Monday, August 29, 2005

The Produce Guys

Kindergarten Picnic Report: lots of kids running around grabbing cookies by the fistful. Thas about it. I didn't get the Kindergarten teacher I wanted. But then again, she's not really my Kindergarten teacher. And, judging by the dramatic embrace they each gave her after the tour of her classroom and a quite good reading of something like Henry Goes to Kindergarten, Risa and Vida liked her just fine. Which is probably what matters. I kept repeating the advice from Rich which—it turns out—works in any number of situations: it's not really about you.

So anyways...

I was supposed to be at the picnic site at 11:00 to deliver the balloons and help my pal M. set everything up. Left home at about 10:30 with the girls in tow, tumbled into Safeway and...there was nobody working the "floral" department. We go and tell a checkout person who calls for someone over the loudspeaker. We wait. Five minutes. Eight minutes. Nobody comes. I send Risa and Vida back to the checkout person, who gamely sends out the call again. Nobody comes.

Finally, two of the produce guys who have been observing our predicament take pity on the Filipino woman (that would be me) who looks like she's going to cry. They stop piling up their apples and unpacking their grapes and come to our aid. After 30 seconds, it's clear that these two gigantic gentlemen, with their green canvas aprons and their larger-than-life tattoos and their huge, graceless hands, have no idea what they're doing. They manage—together—to produce two balloons in twelve minutes. The tough part being, of course, tying the balloons off and attaching the ribbon using their overly chunkified produce-guy fingers.

I say:

"You guys. You are killing me here."

Vida says:

"Um, excuse me? We're very, very late for the Kindergarten picnic."

They say:

"I know. We're sorry sweetheart, but we don't usually do this. Everyone's in a management meeting."


"Mom? They're killing me."


(while examining violently blooming dahlias) "We are so late."

And then? And then we all start laughing: me, my daughters, the produce guys. Because barring the sudden appearance of several...I don't know...mimes, the situation could not be more ridiculous. Forty minutes later we leave with the balloons, six of which pop before I even get to the car.

But thanks anyways, you know? Because it's not every day you get to watch the produce guys work the floral department.


Princess Leia said...

Off I am to my first day (of meetings, no kids yet) and will continue to read with interest (while deliberately withholding professional commentary). ;-) Hang in there!

ver said...

No need to withhold professional commentary, really. I can take it...

Princess Leia said...

Yeah, but it can be then used against me someday, with it being and writing for posterity and everything! Nothing like dispensing professional advice only to have it backfire in dealing with your own child, as in *eat crow, mama.*

... okay, since you twisting my arm, here it is: Drink early and often!

There you go.