There we were, casually wheeling the trolley by the baked goods display when, suddenly (in keeping with cliches), my coveting was interrupted by..
“Mummy, I need to do pee pee”
“Your Father put you up to this, didn’t he? You are in on this keep-Mum-away-from-the-carbs-at-all-cost ploy together”
“Sure. Let me just find somewhere to park this”
The pregnancy test shelf. Perfect. Oh no, wait, not a good idea if we’re going straight from there to the toilet. The dog-food aisle. We don’t even have a dog, but I’m half-way through negotiations to wrangle a gold-fish as a compromise deal and potential gate-way pet to bigger beasts. “But…but..[pleadingly]..she’s an only child”. Heavy duty lash batting etc.. I see a pattern emerging. Men. *eyerolls* (Don’t worry. I’ll be complaining about women who belittle men by doing this in my next post. Probably).
Two toilets; one in abysmal shape. How the fuck do people manage to do that?, I wonder in my sideways head. It is a truth universally unacknowledged, that on finding all available toilets in a public premises are filthy, there is a panicked fear that the next person in will suspect you’re the culprit. Few moments between strangers are more tense than that when one is washing their hands while looking ahead in the mirror only to catch the other sticking their head rapidly back out of the cubicle from which they just emerged. “It won’t flush” doesn’t cover all bases. And, if you’re already under the hand-drier, it’s just not worth shouting over it. It’ll sound like “I’ve got thrush” and will inevitably lead to a pile-up of tumbleweeds.
The sweet relief of parting those scenes. Grossly underestimated. Along with managing to pack the shopping before the healthier goods from the customer behind slides over the conveyor belt and narrowly avoids a collision with yours. Is it any wonder anxiety levels are on the rise.
The other cubicle is grand. In we go.
Ten minutes later…(she chose the occasion to request a run-through of her genealogical chart. Relaxes the bowels.)
Out we come.
“Careful. Mind the lady”
The lady smiles. Early..mid-twenties, tops. Bit much calling her a lady.
Ignore this advice
“Maybe you don’t like being called a lady. It’s one of those potentially dodgy words, isn’t it? Like girl. Girl..woman..lady. It’s hard to know. Lady. Suggests you should be posh or have a blue rinse.”
“It’s grand! But I hate being called ‘Mrs’. You know, when someone says “Can I help you there, Mrs?”
“It’s hazardous alright”
I better let her get on with the task she came in for. She remarks on the ban diet garda’s cuteness.
“Say goodbye to the er..bye now”. She disappears into the clean cubicle.
We finish washing our hands as another female comes in. She’s headed for the other one. Oh no. Will I?
“I really wouldn’t go in there if I were you”.
We’re out the door when I panic slightly about that sounding too close to.. “I’d give it a minute”.