Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wednesday Afternoon at Home Depot

I have good reasons for not wanting to step foot into a store with Mark. I go to a store to buy what I need, which I already know that I need before I even leave the house. Mark goes into a store hoping. He hopes he will find something fun to buy, or on sale, or some kind of gadget that he is sure will come in handy. He might even buy the item that he went to the store for in the first place.

Yesterday I had a list of things I needed from Home Depot. I had just found the cheapest dimmer switch I could find (I'm selling the house) and was heading down the long central aisle that separates the front of the store from the rear when Mark says, "I want to look at something over here. I'll catch up to you."
"Fine, I'll be in the lock aisle."
So I made my way across the store to look at door locksets. Not satisfied with what I saw, I turned and went looking for Mark. Back up the central aisle towards where I had left Mark. No Mark back there, so I turned around and retraced my route to the lock aisle. No Mark to be seen. Back and forth three times, looking left and right up and down each aisle. No Mark. Only one thing to do, go to the checkout and wait in the car. I found an open self check-out and pulled the first item out of the cart.
"Alan! ALAN! Where the hell have you been?"
"Right where I said I'd be."
"Umm.. yes I was.. I"
"Beep. Beep." I started scanning my items.
"SQUAWK, SQUAWKITY SQUAWK!" Mark continued on.
It's taken me eighteen years, but I have finally learned not to react to Mark's crazy public tantrums. If he's yelling at somebody else, like a cashier, or an agent, I pretend that I don't know him. If he's yelling at me I can't pretend that I don't know him. No, I just close my mouth and go about my business as if he isn't there, because in sixty seconds it'll all be over. There is no way he can sustain one of his crazed outbursts for more than sixty seconds. He just doesn't have the stamina anymore.

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