Spring!

Spring has arrived. 

I know this because my neighbor’s daughter is back in the area, and honestly, I couldn’t be more happy.  I mean, who doesn’t enjoy waking up to the melodious sounds of a teenager who likes to scream at the top of her lungs whenever she opens her mouth?  It means that we’ll likely get a repeat of last summer’s gems:

Hey, dear, would you like a soda?

“YEAH, I WANT A SODA! WHAT KIND OF SODA DO WE HAVE? DO WE HAVE ANYMORE PEPSI?  WHAT?  WHADDAH MEAN, WE DON’T HAVE ANYMORE?  WHY NOT?”

You need to pick your clothes up from the floor and hang them up properly, young lady.”

“I DON’T HAVE ANY HANGERS!  I TOLD YOU LAST WEEK THAT WE NEEDED HANGERS AND YOU DIDN’T GET ANY! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?  WHY CAN’T YOU HANG THEM UP, SINCE YOU SEEM TO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS!”

“You guys are making far too much noise.

“WE’RE PERFECTLY FINE!  YOU WANT TO HEAR NOISE?  I CAN MAKE SOME NOISE!  HEY, (insert Friend’s name), LET’S HAVE ANOTHER SCREAMING CONTEST!  I GO FIRST . . .!”

Granted, I have no children.  This was a personal choice and one that I will likely never regret – for a host of reasons.  I have nothing but the utmost respect for people who opt to become parents; I know from what I’ve seen of friends and family, that parenthood is not an easy road to travel.  So I’m willing to concede that trying to control a teenager might be a losing battle.  I was a teen once, and I’m still amazed that my parents didn’t go all “Neo vs. Agent Smith” on me – I did some funky crap that it hurts to even think about.

But seriously – this kid drives me nuts.  There’s no hate here – she’s been generally nice to me – but sometimes I just wish she’d listen to some of the things she’s saying.  Actually, I wish she’d just appreciate just how loud she is.  I’m not kidding about that screaming contest, by the way – I thought that the poor child was being attacked, and raced to the front door.  And while I’m glad that she was safe, I got mad when I realized that she didn’t fully understand the implications of what she’d done.  I was probably also pissed over the fact that I was going to stop an attack with nothing more than a spatula in my hand, as I was in the kitchen when “it” happened.

Today’s yell-fest was apparently a standard conversation.  I’m not eavesdropping, but when someone talks loud enough that they could probably be heard on the lunar surface, then it’s pretty darn hard not to hear what they’re saying.

I’m not a fan of winter, but if this is what I have to deal with this summer, then . . .


I’ve eaten three Hershey bars in the last two hours.  There’s nothing significant about that; I just felt that I should tell someone.


Toys R Us Update:  There are three TRU stores in my immediate area (i.e., within a 20 mile radius), and I’ve been to all of them.  In fact, I’ve visited one three times in the last seven days.  I’m surprised that none of them have much of what I’ve wanted.  That’s not to say that I didn’t get some goodies:

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My father wanted me to have one of these when I was old enough – the USMC blanket, I mean.

Yes – I’m a goof, and far too old to be mesmerized by toys (despite collecting certain brands) – but I’ve always wanted a half-way decent light saber.  I managed to locate a Hasbro Black Box Darth Vader Light Saber (say that three times quickly), for a price that could not be beaten.  These were originally sold at $150, but the TRU store I’d visited had them on clearance for $112; so when I used the additional discount, the whole thing came to just under $100.  Weighted metal hilt, plastic LED ‘blade,’ and sound effects?

Duh!  Count me in!

My only complaint is that I couldn’t buy two of them.  Actually, my complaint is that they only had the Vader version on the shelves; I can’t say that I would have purchased other versions (I know of at least four), but I’d have definitely considered it.

Now, what knocked me out of my immature geekiness was a woman who was thoroughly pissed that the sale was just ten percent.  I mean, she was mad and ready to fight.  She complained on her cell-phone about “wasting her time since there was no sale – not at ten percent, there’s not.  This is bullshit!”

This was another instance of someone talking so loud that you couldn’t miss it.

I got mad, but I didn’t say anything.  Sure, I was there hoping to get things on the cheap like everyone else.  And honestly, I would have likely gotten my light saber had I saved the $11 dollars or not; it was already on clearance, so I would have saved *something* anyway.  But this woman was angry that she couldn’t buy things at a far lower price – totally oblivious to the fact that thousands of people were now thrust out onto an unforgiving job market.  She was yelling into her phone over how she felt insulted that she’d “wasted time” by visiting the store.  Oh, she had her cart full, mind you; it’s just that she thought she’d be buying three years worth of birthday and Christmas gifts for twenty bucks.  Sadly, she wasn’t alone with her bitchiness.

I will definitely miss the store, but I’ll also miss the wonderful people I’ve gotten to meet through my visits.  These are cool people who had a pretty cool job, and now it’s all gone through no fault of their own.  They’ll get minimal reward (compared to corporate clowns, who got bonuses), yet they’re still supposed to be positive, upbeat, and helpful – especially to morons who visit only to pick the store’s bones, only to complain that it’s still not cheap enough.

I’ve pretty much got what I wanted from TRU.  Being a regular customer kind of does that – if I’d really wanted it, I’d have it by now.  And as someone who’s regularly dealt with “clearance sales,” I know that the real deals won’t start for another month, at least – and by that point, most of the so-called “good stuff” would be history.  I may visit again to see if those light sabers drop further in price; I can’t imagine them being on the shelves in two weeks, so I’ve probably done well by my weekend visit.

But I may stop by a few more times before they lock the doors – if only to have a conversation or two with some cool folks I’m really going to miss.

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