Tag Archives: FML

Close Encounters of the Unwanted Kind

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I am not going into Mr. Price again.

This is not a rant against the chain store itself. Sure, its Ugandan outlet is overpriced and more than half of the merchandise offered (the women’s section, at least) looks like someone ingested too much plaid, glitter and studs and proceeded to vomit on the clothes.

Besides that, it has its charm; being one of the few clothes shops in the country with in-store music and shop attendants with a modicum of courtesy and agreeability. Also, the floors are unbelievably smooth and provide the perfect place to practice one’s moon-walking skills.

I am not going into Mr. Price again because within the milk white clothes racks and polished floors lies an evil chasm for inevitable social entrapment. 

I’m talking about the fact that whenever I go in there, I am guaranteed to run into someone I know and don’t want to see. Invariably this will be someone that a) I went to school with and haven’t seen in ages and wasn’t sad about this fact; b) I work with and am glad to see Monday through Friday only; or c) I am related to.

Awkward moments can be cool sometimes, like when you’re using a narrow sidewalk and you bump into a good-looking stranger and you both do that side-step dance.  

But social entrapment is always awkward and never cool. There I am, basking in the enjoyable solitude of shopping, and I see person a, b or c in the same aisle. Social decorum demands we say hello to each other, and thus begins the “Hey! What are you doing here?” (facepalm!). Chances are that we have only two things to talk about with each other – how are you; how’s work?

Once that’s covered, a loud silence descends, blocking out the sounds of Soulja Boy on the speakers till only chirping can be heard.

I finally manage to giggle, cough and excuse myself. Phew. Survived that. Onwards to more shopping. But Mr. Price is a relatively small store and as Sod’s Law would have it, I almost always bump into the same person at the shoe aisle or the underwear aisle.

The small monster of an awkward conversation that we had earlier rears its ugly head. Having exhausted my supply of pleasantries and banter, what’s left to say? I once bumped into an old aunt (the kind that feels her sole duties on earth are to watch your weight and remind you that the time’s running out on your “marriageable years”) at the underwear aisle. I froze, feigning fascination in the only thing in front of me – Hello Kitty pajamas. She came over to me, held out a black lace bra and slip and said loudly, ‘My dear you’ll never find a man wearing children’s bedclothes.’

Fuck Mr. Price.

Irritable

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I like to consider myself even-tempered. Aside from the somewhat-frequent occasional  gin&tonic induced moments of bliss and the odd nervous-breakdown, I have the emotional variation of sand. Today, however, my mind is in a freefall toward murderous rage. I’m not quite there yet (as I write this, I’m somewhere at dark cloud hanging over head, but trying to fight it) and I’m really hoping no unfortunate thing or creature will push me over that precipice.

I woke up happy. I even had a rock-out moment to Plain White Tees with my nephew. Breakfast was good; I actually got to chew and swallow it – usually I have to inhale some juice before running out the door with one shoe on.

So whence did this melancholy descend? It was somewhere around the old taxi park. Some time between trying  to dodge brainless veering bodabodas and taxis while simultaneously trying not to land on my ass on the putrid, slimy, pothole-filled thing that passes for a road. The place smells like chemicals and chickenfeed, you can’t tell where the garbage stops and the road begins and the textile sellers, fruit vendors, serious people like myself and general loafers are all jostling for the same two inches of “clean” walking space. AARGH!!!

I finally reach my destination, or rather, as far as the taxi will take me, and I have to get a boda to work. Something about the way that blockhead rode made me want to crack open his skull and rip out his brains [I think we’re somewhere close to murderous rage now] – unfortunately, he didn’t have any. His contraption kept stopping until I decided I’d get to my office faster if I crawled, so I got off, may or may not have muttered curses his way and walked.

Even my newly compiled 90s playlist didn’t calm me down. Now I’m at work and I’m going to sit quietly and not tempt Fate until the day ends. At least tomorrow’s a holiday. Sigh.