Stop! Sucking! Day 4: Summertime, and the stoppin' is easy

If you would like to turn over your suck-stoppingness to the universe, just wait for the mercury to rise. Because if you are anything like me, living in the E-Z-Bake Oven, with a wildly inefficient personal cooling system, to boot, the heat will put the brakes on for you.

I'd been slowing down all day. Even the 90 brief, delicious minutes spent in air-cooled splendor didn't have much stopping power; what I had thought might be an invigorating peek under the tent of a new creative outlet turned out to be more like a time-share condos pitch. (As for Le Pauvre BF, who was under the mistaken impression we'd been invited to a noonday BBQ, I say, "Read your email more closely!")

No, I was a crababble right up until I got to the front of the line at the Rite Aid with my bag of party ice, Heineken tallboy, and reusable bag from my favorite white-people-love-righteous-shopping store, where I met my teacher for today, a lovely checker who looked young enough to be my hillbilly granddaughter.

First, she busted me for having headphones in. I mean, to clarify: she was way too nice to bust me, and I didn't have the iPod on. But I was a tired crankybutt and while I had paused the Very Important Podcast I'd listened to on my walk over, I hadn't actually removed the earbuds themselves. So there was some hilarious serial sneezing happening behind me that I totally missed out on, and while sneezing is usually a weird and/or gross bodily function I'm happy to miss, I also missed a chance to connect with my checker friend because I was too lazy and/or antisocial to pull the damned earbuds from my ears.

But she remained sweet and friendly, asking whether I wanted my cold items in my carry bag. (I did.) And then she asked me if it was a Trader Joe's bag. (It was, those cute, round-bottomed tropical ones they had a while back.)

And then she laid it on me, without even knowing she had:

"My two roommates love Trader Joe's. They ride their bikes there to shop all the time."

Two roommates. Who ride bikes to secure their supplies.

The E-Z-Bake Oven, you see, is all mine. I'd briefly forgotten how unbelievably luxurious and fantastic that was. And a car, I have a car, that I own outright, all by myself.

We chatted a little about how great Trader Joe's was (because it is!) and about how I don't ride a bike in L.A. because: (a), I am kind of a spaz when it comes to clocking stuff like gargantuan hurtling piles of steel around me; and (b), L.A. drivers make tasty roadkill out of spazzes like me. And she smiled and I smiled and I walked out.

And then, the most different and amazing thing of all happened: instead of beating myself up on the walk home, I felt good about the nice exchange I'd had with the nice checker, about carrying my stupid white-people-love-recyclable-bags to the store, and about walking to get my bag of party ice and Heineken tallboy in the first place.

All in the beautiful cool of a freshly set sun, on the sidewalks of one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

One-stop shopping, I call it...

xxx c

Image by Neimster via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.