Hold the Mustard

Today is one of those rare, obligation free days, no story assignments, no meetings, and with the exception of sports practices, no school activities. I spent the entire morning worrying I forgot something earth shatteringly important, but the most urgent to-do list items were a Target run and gas fill up. Sounds like an easy schedule, right? Not for me, at 8:00AM I discovered a majorly significant truth.

I flunk idle.

Seriously, if leisure were a college course I’d have to bop the swarmy tweed loving  professor. Maybe it’s years of tight deadlines, but for some inexplicable reason free time scares me; I function best on busy. The latest example of my weirdness starts with mustard, or lack of.

Our older son, a ketchup adverse soul, uses mustard on his hamburger, fries, blah blah blah – we’ve been out for a month and I swore to leave Target today with a bottle. Passing the gas station on fumes and vowing to fill up later, I stormed the red and white doors on a mission.

Yeah, you know what happened. I left with $200 worth of non-essentials and a bag of oversalted popcorn – NO spicy hot dog accoutrements.

Cursing my error, I passed the gas station, again, this time en route to the grocery store. (Disclaimer: I interpret the blinking “GET GAS IDIOT” light as a gentle suggestion.) Inside I ran into everyone I know, bought another $100 worth of non-essentials and drove home without, you guessed it, mustard.


Condiments do not typically get under my skin like a raging case of Shingles, but I gave myself one lousy goal! Belted back into the driver’s seat I turned the ignition. Nada; the red light mocked me. Grr! Draining enough gas from the lawn mower can, I coast to the Quickie Mart for a fill up. At the pump a hand scrawled note announced the credit swipe was broken and to pay inside; I swear I almost cried. All I wanted to do was go home, put me feet up, and waste time on Facebook.

Little did I know the Post-it missive was to be my saving grace.

Me: “$30 on pump five, please.”

Cashier: “Anything else?”

Me: (Choir of Angels) “Yes, mustard! Do you have mustard?!?!”

Wide-eyed he pointed to aisle 3, I think I scared him, and I sure as heck overpaid, but in that moment I was Indiana Jones and my Ark of the Covenant was a dust-covered yellow squeeze bottle.

Home and victorious, I tucked away the mustard and opened my Outlook calendar for the rest of the week; mania, pure mania, just like Mama likes it! Am I the only freak who functions this way? You can tell me, I can take it. I’ll even make you a cup of tea and we can….wait…crap, flipping tea!

Back in the car….stupid day off.


2 comments on “Hold the Mustard

  1. Jane Sadek says:

    I so identify with you today. Not with the idle business, but with the frustration. I’m out running errands with hubby and we stop at Sonic for a burger, but when we try to pay with our credit card, DECLINED! I flipped out! What do you mean declined? I hit the internet on my phone and sure enough, they want me to call customer service immediately. Imagination in high gear! I was sure it was something I screwed up on. You can’t start to guess all the things I decided I might have done to the checking account, to the credit card account, to my life. I decided to wait until I got home to make the call, so I’d have all my stuff with me. Come to find out, a few minutes before we ordered up our burgers, someone had fraudulently tried to use our number and the company had recognized it as not something we would do. My husband would have gotten the call, but he’d left his phone at home. All that ado about virtually nothing.

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