Friday, January 1, 2010

What a difference a decade makes

Do you remember what you were doing the day that 1999 went away? Do you remember the panic that the world as we knew it was going to come to an end? Don't you just love fearmongers? For me, I was having a nightmare.

My mom and step-dad's anniversary is January 2. Now, I always have had some adventure going to get the cake for the dinner that the family gets together for. One year, I had put the cake on the shelf underneath the cart and when I got to the parking lot I had to stop suddenly and the cake box flew out onto the pavement. It tasted the same but it wasn't as pretty as when I paid for it. I think one year a cat got up on the counter and helped himself. Or was it a child. For some reason the cake never ends up as pretty as I'm sure the baker would have hoped.

On December 31, 1999 I headed to Costco. The family decided the Costco cake seemed to be universally favored, so I ordered one and after everything else I'd done that day, I went over to pick it up.

For some reason, I could not find a parking spot. Anywhere. In the whole parking lot. At Costco, the center of the universe for parking lots big enough to park all the SUVs and Monster Trucks of the hemisphere. Nothing. I think I ended up parking at the Mall or being one of those stalkers that follow a person from the door and waiting for them to load their purchases in their vehicle of choice. I am not a fan of customer stalking, so, I'm thinking I parked at a business nearby and walked half a mile to get there. I finally get to the entrance and cannot find a cart. Litterally, not a cart or a flatbed to be found. I find my way to the bakery, finding the cake we'd ordered and head toward the check out. I do not get halfway back to the front before I find the end of the checkout lines. I look around me and every cart is full of bottled water and toilet paper. Some people have multiple carts of bottled water and toilet paper. I stand in line with the cake held in front of me at about chest level. For three hours. When I get up to about three people from the checkstand a nice gentleman offers to let me set the cake on the edge of his cart, because he can probably see my arms are shaking and I'm about to drop the cake for my mother. Actually now that I think about it, I'm surprised he had a cart with an edge to set my cake on because everyone elses carts are piled high. Good thing there weren't tires on those carts with air in them, none of the carts would have moved because all the tires would have been flat. I finally get through the line, pay for the cake and head out of the store to trek back to where I parked my car.

I wonder if all those Costco shoppers on December 31, 1999, ever got through all of that toilet paper.

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