Thursday, March 20, 2008



What is with this latest trend of teenage supermarket checkout guys and 'chics' asking "What have you been up to today?".. or "What are your plans for the weekend?"

As if they are going to be interested in what a 45 yr old SAHM of three is going to be doing anyway!

It seems to happen particularly with one of our local supermarkets, and I don't know if they have been specifically directed in their training to 'engage the customer', and whether, if this is the case, they have totally misinterpreted these directions.

Whatever! I just wish they'd stop. "Have a good day" will do. "How's your day been?" Borderline. At least it can be answered with a short "good thanks". But the open-ended query? Good for engaging little kids in conversation. Not suitable for 'pleasantries' involving frazzled mothers who are pretty much over supermarket shopping by their mid-forties, and just want to get out of there. How do I answer that anyway? Where do I start? Where do I end? What on earth is it that I might do that a teenager might possibly be interested in? How do I summarise it in a one-liner, other than with a belligerent-sounding "Not much"? If I said I'd been 'blogging', or that I was going to go on a 90km bike ride, what then? What would they say?

So this morning the guy asks "What are your plans for Easter?".

I hesitated, then shrugged and said.. "Well, actually, we're cleaning the house." (Thinking, well that'll shut him up.) No! He then says "What, no Easter celebrations?".

I couldn't think of anything to say to that (because no, no Easter celebrations, because, actually, I couldn't give a flying you know what about Easter celebrations*). And so I just gave him a withering 'Whatever' look, and another shrug, which seemed to do the trick of shutting him up.

Just scan the damn groceries, take my money and be done with it. If something comes up, sure, have a chat. Say "how are you?" if you feel the need as you start scanning my stuff. Then 'have a good day' at the end if you must, but just move it right along. I'm more interested in whether you can pack my groceries keeping the cold stuff together, the fruit and veg together, the cleaning products together, and without squashing anything.

* Segue:

Yes, Easter. A big fat WHATEVER. Which may offend some viewers, but sorry, it's the way I am. Easter? It's a religious event on the Christian calendar (after many centuries of disagreements, negotiations and calendar calculations between various Christian churches I gather...) If so, why am I spending money on overpriced chocolate in the shape of eggs or rabbits? Oh! It's tied up with a spring pagan festival celebrating birth.. or something like that? (But.. it's autumn here!) Therefore we buy... chocolate eggs and rabbits? Okaaaay. So really, it's all about Commercialisation then?

It's just... I don't worship at the alter of either religion. And you know what? The societal peer pressure to participate in the secular commercialisation aspect is much stronger than any obligation I feel to participate religious-ly.

Perhaps I should find the strength within to avoid the latter as easily I do the church.

I stood in the supermarket, surveying the overpackaged, and overpriced chocolate, knowing that if the Easter Bunny didn't come, or brought normal chocolate instead of Eggs and Bunnies, I'd be the Party Pooper Mum of the Century.

It suddenly struck me who the real bunny was.


The only consolation is that "our" Easter Bunny can always be relied upon to leave Cadbury chocolate. Yesterday afternoon the girls opened their annual Easter parcel from Grandma. It included more bloody soft toys. (Yep, thanks for that Grandma - the kids just don't have enough bloody soft toys, and yes, they have plenty of room for more soft toys.) Fluffy rabbits that were exactly the same as the ones they received from her last year or the year before (down to the same colour for each kid!) Only slightly smaller. I'm not sure whether the significance of that is that this year's fluffy bunny is the baby (or younger sibling?) of the previous one, or whether, like most things these days, you just get less rabbit for your buck. Like how Mars Bars are getting smaller and smaller in inverse proportion to the increase in price.

So, anyway, each rabbit had a small gauze bag of eggs around their necks, and came with a few more chocolate eggs - all wrapped up in cellophane. Grandma had also thoughtfully included a bag of eggs for "Mum and Dad" which the girls immediately raided. "Because yours is Cadbury!"

I'd be 'paid back' after the Easter Bunny comes, apparently, because it's a given that She (The Easter Bunny? Of course She's a She) will bring Cadbury.


Over here it's the hairdressers. They always ask: Goin' aht tonight?

And it drives me CRAAAAAZY!
I don't know what we're doing for Easter. We might go to church, probably won't. I bought some camoflauge plastic eggs and jelly beans to fill them with, because the irony of camo eggs that kids couldn't possibly find amuses me. I also bought some Cadbury's Eggs because they love them so. We are simply NOT making any sort of deal of it at all. 'cept for the invisible eggs.
I tend to fondle the soft easter bunnies at the stores, but alas, no grandchildren to buy them for. Your mum is lucky. *laugh*

I still put together a little package of treats for the 3 of us but I haven't made a big deal out of Easter for years.
PS Our local grocery stores seem to be stuck on the line: and how are you today?

I usually reply: good thanks and you? followed with a comment that they must be sick of saying to every customer.

Maybe they can all be trained as therapist and we can unload all our angst as we pay for our weekly food supplies.
PM, that's why I'm so glad that just after I moved up here I found a hairdresser - similar age - that I could talk to normally. Kept going to her when she changed salons, and she now works out of home, not far from me, so I just duck round there for a haircut and a gossip.

Love the camouflage eggs idea Rootie. They'd appeal to my sense of humour as well. For some reason I never got round to ever doing egg hunts, but I'd make an exception for those.

E, talked to Mum today, she hadn't deliberately got the same bunnies, can you believe it? Two or three years later. And apparently Ms 14 told her last year that she wasn't too old for stuffed toys.

Yeah, E. Mum has even managed to give my nephews a few of those Beanie Kids.
Everyone goes crazy here when the shops are going to be closed for one or more days. I would have done my grocery shopping on Wednesday but I had to wait for a new dryer to arrive. My twenty year old one bit the dust. Anyway, lined up on Thursday with my groceries. The queues all went right through the vegetable section. I timed it. I was lined up for 30 minutes. I was sure my queue was not moving but was too scared to try changing queues. I peered ahead to see if the girl was wearing two badges (as in one saying trainee) but no, only one badge. I finally get my turn and guess what, the one badge she was wearing didn't have her name, it just said...TRAINEE!!! Wahhhh! Maybe I could have got done in fifteen minutes on another queue.

Oh and what's a camouflague egg? I've never heard of them.

Lucky Easter Bunny didn't spend much this year in this house. Son won first prize in the school Easter raffle. We have eggs coming out our ears. Last year he got third prize.

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