“I enter the perambulator of maroon tint that serves as my current chariot and search for egress from the mystical empire of the Sage from Bentonville. As I embark on the next segment in my journey to enlightenment, I flip open my communicator to converse with the orbiting starship in search of transport out of an uncertain reality. The voice eliciting from the ethereal queries me as to what the difficulty might be.”
Okay, perhaps a bit haughty, or the beginning of a science fiction tale, this first paragraph has quenched my thirst for the copious use of a thesaurus that I normally engage in. Here is the real skinny. I am leaving Wal-Mart and decide to call my sweet Deifiúr to complain about the events of the previous hour. I have given up the proverbial ghost and finally surrendered to the inevitable. I bought a day of the week pill dispenser. Final proof and absolute solidification of my senior citizenship, this episode produced a need to complain, once more, about my encroaching senility. The flip open communicator was my cell phone and the orbiting starship is the reality my Deifiúr and I live in…My Dear Sainted Mother.
I have this idea of composing a series of commentaries on the massive influence this woman has in my life. Perhaps a feminine version of the wildly popular Facebook phenomenon “Sh*t my Dad says.” Without, of course, any use of the “F” word. Not a totally original idea I realize, but my fingers aren’t doing anything else that is constructive at the moment. The memory of the conversation makes me smile, and, laugh out loud.
I dial the number (that ought to tell you how freaking old I am) and receive on the second ring the greeting my Deifiúr give all who call her place of business. I immediately inform her that I have finally and officially entered the realm of “senior-decrepitude-useless-senile-son-of-a-bitching-citizenship. She takes this in stride, as she has been listening to me complain on this issue for some time now, and replies, “What did you do…join AARP?” I inform her that my AARP membership occurred last month, and told her of the pill distributor for which she takes exception to my complaint in the face of her own use of said dispensing assistance.
In the course of the ensuing conversation we “speak of many things…”, as the Walrus says, and the subject of my romantic endeavors is broached. In the calendar year of 2009 I dated 15 different women. All of which I met at Wal-Mart. Being the champion of all things “T. Lloyd Reilly” she felt that this was a good thing. I remarked that it was not a good thing, and that it was, at best, a dismal failure. We spoke of several reasons why this might be before I informed her that it was my Dear Sainted Mother’s fault.
Growing up, my magnificent máthair had a talent that not many have. She consistently saw to our needs without the necessary financial backing. We lived good lives and did not want for anything we really needed. We were broke…not poor is what she taught us. Anyone who has seen the length and breadth of my girth can tell you that I never went to bed hungry. She was a master at the use of a grocery store. She could shop like no one I have ever met, and she taught this skill to her “Timmy.” Consequently, I also have conquered the mercantile realm and continue to live and eat well. Being of the advanced age that I am, and given the frugality of my upbringing, I search for deals on victuals. I use Wal-Mart because of its policy of matching any other advertised prices. I spend much time at said establishment. My Deifiúr spoke to me of her “quarterly” trip to said establishment and it makes me laugh. If I go three days without a trip to my MOC (“merchant of choice”) they feel a disturbance in the Force up in Bentonville. After four days I receive, by overnight I truly believe, a sale paper from a business that has no need of advertisement. Everyone knows that there are no better prices then Wal-Mart, so why advertise?
Well, in the course of my commerce, I have gotten into the habit of perusing the female patrons of my preferred commercial entity. I might be old, but I am not dead. The female form still has appeal, and the company of said forms is still of considerable interest to me. The shopping thing has been the avenue of admission into a number of interesting experiences outside of the business-related environs for this scribe. I lament the days of my misspent youth where there seemed a more noble method of charming the fairer sex. Who doesn’t miss the days of going to a bar to pick up a girl? It is in this chauvinistic mindset that my memory vengefully returns. I do not necessarily remember the romantic trysts as well as I retain information on the incalculable amount of times when I prayed at the porcelain God that if he helped me feel better…I would be a good boy for him. I never met Princess Grace in a bar, or if I did, she never went home with me. Why would I think that, almost forty years after my first attempt to elicit affection at the end of a Budweiser bottle, I would have any luck finding a lasting and meaningful relationship in the produce section of a behemoth grocery store I find myself assuredly as addicted to as any mind altering-mood changing substance? Do I need an intervention? Is there a twelve step group for people with my malady? Sex and Wal-Mart Lovers Anonymous?
I am already a staunch and passionate member of one twelve step fellowship and, as such, feel comfortable in this boorish humor. If I have offended any members of any twelve groups with this writing…call your freaking sponsor. I have a problem here and can only find relief in humor. Whose fault is this malady? Well, it is certainly not Wal-Mart’s. It would not do me any good to complain about the level of service I receive from the dating pool in their store. Not, that is, unless someone in Bentonville reads this and decides that a contract with Match.com would increase the bottom line, and starts placing dating kiosks in between the produce and the bakery.
Is it the women I meet? Well, I can’t lay any claim to being the catch of the century with my electric-cart-riding- senior citizen-acting, feeble attempts at being the Don Juan of the geriatric set. The best I can do is admitting to the obvious truth. I am an old Irish guy who is as full of shit as a Christmas turkey. That’s what my Dear Sainted Mother would and did say to me many times in my life. Being reasonably well read and having some acumen with the written word, I could attempt to cover it all up by claiming it is just a Bit O’ Blarney. Again, the honest truth is that I can not hide behind words, and my magnificent máthair wouldn’t want me to.
So where does that lead us at this juncture? I guess it is back to the place where I blame it all on my mother. If I were a normal bachelor, I could go to the grocery store and stock up on Banquet frozen dinners, microwaveable hot dogs, Oscar Meyer Lunchables, and Top Ramen noodles, , and of course, the occasional (look at the prices…even at Wal-Mart) t-bone or sirloin strip. While I eat all those foods, I do cook most of the time. If I cook, I must find deals because it is what my mother taught me. Any ancillary actions that occur as a result of this requirement to properly shop must be included in any blame I allocate to my dereliction and disillusionment. Assigning culpability for ones defects of character is central in the denial of personal responsibility.
Fortunately, I have surpassed that most particular of shortcomings. I blame my mother not for my inability to maintain a healthy relationship. I blame my mother for teaching me the kindness, respect, and loving manner that seems to attract women in grocery stores. Not a talent I really have anywhere else. I suppose it is better then going to the bar. I guess that it is better to then going to church to find a wife (OH MY GOD!!! DID I SAY WIFE!!!). One should seek God in holy places. I guess that the word blame is a misnomer of the worst kind. I really want to express the gratitude to my magnificent máthair for the gift of being able to be kind and loving. The blame lays with me for how little I seem to display those traits. Realistically I should look for girlfriends where everyone else seems to be finding them nowadays…Eharmony.com.
I love you Mommy. Peace