File Under That Was So Not What I Thought...
I had to go to Walmart. No choice. The idea of Walmart this time of year left me sitting in the living room while I worked up the energy to battle the idiots in the parking lot, then dodge all the people not paying attention in the store, with their sideways carts and general not-giving-a-fuckery abounding all around. My only other reasonable choice was Safeway, but the one here is small and typically doesn't have half of what I want, and the meat choices kinda suck.
So off I went. I only had to dodge one inattentive idiot in the parking lot and scored a fairly up-close slot--though I don't care if I have to walk from the far side of the lot if there's a cart corral near. I got stuck behind three different not-paying-attention people who were crawling along down the center of the aisles, not realizing they were in everyone else's way. I managed to not bitch out several employees who had their collection carts (those giant things they push around as they collect groceries for online orders) in the middle of the aisles, sideways, making it damn near impossible to get by.
I tossed everything I needed into the cart and was surprised that I was in line in under 20 minutes.
The lines were long, though, and there was no avoiding that and no point in getting upset, so I stood there with my arms resting on the cart handle, wishing they had better magazines to look at while I waited.
I was behind two other shoppers, and someone quickly got into line behind me. Two someones, as evidenced by their conversation. I tried to get lost into my own little fog, until their voices filtered through, so I listened because what the hell else did I have to occupy my time?
"We are so excited," woman number one said. "Newborns! I love newborns!"
Woman number two asked about the due date. "It must be soon, right?"
I turned a little to (supposedly) look at the gum selections available and to ponder whether I had any Altoids at home or not, and snuck a peek. They were both older, so I made the assumption that one of them was about to become a grandma.
"The doctor said she could pop anywhere from five days before or five days after the due date. Today is the first day it's possible for her to give birth."
Now, I admit, I thought that was strange. I'd never heard anything so specific in regards to someone's due date. Usually it's a ballpark estimation, and the baby gets there when it gets there. Hell, the day before my water broke, the doc told me it would be another week, and that was normal because...first babies and all.
"Well," woman number two ventured, "do you have everything ready, just in case?"
"We are SO ready! We've been ready for WEEKS."
As one would. When babies are coming, you get things ready in case they decide to come a little early. I imagined there were tons of toys that the baby wouldn't be able to play with for months, because...grandparents. I began wondering how they would handle birthdays this close to Christmas--it sucks to be born this close to it, enough that my Christmas-Day born cousin celebrated half-birthdays instead.
"She's going to have the best stall space in the entire stable!"
You know that stereotypical old-record scratch you hear in movies and TV every now and then?
I swear my brain made that sound loud enough for the entire store to hear.
Somehow, I don't think the newborn is going to ever care about being born this close to the holidays. So, party on, random strange ladies behind me in the store. I hope your foal is born soon, without any undue excitement, and that it's everything you hope for.
I'll be over here, reminding myself that things aren't always as they seem, and I need to not assume even when it seems obvious. And laughing, just because.