What is this happy feeling? It's so strange!

I feel:: peaceful
What song is on a loop in my head right now:: Rammstein~Du Hast

So, yesterday. I spent it thinking that I wasn't going to go anywhere because Dad said that he didn't have any money. But, yet, when it came time for him to make his usual nightly whiskey run, he sent me instead (Of course, you know I had to buy two bottles, because today is Sunday and there are no liquor sales here on Sundays.) He also sent me out with the mission of getting him some dinner and apparently, he wanted KFC. I didn't have a problem doing this for him. Right before I was about to leave, he asked me, "Do you feel like doing some heavy-duty shopping tonight?" I said,"Well, I don't have anything else to do." So, he gave me his checkbook and told me to go grocery shopping as well, which is a dangerous thing to do. You know, to just give me some blank checks and tell me to go grocery shopping. See, ever since I lived at Ground Zero and went for weeks and sometimes months with little or no food at all, I've had this weird thing about wanting to have my cabinets and fridge full of food all the time. It makes me feel secure. I remember what it was like not to have any food and ever since then, I've been determined not to have that happen to me ever again.

So, back to me and the blank checks. Off I went to Wally World to grocery shop. It was 7pm when I left the house. I had to go by the liquor store first, because I figured that the later I waited the longer the lines would be, being New Year's Eve and all and Dad wanted not only his requisite half-pint of Jack, but also a bottle of White Merlot. Where I live is on the border of quite a few dry counties. So, those who live in them travel to the liquor stores right around where I live to get their supplies because there are clusters of them around here. People refer to it as "County Line", as in ,"I'm fixin' to make a run to the county line. Y'all want somethin' to drink?" You can imagine that last night every liquor store was pretty busy. When I got to the one that Dad likes to frequent, there was only one place for me to park in the whole parking lot, but I got in and out with no hassles. Wally World time. I had a list of specific things Dad wanted. After I filled that list, I felt like I was free to get the things I wanted. You cannot imagine the rationalizations that were going on in my head. For instance, I had to go over to the Health and Beauty area to get Dad's vitamins, so I strolled on over to the hair care aisle and picked up two boxes of hair color, a large bottle of Pantene Shampoo for red hair along with it's mate, the large bottle of Pantene conditioner for red hair. This is what I was thinking,"I'd better buy it now, because I don't know when Dad will open up his checkbook again." Honestly, though, I didn't buy that many non-essential items. I even declined buying a new black ink cartridge for my printer because after looking at how full the buggy was, I thought to myself,"This is going to be about $300 dollars." I was only off by about $30 dollars.

