Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Agoraphobe Goes to Market

Yesterday, when my sore, red throat with white spots failed to impress Justin (who believes that if I plan a trip to go somewhere, the morning of the trip I will inevitably become deathly ill, just to get out of it), I went off with Ben to have lunch and then to see my mom. I insisted to Justin that my throat really, really hurt and just look at the spots at the back of it! What if I have strep? I simply cannot be around my mother with strep throat! She could catch it!!!! He just gave me the look and said, "You do this every time you plan to go out. I could have told you yesterday that you would be sick this morning."

I'm not kidding. My throat really was sore, red, and had white spots on it. Three of them. I saw them in the mirror. Actually, Justin even saw them, although he claimed it was probably drainage from all this pollen stuff we have going on here in Virginia. What. Ever.

So off I went to this little restaurant downtown with my oldest son, thinking that if I still felt punky at the end of the lunch, I would give my mom the choice of did she want me to come out or not. First, let's discuss lunch.

When I had the displeasure of working for that one year of my life that I am attempting very hard, with a good dose of PTSD, to forget, I took Justin to lunch a couple of times at an Italian restaurant down near my prison office. It was a pretty good little place to eat and we always went into the left side of the restaurant for some reason. The food was good, fast, and reasonably priced. Apparently, we were sitting in the non-smoking section of the restaurant.

Yesterday, Ben and I decided to go down to that particular restaurant because we could easily hop onto the road that turns into the road that goes right to Grandmother's house...oops. Sorry. I got caught up in the fact that my countdown to iPad is t-minus something like 58 days away.


So I park the car about a foot away from the curb (because my car is freaking huge I can't drive) and Ben holds open the door to the right side of the restaurant for me. We go into this little, dingy, disgusting place with a bunch of empty booths and a couple of guys who looked like they should have been caught in the drug sting they did here a couple of months ago sitting at the bar.

We grab a booth, a pleasant guy comes over with menus, and I notice that it isn't the same restaurant name (because I'm obviously mentally deficient and didn't notice the sign had changed out front). Oh and that the guys at the bar are smoking...except it took until we got our meals for that one to click. Because in Virginia, you can't be a restaurant owner who allows smoking at the bar unless it is in a ventilated, separate room...you know...that room on the other side that Justin and I used to to go into? I just assumed that any restaurant I went into would not have smoking because it's been so long since I've been in one that actually had that separate ventilated room. I got complacent.

So, my throat is getting more raw by the minute as I tried to make conversation with my son, whose still waters run extremely deep...or maybe he just doesn't have anything to say to his boring, middle-aged mom. I try to ignore the smokers, although come to think of it we could have asked to be put into the other room, but at that point I just want to finish the meal and get out of there because my voice was getting tired and it's hard to hold up a one sided conversation with an almost 20 year old who used to think the universe revolved around me, but is now secretly stealing peeks every minute or so at the texts he is receiving on his phone in his pants pocket.

So, off to Grandmother's house we went...(oops, sorry, iPad) and I got a mask to wear while we were there After my mom told Ben the story of how I ruined my dad's favorite shoes when I was a teenager by trying to polish them because they were way past the stage where they could have been polished, my dad talked for awhile about how stupid Facebook is. Because it is so difficult to use that he can't figure it out and why can't you just go to Facebook.com to get a tutorial because it will take you directly to your Facebook page? I suggested that if he just would log out of his page, he might be able to get to Facebook.com and said I could teach him, since I'm the resident Facebook expert in every house in my family.

He said, "I do not want to have someone come to my house who has spent the last two years with too much time on their hands figuring out how to use Facebook (no, I don't mean you) to come teach it to me. I want to sit in my man cave and go onto my computer and find a freaking tutorial that will take me through the steps of using Facebook all on my own." My dad's kind of a loner like that. And I was totally not offended because I have spent most of the last two years staring at the screen displaying my Facebook page and figuring out how it works...until last week when they blew it up and even I was finally totally disenchanted and realized my windows were filthy.

After about an hour of wearing the hot mask that kept fogging my glasses to keep my mom from catching whatever deathly illness I swore I was coming down with, she got tired and Ben and I got up to leave. The really sucky part about thinking maybe I might be getting sick when I visit my mother is that I can't hug her right now, so whether my illness is real or imagined, I have to wear a mask and let my son hug her for me. That just hurts.

