Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Birds of a Feather….

Some things you just need to go to Costco for.  Well, not "need" but you know what I mean.  I was nearing the end of my first pregnancy, and hadn't been to Costco in years, if I had ever been.  My Dad would come home with magnificent finds, but wisely avoided taking me or anyone else with him. I can't blame him; after shopping for such a large family for years   
(he always did the grocery shopping for our group of 12+) he had his own way to do things and wasn't going to change it for anyone.  The lure of Costco was too strong and it was time for someone other than my Dad to have the privilege of shopping at the consumer mecca.  My Mom and I were going!  She drives a school bus for a living and has no personal vehicle (my Dad is always busy with their shared vehicle) so we borrowed my brother-in-law's car.  We were excited to take a little day trip to the next city over and load up on stuff from the mega store.

We spent too long inside, as can happen.  Aisles upon aisles of things to look at, remark on the good price, and not buy.  Samples at the end of aisles to keep your strength up while you walk the equivalent of 40 city blocks to travel from one side of the building to the other.  What begins as excitement ends in utter despair and desperation to leave.  
"Oooh, look at that tv - it's bigger than my car!" is replied to with 
"Wow, you're right -  I can't believe it's only four months' wages!"  Aisles later, 
"Oh my goodness, there are 800 granola bars in this box"  is met with 
"Oh please don't buy 800 granola bars - they'll never get eaten!"  The last aisles of the store are faced with hatred.  Pure and unfettered hatred.   
"Sharon, do you think this meat would freeze well?  We could really……" 
  "I am going to take that meat and throw it out of the car window on the drive home if I have to stand and talk about it with you." 

Truthfully, I'm never actually that mean.  Well - maybe I am, but I say my mean things with a nice tone with a smile on my face.  I also bounce back quickly.  Well, I think I do.  

This is my Mom.  She presents "normal",
but will wear things like this lampshade on
her head (supposed to be a hat?) that can
cause you to question.
We emerged back into the real world exhausted, a few hundred dollars poorer, and ready to go home.  We started loading up the car.  I noticed a dog bed in the back that I hadn't noticed before.  I moved it out of the way and laughed at how such big things can go unnoticed.  We sat down, and as my Mom went over her receipt I scoured the car for gum.  I found a pack in my visor and found a stack of photos too.  I popped a piece of spearmint from the foil pack and leafed through each photo, showing my Mom a few of a dog who looked a lot like my sister's dog that had passed away several years earlier.  Before putting the pictures and gum back in the visor I spent a good amount of time checking my teeth in the mirror.  Remarkably, only then was my Mom ready to start the car and head home.  

Key in ignition.  The car won't start.  Won't even turn over.  Actually, the key will barely move.  It's as if it's jammed.  My Mom starts messing with the gears - hoping that something is out of place and fiddling with the shift stick will be the trick that gets the car to start.  She tries absolutely everything.  Every trick people who don't know anything about cars try.  Pumping the brake a few times.  Taking the key out and putting it back in.  Gentle at first.  Rough the following time.  Moving the wheel.  Trying to turn on the radio.  Moving the seat forward.  Backward.  Forward again.

We were stranded.  I open my window, and complain that we will have to wait to be rescued while our ice cream melts in the back.  To make things worse, we will probably have to split the cost of whatever repair the car needs since it broke down while we were borrowing it.  

Sitting in despair,  we had only just lost our resolve when our rescuer came to the window.  We must have been noticeably in distress to be attended to while still sitting in the car!  My hopes were immediately lifted, I bent down and stretched my head toward the driver side window so I could smile at our hero.  She asked 
"Can I help you with something?"
"Yes!" My Mother exclaimed, "The key seems to be jammed and just won't turn in the ignition"  
"We've really tried everything" I chimed in, unsolicited.
Our hero looked at us, with an expression I could not place.  Not a smile, but not quite a grimace.  More like the face you make when you've eaten something gross - truly gross - but have to retain composure because of whatever situation or company you're in.  That's the look!  Strained composure.

"That might be because this is my car"  She said slowly, with a combination of contempt, confusion and deep deep pity. 

The look on her face now made sense.  We had the wrong little white car.  Totally wrong.  The car we borrowed wasn't 5 gear, it was automatic. The interior was grey, not blue.  My brother-in-law's car didn't have gum or pictures in the visor.  Didn't have a large dog bed in the back seat.  Oh my asinity - he didn't even own a dog, and none of the photos I leafed through had him, my sister or nephew in them!  

I am confident we were the only ones laughing as we removed our groceries from her car, smacking her gum between our teeth.  We laughed ourselves to tears as we loaded the right car with our purchases, noticing all the things that were obviously different.  Night and day different.  The only thing that was similar between these two cars was that they were small and white.  

Recalling this story always makes me laugh. Out loud laugh.  It's also a grim reminder that no matter how hard I try, or how vehemently I deny it - I possess many qualities (good or otherwise) that make me just like my Mother.  

Please feel free to laugh at our expense.
The first two photos are faces we have obviously deemed acceptable for human interaction.
The second two photos are images of what we perceive as acceptable public (or semi-public) behaviour.
  I am holding an entire serving bowl, meant for ALL guests at a party in order to scoop every last bit of bean salad from the dip container in the centre.  My mother is dancing, full throttle, in her pyjamas. 


  1. Oh my! You and your mom were certainly caught in the middle of a unique situation. I honestly thought your car broke down and just wouldn't start. Hahaha! I can't believe something as funny as mistaking someone else's car for your own actually happened to you. Oh well, that's just another story to tell. Thanks for sharing that with us, Sharon. All the best! :)

    Bradford Oliver @ Lacustoms Performance Products

    1. If only I could share all of our asinine adventures! Actually, mostly just her stories - that woman is c.r.a.z.y :)


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