I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I hate to admit it but...

At the checkout lines at the Jetsons' Publix on the Beach, shopping truly is a pleasure...

Otherwise, that place is a gleaming heck-hole strolled by retard-zombies who block aisles, as I have previously addressed.

But come checkout time, the Jetsons' Publix makes me feel... like I'm not in Miami anymore, and I like that. The reason?

Their checkout ladies.

Something that I miss, not living in the south Mid-Atlantic area, is... uh... gosh, this is awkward.... FRIENDLY PEOPLE. Growing up, I remember strangers would engage you in public. (I never initiate conversation, but that's because my parents are from Boston, and we just... don't... do that.) People would do other nice things, like wave you into traffic, and hold doors, two conventions that have yet to re-appear in Miami after they were extinguished in the early 1980s...

When I was little (and through when I was 17) I remember grocery shopping with my mother at daJont (Giant.) Giant, back then, was a pretty good place to work, I hear, and the checkout ladies were ladies from Dundalk or Highlandtown or Essex or Timmonium, who had the thickest Baltimore accents, and who were endlessly cheerful and loquacious, beginning their routine with, "Papr'r'playssic, hon?"

Politeness in public doesn't take much effort, and it makes life a hell of a lot more tolerable. Seriously. You feel like you live in a community, with other... um... human beings.

While I'm not a conversation initiator, if someone engages me, I'll keep up the parry, and I'll do it graciously.

I gots to say, the Haitian/Jamaican ladies at the checkout lines in Publix are pretty funny, and surprisingly good conversationalists. It probably doesn't hurt that I'm cute and can insinuate that they got drunk and raised a ruckus during the Publix Store-Wide International Wine Tasting Event, with a broad, mischievous smile, coming off utterly charming. (I really am pretty charming.) They guffaw and scan my limes, and we bat a conversation back and forth over the check-counter...

And other people look on puzzled, jealous that I have such a good relationship with my checkout ladies.

And you know what?

That three minutes I spend in line is sometimes one of the highlights of my day - I usually spend 11 hours arguing with other people, and preparing to argue with other people, so to have an interaction with someone where no one wants anything, there are no ulterior motives, and there's no acrimony - it's just nice.

It's also nice to make someone laugh while they're doing what could probably be a pretty boring job.

I sort of took it at face value in the beginning while speaking to the Checkout ladies (if they make the slightest effort to talk to me, I'll engage them) that everyone brightened at their "How's your day been?" opening line, but apparently not.

Alls I can say is, whenever I get to Angel's checkout line (we're on a first-name basis, now) she chastises me and tells me it's been too long since she's seen me.

And while being recognized and acknowledged in public by someone you see on a regular basis is par for the course in other parts of the country, in Miami, it's a welcome surprise.

Awwww. I ripped this list off of a Facebook group called, "You Know You're From HoCo MD, when..." And reading through it, there are like only two unfamiliar things... and it reminded me of a LOT of stuff I haven't thought about in years...like Rocky Gorge... and Soft Serve...

I will add for the record that my School's nicknames were not on there, sadly, but if they were, they would have been "Wilde Rape" or "High Lake Wilde School."

Good times!

Begin the List:

You Know You're From HoCo MD When:

-People laugh at you when you tell them your street name. And then you explain that it's from poetry. And they laugh harder.

-Your townhouse cost at least $500,000

-You only knew of one mall until you were about 14, when you went to other strange malls -- to buy homecoming dresses.

-It's not unusual for you to go to one high school and your sibling to go to another.

-You know what a “village" is.

-You've ever been to a party at Centennial Park.


-You know what the People Tree is.

-Either you or someone you know was first employed at a snowball stand. (perhaps THE Snowball Stand on Woodstock Rd)

-You recognize the beginning of the holiday season by the lighted trees by the mall.

-Your mall's idea of a Christmas tree is a gigantic, conical structure made of poinsettias.

-You've been to a dance at Circle D or St. Louis

-At least one of your friends has worked for the CA

-You got excited when Chick Fil A opened (but were a little pissed that they put it in Friendly’s place).

