Sometimes, I have obsessive tendencies. These tendencies show up in interesting places. If I'm with someone else, I will parallel park the car in one attempt and we will go off on our merry way. But if I'm parallel parking on my own, it's a different ballgame.
Recently, I parallel parked my car. It went along the lines of the following: First attempt at parallel parking, I step out and walk the perimeter of the car in a counter clockwise direction. I pause to investigate the distance between my wheels and the curb. Approximately 6 inches, not good enough. (Yes it is. I am ridiculous.) Back in the car I go. Second attempt at parallel parking. I pull the car all the way out and park again. Get out, walk in a counter clockwise direction, investigate the distance between wheel and curb, 4 inches. (This should be good enough.) I get back in the car. Do it all again for the third attempt at parallel parking. The wheel is now kissing the curb. (That's too close, Goldilocks.) Get back in the car. Do it all again. Fourth attempt at parallel parking! Wheel is approx 1 in from the curb. Start to get back in the ca- STOP!
I make eye contact with a man in a truck. His eyes bewildered, head tiled slightly, with the most puzzled expression on his face. I can only surmise that he has been watching this entire ordeal, growing more concerned with each parking attempt.
Head down, I scurry away from the car, embarrassed and kicking myself for not letting it be the first time I parked the car. The Beatles were right. Let it be.
Later that evening, I went to grab a few items from the grocery store known as Smart&Final.
In line, I stood next to a teenage boy who worked at the Finally Smart. A blond haired man came up to the this boy and said,
"Excuse me, I put my coins into the Coinstar and now the screen says, 'Error, Contact a Store Employee for Assistance'. "
The teen-aged grocer glanced in the general direction of the Star, "Huh, something must be wrong with it. Someone will have to look at it."
The blond man returned to the machine and the boy dutifully returned to unboxing sports drinks. After a few minutes the coin-less man returned to the same stock boy,
"Excuse me, the Coinstar still isn't working."
The boy looked up, wide-eyed, processing this new information. In doing so, he began nodding his head affirmatively and said, "Yeah, somebody said it wasn't working earlier today."
....stunned silence... The boy failed to realize that the somebody who said the machine wasn't working was the same blond-haired man that stood in front of him now.
Undeterred, our problem-solving friend, grocery boy called over to one of the cashiers, "Marissa, the Coinstar machine isn't working." Marissa, a similar age to our friend grocery boy responded, "I heard someone was having trouble with it earlier today."
Stock Boy: "Huh - so, what are we gonna do?"
Marissa: "Someone will have to take a look at it."
Stock Boy: "Yeah..."
With this they both turned their heads, looking over in the machine's direction. During this time, I scanned the two of them for physical signs of being under the influence of some type of mind altering substance because that would help me to make some sense of what was transpiring.
Here's the saddest part: I don't know how the Battle for Coinage resolved because during this time, a young mom and her two daughters stood ahead of me in line. The elder daughter looked to be approx. 8 or 9 years with younger sister of age 4. The two girls worked together to unload the contents of their basket onto the belt.
I noticed that the youngest has accidentally left an avocado in the basket - a mistake that could be disastrous in terms of guacamole to chips ratio. "Don't forget your avocado!" I cheerfully reminded the little girl.
"Oh, thank you!" the mom responded graciously. She nudged her youngest daughter. "Say thank you to the nice woman" the mom instructed.
The youngest came up to me slowly, very slowly. She lifted her two little arms as high in the air as she could reach, look me directly in the eye, and proceeded to double hand slap my belly..
WHAT IS HAPPENING? I looked over at the mom who was busy explaining to her older daughter to put back all of the many different chocolates she grabbed from the case. I looked to the cashier and grocery boy who were fixated on the CoinStar. I had no witnesses to confirm that yes, that just happened.
Hands still on confidently on my midriff, the youngest daughter's smirk turned into a full on Chesire cat grin. This was the grin of a girl who had double-hand-belly-slapped as a thank you before.
The girl brought her hands to her side. I broke our gaze, took a step back, and stood there, lost for words.
(Thinking about it now, I can only be happy that her little hands didn't reach any higher than my torso.)
As the mom went to pay for her groceries, her two daughters discovered the many, many bags stacked along the bottom of the checkout aisle. In an effort to grab ONE bag, the youngest daughter pulled what I can best estimate to be 52 plastic bags onto the floor. Rather than scoop them all back up and place them in their original spot, the two sisters took care to pick up the bags one at a time and gingerly place them on alternating shelves
Realizing that I had spent too much time at the Final, I walked over to assist the girls. I streamlined the process by scooping up the entire remainder of the bags and plopping them down onto the closer of the two shelves. The older sister looked at me with a worried expression, "But now the stacks are uneven. We have to fix it."
I thought to myself, "You should help me park my car."