It's been an interesting week back in California. I feel like my brain is finally catching up with the rest of me. We've been to Disneyland twice and shopping a ton of times (we were completely out of food when we got back), not to mention preschool started today--which deserves a blog entry of it's very own.
Shopping has been an adventure. When I was in Iowa the workers at stores were super friendly and super helpful. If I looked lost someone would ask me if I need help. When I went through the check out the clerk was usually upbeat and chatty (unless I was at Wal Mart), so imagine my culture shock the first time I went up to the front of the check out line all smiley and said, "How are you!?" and was met with a blank stare and a mumble.
Yesterday we were in the grocery store and Nathaniel was having a melt down in the check out aisle. He was crying because I wouldn't let him stand next to the cart or in front of it (I didn't want to run him over and he couldn't stand next to the cart in the check out aisle because both don't fit). He was really letting out a good one, but all I could do was hold him firmly by his shoulders and ignore it because I knew that anything else would only make it worse.
As I was unloading my cart and Nathaniel was belting out a good one, the clerk at the register next to us came up to me with a sucker and said, "This might make him stop crying, can I give it to him?" Which was really nice of her, but I said, "Oh, no, he can't have that." Not because I'm mean mommy, but because I can't bribe my kid with candy to get him to shut up. Once I go down that road, there is no turning back! The clerk was visibly miffed that I wouldn't shut my kid up. And, of course, the clerk in my aisle would barely look at me, much less ask me how I was doing today.
Perhaps it was clear how we were doing?
Today takes the cake though. I was at Target and bought some stuff that I had coupons for. The lady in the check out got halfway through scanning my coupons and then put all of them in her drawer. When I checked my receipt I noticed that half of my coupons weren't used. When I pointed it out she got really angry with me and barely spoke as she opened her drawer, double checked my receipt and then gave me my four dollars back from what I should have saved. I felt like I had done something wrong with the angry way she treated me.
I miss my "helpful smile in every aisle" (Hy Vee). But, at least it wasn't as bad as my friend who, when observing a man peeing outside of Target the other day, asked the security guard standing nearby if he would do anything about it. His response? "Not my problem, I'm on my break."