These days, I have to make good use of my time. For example, If I’m going to leave work over lunch, which often means walking a quarter of a mile to my car, then I’m going to use the time wisely. That’s how, on Monday, I ended up at Petco around noon.
You see, my sister and her family were out of town so my parents were staying at their house, watching their animals. The weather had just undergone a dramatic change, going from 60 degrees on Friday to a high of 7 degrees on Sunday.
My mom was worried about the house staying warm and the pipes freezing so she asked me to swing by and “flush the toilets.”
Yes, you read that right. My dear mum didn’t want me to get their mail or bring in the newspaper or water the plants. She had others taking care of those tasks. No, instead my very important job was to flush the toilet.
But I certainly wasn’t going to leave work and drive across town simply to flush a toilet. So I plotted out a list of other stops I could make on my way back. That list looked like this:
- Go to Mom and Dad’s. Flush the toilet. Grab a snack.
- Stop by the Goodwill and drop off one last box to donate before year end.
- Swing by Petco for dog food.
- IF TIME, wander over to Ulta for glitter nail polish (hey, New Year’s Eve was coming and my nails felt like dressing up).
- Head back to work
I made my first stop and completed the aforementioned toilet flushing. But I didn’t just flush one toilet. No, no. If I’m going to do a job, I’m going to do it well. I flushed TWO toilets and I also ran a few faucets.
There will be no pipe freezing on my watch!
I grabbed a bag of apple slices and off I went to Goodwill.
Part of me was bracing for a huge line of people doing the same thing but the universe was smiling upon me for I pulled up and found only one car ahead of me. I handed over my box, got a receipt and headed out. As I looked in my rear view mirror I saw a line of literally 10 cars behind me. Damn. Talk about good timing!
Next stop – Petco!
This is where is gets weird.
I pull in to the parking lot and spy a rock star spot that is a pull through.
Sidebar: to know me you must know that I never pass up a pull through spot. I hate driving in reverse – it’s inefficient and, well, not my strong suit – so any time the opportunity of a pull through presents itself, I’ll take it. If you really want to tick me off, pull in to a spot with a clear pull through and don’t take it. That makes absolutely no sense to me. At all. God gave us pull throughs for a reason people. (I’m not alone in this as it ranks as #879 on a list of 1000 Awesome things)
But I digress.
I’m all set to pull through when a red Honda CR-V comes out of nowhere and TAKES the spot I was going to pull forward into. I’m sitting there, aghast, staring at 2 women my age wondering what they could possibly have been thinking. One of them looks up and makes eye contact with me and I’m pretty sure I saw guilt in her eyes. Or maybe it was shame.
I glare at them from behind my sunglasses and exit the car. As I’m approaching the store, I notice the driver of said CR-V is walking in to Petco behind me.
I stop to get a cart because I’m there to get dog food and with a big dog like Samson, you buy as big of a bag as you can on each trip or else you’ll be there all the time. And I’m not going to schlep around the store hauling a 35lb. bag of food over my shoulder. I’ll leave that for the barbarian pull through stealer, who by the way walked passed the carts and ahead of me in to the store.
As I’m making my way to the back, where the food is, I see the Thief coming back to the front and getting a cart. I find the aisle I need and hoist that big bag o’food in to the cart. At that moment, Thiefy enters the same aisle behind me.
Having acquired what I needed, I exit the aisle and turn left toward the check out area. I hear Stealy McStealerson grab a 35 lb. bag of her own (the same brand of food I had just picked, by the way) and put it in her cart. Sure enough, pretty soon here she comes out of the aisle and plotting along behind me toward the cash register.
I enter the check out queue and so does she.
I wait behind a lady buying crickets for a snake (ew) and the Robber Barron waits behind me.
At my turn, I hand over a coupon and member card, pay and continue on. Out of the corner of my eye I notice her hand over her member card and a coupon.
Seriously? Is this a prank of some kind? Or did I enter another dimension where someone is always doing the same thing as me, only 30 seconds later?
I quicken my pace and load the food in to my car. Stealy’s friend is sitting in the CR-V waiting for her. I return my cart and practically run next door to Ulta.
I made a beeline for the clearance section, which happened to be conveniently by the nail polish, and wait, just sure Robbie Robberson is going to walk in at any moment. But alas she does not. I seem to have shaken her for good.
I grab my sparkly shellac, along with a holiday lotion set that was 50% off (it would be a crime NOT to buy it!), and head out. The CR-V is gone when I get back to my car.
Ok so maybe the whole thing wasn’t as dramatic as all that but it was still very weird. It sort of made me think about life’s little coincidences. Or what about the times we miss a catastrophe by mere seconds and think, man, if I had been 10 seconds later, I would be the one in that accident.
I’ll never know if there was a purpose for all that or if it was just a happenstance but it sure amused me. Who knows, maybe right now, somewhere in Omaha, there’s another 37 year old mom and owner of a big dog just starting a blog post, as I finish mine.