But I digress...

On the way home, I saw the sign for the Virginia Farm Market and remembered that Justin had been saying he wanted to go again. There is a cider that he loves called Cherry Apple Cider and that market is the only place he can get it. He had invited me to go a couple of weeks ago, but I was deathly ill and couldn't make it.

I said to Ben, "Look. There's a sign for the farmer's market. We should go." Ben: "Do you want to? We should go. Let's go." At this point, I was already out, so it was safe for me to keep being out (don't ask, I have no idea how this agoraphobia thing works), so I said okay. I was driving and I saw the turn coming up, and I started slowing down. But since I thought the turn was at the light and it was actually before the light, I kind of took it a little bit hard and scared the crap out of Ben taking the turn and pulling into the parking place like someone was trying to steal it from me. Which I know because he said, calmly, "No, Mom, I don't think the car is still moving." To which I replied, "Oh. It felt like back when we had the earthquake last month."

We went in and I was in shopper's heaven. We strolled around the aisles and I found all sorts of gifts for Justin. There was his cider, those peanuts he likes, a dutch apple pie, the homemade jam we all love...so I came home with this:

No, I did not come home with too much. I was getting stuff for my husband...oh, I forgot this:

When I buy for other people, I tend to go a little bit overboard. Justin said, "How much cider did you think I could actually drink?" To which Ben replied, "I told her to stop and get some vodka to go with it." I should have gotten the vodka. Apparently, that is way too much cider. And the bill for everything you see above was over $48, which could buy an awful lot of processed crap at the grocery store. Hey, those peaches are Amish. That means they're good. (I'm not sure how good, because the receipt only lists each item as "food," so I'm not sure which item was $12 and which item was $6. They have kind of a funny labeling system, not to mention they are still using one of those dial up credit card processing machines. We'd gone back in time!

The jam was apparently mis-marked, because the last time Justin bought it for me, it was $6.99, not $9.99. That's a lot for 20 ounces of jam. The reason I know this is because:

The jam broke my toe last night.

See that swollen middle toe with the black mark at the bottom? The 20 ounce jar of jam fell on it when I went to get a new jar of peanut butter out to make Joey's dinner. 20 ounces of jam is a lot of jam when it hits your toe. I mean, seriously, it's got to be 20 ounces of jam, plus about 3 pounds for the glass jar. When it hits your foot after falling from the fourth shelf up in the pantry...well, I wasn't much on science in school. Let's just say that hurt like a motherf*!&%r! I'm pretty sure the toe is broken, because I can't bend it. Funnily enough, it doesn't hurt today. I just can't bend it and it's still black where the jar hit it. Luckily, as you can see, no damage was done to the jam.

I would tell you how dinner disintegrated from that point, but I think I always write more than people have the time or patience or attention span to read. So let's just say that dinner was a complete disaster, Justin ended up having a turkey sandwich and a double bourbon while he watched the Redskins game, and I snuck a look on Facebook to see if anyone misses me.

I really need a 12 step program. Except that with the writing for the new site, I kind of have to maintain a presence there...but I'm rationalizing.

So I'll leave you with the vision of my version of grocery shopping, the fact that the apple pie was awesome, and the fact that my toe won't bend. All in all, it was a good day. Because I got to see my mom.

And yes, my throat still hurts. I'm positive it's strep, but I don't want to go out to the doctor, so I'm going to ignore it.




  1. If you think you've broken your toe you really should see someone about it - my nan broke hers but by the time she decided she needed to see a doctor it had healed itself in a funny position and now she's stuck with it like that.

  2. Hey Tamara,

    I'm pretty sure it really isn't broken - I can bend it today and it doesn't hurt. It's just kind of stiff. It's funny, but it really only hurt right when I dropped the jar on it.

    My husband said the doctor can't do anything for a broken toe, so why bother going and since it doesn't hurt, I kind of agree with him because the urgent care or ER are SUCH a PAIN! I think I probably just bruised it really bad, even though I couldn't bend it at all when I wrote this.



I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to tag back to your blog in the body of your message. Comments are my favorite!