When I got to the check out lane and had loaded all of my many purchases onto the conveyor belt, after the cashier had scanned everything, bagged everything and I had carefully arranged everything in the buggy (because I'm OCD like that), I got out Dad's check book and prepared to write the check for the amount of purchase. I even tried to save time by filling out the check while she was still scanning everything. When it was all done, I handed her the check and she ran it along with my driver's license. While I was watching her do all of this, she frowned to herself. She turned to me with the smallest slip of paper in her hand along with the check I had just written and told me that the check had been declined and that I should call the number on the little sliver of paper on Monday to find out why. Just an aside to this: I may be getting old and my eyesight might be failing (I am a bit nearsighted, but I'm not that bad. I'm only 35 for Chrissakes.), but I don't know why anyone would print that much information on such a small piece of paper. It was smaller than the palm of my hand and the font was even smaller. When she handed me the microscopic piece of paper and told me to call that number, it took me a minute to focus my eyes on the small print and to actually find the number since it was squished in that small space with a shitload of other info. I stood there, stunned, alternately looking at the cashier and looking at the paper she had just given me. She looked kind of guilty and said that she would try to run the check again. So, I called Dad at home and had him give me his DL number so that she could run it with that. Declined again. I was still on and off on the phone with Dad. It was intermittent because, like a dumbass, I forgot to charge my cell the day before. Not only that, but try getting a good signal in a big metal and concrete warehouse with your cell. Good freakin' luck. My phone kept disconnecting me telling me that I needed to charge the battery soon. I was cursing inside my head, wishing the phone could hear and know how frustrated I was with it. After about 10 or so minutes of trying to talk to Dad through a bad signal and my phone arbitrarily disconnecting me, I finally told Dad that if he wanted me to actually leave the store with the groceries that he was going to have to come up there himself with a credit card. (I asked the cashier, at Dad's prompting, whether or not I could just give her his cc number right then and she could run it. After I got off the phone and was waiting for Dad, I realized how stupid that question was and why the cashier had looked at me like I had been smoking crack.) After all of that, I got to sit and wait for Dad to come to Wally World, all the while, my left eye twitching like mad. I can imagine that I looked pretty crazy sitting on the bench in front of Customer Service with an overflowing buggy full of groceries, drinking a Diet Coke, looking particulary miserable and pissed off, with my eye twitching so badly that I looked like I should be down the road at the crazy house instead of walking around a free woman in Wal-Mart. Half an hour later, to my surprise, my cell phone rang. It was Dad circling the parking lot asking me irritatedly where I was. I told him that I was inside. He hung up abruptly and then called me back about 5 minutes later wanting again to know where I was. I said,"Park, come inside, take a right and I'm right there." He said, with complete surprise,"Oh! You're inside!" I said, flatly,"Yeah, Dad, they don't just let people walk out of here with an assload of groceries without paying for them." While Dad was negotiating parking, the cashier who had previously rung up all my stuff had apparently gotten off work. She came by the bench where I was sitting and asked me if my dad had a long way to travel to get there. I said,"Well, he's 75 and handicapped, so it's going to take him awhile to get inside." She looked guilty again and said, "Bless his heart! I feel bad now for making him come out so late!" (That's a very southern thing to say, by the way. You can say almost anything about someone and it can be as bad as ever as long as you say, "Bless his/her heart" afterwards, because that, apparently, makes everything all better. For instance, someone could say something really catty like, " Oh my God, that skirt is so short, I can see her ass. Her momma must have not taught her how to dress, bless her heart." It's a southern thing and I don't even really understand it myself.) Finally, I saw Dad walk inside. I waved at him to get him to notice me and, with a groan, wheeled the buggy over to where he was. He handed me one of his credit cards with a curt, "Take care of it." I looked around for a cashier right then and there was none to be found. I thought that was kind of weird, so I went around to the front side of the rows of cash registers to find all of them huddled in a circle giggling about something. I tapped the closest one to me on the shoulder and said,"Excuse me?" He swung around fast, eyes wide, hands fluttering up towards his chest and squealed,"OH MY GOD, GIRL! YOU SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF ME!" Amused at finding the only cashier in the Bryant Wal-Mart who was a queen, I apologized and said that I was a bit startled too. He calmed down and put his hand on my shoulder as we were walking to his register and said,"I'm sorry, honey, I just get scared real easy." Then, I was privvy to a very long story about just how jumpy he was. After he finished his story and I was running Dad's credit card and without stopping for breath, he said," Oh ma God! I just luv your purse!" (Maybe I've found another shopping buddy?) Finally, Dad and I felt free to make our way to the overlarge exit to leave with our purchases. As we were walking out and passing the detectors that every Wal-Mart has at the front door, I heard a "Bong!" Then, the pre-fab, emotionless voice saying, "You have activated Wal-Mart's inventory control system. Please step back and an associate will help you." Great. The door greeter came up and I had to give her the receipt. She pointed out almost immediately what she thought it could be that was setting the alarm off. I looked at her tiredly and asked, hoping she would say no,"Do I have do dig that out?" Thankfully, she didn't ask me to go spelunking for that particular item. I don't know what she did with my receipt, but she disappeared for a couple of minutes and then returned all smiles, gave it back to me and wished Dad and me a Happy New Year. As we were walking out, Dad turned to me and said sarcastically,"I think Fort Knox would be easier to break into."

