Monthly Archives: January 2011

Snow Day Chi

The east coast has been an area for winter storms over the past week. Though I wouldn’t consider any of this a true storm it has made the people just as crazy as several times before. Last night I found out that I would be off today. It worked out well because of the snow, and the mound of dirty clothing that had been growing over the past week and a half was crying for me. I took this all in stride and set my goals for the day. One of my goals was dinner, so I made a trek to the grocery store with list in hand. I haven’t been to the grocery store before a storm in the longest of times. People were crazy. I nearly exploded after the third person bumped into me at produce.

I looked over, ready with a response to this person’s rudeness when I saw a meek little old lady. I brushed this off, and progressed with my shopping. As I’m walking towards the pasta aisle a man with his three kids and a cart come barreling past me.

“X’cuse me,” he says. The kids pass laughing as if this were something fun! (which if I were in their shoes and my dad was acting like a maniac in the store I would be having the time of my life, video camera in hand!) Being the grumpy old man I am I give the evil eye before wondering down the “Italian” aisle.

A line of cart’s, two lady’s arguing, and kids diving through the bottom of the carts was the image I was greeted with. The mom starts yelling at the kids in a hushed whisper kind of way. They pay her no mind and knock over the entire display of Kraft Parmesan cheese.

Now, please forgive me, but I gave up on shopping and headed to the self check out. Scanning my way through my produce and punching in quantity a lady walks up behind me with five loaves of bread and two gallons of whole milk. I saw her standing there just as I began trying to scan the chicken breast I picked up. While in U-Scan it can be difficult to ring up something if the sticker is confunkled. Needless to say, as I swipe the chicken back and forth over the scanner the lady begins to huff.  At this point I’m truly freaking out, I go to pivot, chicken frozen in my hands, and ready to yell at this lady for being so damned impatient.

I stopped, took a breath and took the chicken to the attendant, who was texting her bff (more than likely) and asked her to ring it in.

Just to make a long story short, I went home, smoked a cigarette and lit one of the logs in the fireplace. I threw on some Enya and stared out the window at the snow falling. Somewhere in these final moments I found a serenity that resonated through me. All of the negative that I had gained from the store, I put to good use shoveling the older neighbors sidewalks for the morning. Though my back hurts now, it’s nothing compared to what they would feel in the morning.

Good night, and see you soon.


Caleb A. Mertz