmish?
Why was I so willing to get out of bed and go to Walmart? Why didn’t I send the preacher for his own stuff?
Why do women wear those hideous shoes?
Did Clubber really believe that anyone in the club would notice her mascara?
Were the customers in front of Clubber with the $208 bill aware of the undercurrents between Clerk and Clubber and purposely delaying just to see the fireworks? Were they complicit?
Why was Clubber so eager to get to the club? Who was going to be there? What important outcome depended upon her mascaraed presence this particular evening?
Was the little watermelon organic or not??
Clerk and Clubber were not competing for the same man, so explain the visceral clash between them.
How did the presence of Idle Clerk exacerbate the situation?
Should I be discouraged by the fact that I was clearly pushing neither clerk’s competitive woman buttons? They liked me.
Why was I surprised to see Clubber in a Focus?