Dad helped me load everything into the trunk of my car, took the booze, and said he was going to go home and have a drink. By that time, it was 10pm and KFC, which is what he said he had wanted for dinner, was closed. (I was asking myself at that moment,"Why the hell did I just buy all these groceries?") He said that he wanted instead, a cheeseburger from Sonic. So, off I went again on my new mission to procure the cheeseburger. On the way, I remembered that while we were loading groceries into my car, I heard my cell ring Tanya's specific ring, 'Girls,girls,girls'(Motely Crue. She adores them). Right after that, it rang again the ring I have it set for another of my friends, Tanner, 'Aerials'(System of a Down). I called Tanya. She said she was sitting at the pub waiting for the band to start. She then started to try to convince me to come out with her. I don't know what happened, but between my ordering the burger and then a few minutes later, paying for it, she had talked me into it by offering to pay my way. I told her, "Who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?" I got home at about 10:30, threw the groceries into the various empty spaces in the kitchen cabinets, gave Dad his burger, fed the cats, got dressed, fixed my hair and make up and was out of the house by 11:40. Dad kept harrassing me as I was getting ready, telling me how little time I had left to get to the party before the clock struck the new year.

I got to the pub about 2 minutes after they rang in the new year. I was offered a complimentary glass of champagne as soon as I walked in the door. I saw Jesse, who is very handsome and whom I went shopping with once,(I was already in the mall and happened to see him there. I think I went with him to buy socks.) but never really get to talk to, sitting at the bar. I chatted with him for a few minutes and then turned to see another friend of mine, Jerrod,who is another one of my guy friends who is irritatingly handsome, sitting right behind me. I talked with him for a few minutes as well and then made my way back, or rather, up front to where Tanya was already sitting. I got lots of hugs from people there that I knew and didn't know wishing me a happy new year. I sat down beside Tanya and noticed a man sitting to my left that I didn't know. He looked to be about 50ish, salt and pepper hair, and wearing one of those pointy party hats with the chin strap. When I first looked at his face, I knew that he was really drunk. He was swaying in his seat and his eyes were dull and glassy. He told me the same story all night about what wars he had fought in and how he had been a P.O.W. in the first Persian Gulf war. I felt bad for him that he had experienced all of that and yet, at the same time, I wished fervently that I could just disappear into the floor. He also told me that his wife had died 21 years earlier and that he still thought about her every day. After which he said bluntly, "Can we date?" By this point, if anyone was watching me, they would have noticed that I had moved as far away from him in my chair as I could possibly without completely falling off of it. I think I had part of one butt cheek resting on it. Every time he would lean toward me drunkenly to speak, I would lean away from him. (By the way, Tanya, thanks so much for abandoning me for greener pastures while he pawed and slobbered on me. :P) Before he finally decided that I wasn't worth his trouble, he introduced me to someone he knew as his new wife. Yay. I just love stalkers, don't you? Anyway, things got markedly better after he left. My friend Micheal showed up and he came to sit with us. Also, I saw two guys that I worked with at Juanita's 10 years ago, Tracy and his cousin. Tracy was pretty knackered. As we were in conversation at one point during the night, he said, laughing, "Every time I see you, your breasts look bigger." Immediately followed by the too obviously casual question, "Are you seeing anybody?" I couldn't help but laugh.
All in all, I had a really great time last night. I find myself being really surprised that I did. I always try to have fun on New Year's Eve, but instead, wind up just driving around trying to find something to do, because every place wants you to give them ridiculous things like money to get in. That's something I hardly ever have. The band was great, despite the fact that they didn't play the one song that Tanya and I wanted to hear. I guess I can overlook that. :) We hung around and closed the bar down. After the lights came on and I was waiting for Tanya while she was talking to someone, this random guy plopped himself down at my table unsteadily and said, thickly,"I've been watching you all night." I guess I must have looked at him some crazy way because he then said quickly (as quickly as a shitfaced person can), "You look scared. I'm gonna go now." I thought to myself, "What else am I supposed to be?" Super. Fantastically superb. I've gained another stalker. I told my friend Micheal what happened when he sat back down. He said,"Oh, just be flattered, but in a scary way."

Despite the preponderence of shitfaced idiots, I got a New Year's kiss from someone who was not among that group and whom I wanted to kiss (imagine that). It wasn't exactly on the turning of the New Year (it was later on that morning), but just the same, I enjoyed it. What is the significance of the kiss exactly when the bell tolls anyway? I never have known. I have never enjoyed myself like that on New Year's Eve, so I find myself now feeling very thankful. Thanks, Tanya, for talking me into going out. You are my sister, you are in my soul, and I love you. Thank you to the guys for being so genuine. Thanks Billy for the great kiss. Happy New Year y'all.


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