I spend a lot of time in Marina del Rey lately. It is the home of a yacht club and million dollar condos. It's also the home of Costco, a bitchin' dollar store and some social services agencies. It is a mix of the incredibly well heeled and the those of us with worn down heels. Sometimes, this mix is annoying. Sometimes, it's really funny. I can say honestly that it is never dull. I had two encounters in one week that encapsulate the dichotomy of the interactions.
Scene One: Entitlement Zone
I'm in the express lane in Pavillions Market in the heart of MdR. It is a regular market with some upscale touches, but nothing like the Hoi polloi market that is Gelsons where they dust the fruit individually and toss anything with even a hint of a blemish. There I stood with a flexible but not wide open schedule for that day. There were things that I needed tp get done in a timely fashion. The man ahead of me conducting his transaction had his I phone on the little counter next to the credit card reader. He still had reusable bags in his cart as he explained in comedic schtick how disorganized his rain was. After finishing the transaction, he decided to put the spare change into one of those little boxes designated for a charity. The slots are difficult when the box is empty. This one was full to bursting. That meant putting some English on the change while not moving his iphone from the little counter or his cart or himself out of the path of my transaction for nearly five minutes as if the rest of us were free to participate in his disorganized brain. If I had given a hint that I found this inconsiderate he would have been annoyed...nay, he would have been enraged that I called him on being an self-absorbed, inconsiderate bastard while he was being charitable. This is the way of the land of million dollar condos.
Scene Two: The Insightful Merchant
I was on my way to another destination after a Costco run when I realized that I hadn't eaten for many hours and would keel over before long. I ended up in a donut shop looking for water (I left home without that as well) and a viable snack (something not calorie crazy). I know, donut shop! The water was nice and cheap, but my eyes chanced upon a display of Cheetos. Returning to film shoots had re-kindled my love of that diabolical snack food.
“Oh no! Not Cheetos,” I said in despair.
“But why not Cheetos?” Asked the Merchant. “You work very hard every day and deserve a little treat. "Besides, Cheetos are inexpensive and quite delicious.”
How could I not buy the Cheetos? I also felt quite tickled from the entire encounter. That little chuckle carried me through the rest of my errands.
The aggravating and the amusing have always been part of my dealings in MdR. That merchant is likely accustomed to selling to all the stripes of MdR customers and has become quite charming at the game. I plan on frequenting his establishment. On the other hand, in order avoiding bursting a vein or courting arrest, I have learned a great deal of patience and forbearance in dealing with the Entitled. Dude would never get why I couldn't accept that his time was far more important than anyone in the line. He would just get indignant and enraged. It's not worth the effort. I have perfected the knowing eyebrow raise at the often beleaguered store clerks. And that's enough. The Hubs is not so good at these tactics, however. That is why I've taken to shopping without him when I have to shop in MdR. It's just easier on both of us and the lunkheads we might encounter. That's what a good spouse does.
Scenes from a Marriage
On October 3rd, Jon and I marked our 15th anniversary! We are amused that we are oft viewed by our friends as having a smooth sailing marriage. All but one friends who happened to have roomed with us for a spell cackled at that notion. It's taken years of negotiation and mellowing that comes with age to get to this point. I don't know how many very tense shopping trips over the years it took before I realized that Jon simply cannot suffer fools without reacting in strong terms. Sure, he was helpful with carrying bags or pulling the heavy granny cart up curbs. But that help was not worth the tension we both endured for hours after the trip. Jon wasn't changing, so it was best for us both that he didn't come along for some of the trips. However, there are some excursions that Jon really doesn't mind tagging along. He doesn't mind shoe shopping. In fact, he has a lot more patience for that kind of shopping than I do. The other day, I saw him rocking my big ol' purse on his shoulder the other day, I knew that he is definitely a keeper. But then, I always have known that.
Strangely, what we think of as our real anniversary is on Christmas Eve. That was when we officially
seeing each other. This year makes 20 years that we've been together. That's hardly seems possible to me on most days. And then, my knees creak and I remember that I'm not 33 anymore and Jon's hair is a lot grayer (or whiter, actually, as is mine). We celebrated the wedding anniversary with a favorite meal that was one that we often had while we were dating. It was spaghetti aglio e olio
topped with a little lump crab meat and garlic bread. I also had my ultimate crab cakes and Key Lime Pie for dessert. It was simple for me to make, and something we really enjoy for the taste and the memories. I want to do something really special for the 20th anniversary in December, but I have no idea what. We tend to be strapped for cash at that time of the year. Maybe we'll pull off a getaway somewhere for a few days. I really wish there was that Star Trek exhibit somewhere. That would have been nice to visit again. I'm open for suggestions.
Meanwhile, I have a lot of writing to prep for Bent-con and the other projects. What's going on? I promise, promise, promise to post next week. Meanwhile, see the photos below for my recent adventures.
Farmer's Market Tuesday
From the wedding 15 years ago
My adventures in a wholesale food market where I get my catering foodstuffs.
A new way of serving scrambled eggs and a sausage patty.