-You have a derogatory nickname for every other high school in the county - Assholeton, Reefer Hill, Glenhell, Centesticle/Yentennial, Mt. Heroin, and Long Bitch/Bong Reach..

-All-black cop cars.. including Mustangs.. etc.

-The words Palace 9 mean something to you.

-You tell people from out of state that you're from Baltimore or DC just because it's easier.

-You remember route 100 as farm land.

-More than half of your school's population was in the NHS.

-You miss the Enchanted Forest and Fun Jungle.

-You're disgusted at the number of high-schoolers who loiter outside of the LL Bean fountain…then you realize that it's because there's nothing else to do here.

-The biggest event of the decade was when the mall was redone.

-Fast food restaurants have flowers on the table.

-You're proud of Edward Norton (he went to Wilde Lake, and his grandfather was Jim Rouse).

-You either get the Sun or the Post, but everyone gets the Flier. Towards the Carroll County line, you might get the Eldersburg Eagle.

-Being 12 meant taking the swim test so you could go to the pool alone.

-The condos in the Columbia ghetto sell for six figures.

-Your graduation ceremony was at Merriweather.

-You eat at a Pizza Hut Italian Bistro.

-Your school has raffled off a Camaro.

-Kittamaqundi is not a strange name for a lake.

-You ate at Double T after prom.

-M.D.'s is the only place willing to deliver a pizza to your house.

-You know that it's called "DC," not "Washington."

-You live thirty minutes from EVERYWHERE.

-You think an hour-long commute is somehow normal.

-You know how to use a traffic circle PROPERLY.

-You've been to a field and/or barn party.

-You've had snow days where there was no snow on the ground.

-You think that $89,000 a year for a job isn't much money.

-The cool place to hang out after 1am is 7-11, Mobil, Giant parking lot, Checkers, or Dunkin Donuts.

-If you don’t have a car, you basically cant go anywhere, because they don’t believe in sidewalks in HoCo (at least in Clarksville, Marriottsville, etc).

-In elementary school, you went to at least one Columbia roller skating rink, splashdown, cosmic bowling, Rocky Gorge mini golf, or Shadowland birthday party

-Soft stuff at the Forest Motel is basically the best ever.

-You spent 3/4s of summer at the 7-11 on Rt. 40.

-When you see a bunch of firefighters in a fire trunk in front of Cindy's eating some ice cream.

-You remember when HoCo had a music scene.

-You know who Mr. Boh is.

-You saw the Kinder Man when you were in elementary school.

-You've almost ran over the Columbia Bike Guy.

-You played soccer as soon as you could walk. And probably lacrosse too.

-Between your 7th and 8th grade year you went to a trillion Bar/Bat Mitzvahs.

-Lunch costs more than 3 McDonalds double cheeseburgers

-You know it is impossible to get lost in Howard County, because you will always end up in Ellicott City or at the Columbia Mall.

-"Rush hour traffic" is when school, particularly high school, is starting or letting out for the day.

-You see everyone you went to school with since kindergarten at the lakefront on the 4th of July.

-If you've gone to more than 1 elementary, middle, or high school and you haven't moved.

-Plaster Funtime.

-Wing nights at Hard Times Café.

-Donut World on 40.

-You know at least ten different ways to get everywhere.

-Wilde Lake Nature Camp.

-You’ve seen every landmark in Baltimore and DC.

-You didn't know what Hollister was until two years ago, when some one you know went out of town and bought something there.

-You know that it is impossible to be seated at restaurants on weekends. Or ever, really.

-When you went to Outdoor Ed in middle school.

-When you have no sense of direction until you get your license.

-When you lock your car doors in Harper's Choice.

-You remember the ice skating rinks at the mall where the parking garages were.

-You understand what DARE means.

-You feel special when you can go in the pool during adult swim.

-Turning 18 means going to the porn store on rt 40.

-When you've had at least one birthday at 6 Flags/Chucky Cheese's.

-You've been drunk at a tot lot.