Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Being Shamed In Public

I needed a little perspective on this before writing about it, so that's why I'm posting about it today and not last week. You see, I was shamed in public, UNFAIRLY, I might add, and I needed to get out of that space before telling you about it.

THE FIRST TIME I was shamed in public last week was the day before Valentine's Day. I decided semi-last minute that it would be nice to make mix CD's for everyone in my department of 9, and to buy a box of chocolates for the group. Now, I know what you're thinking and no, this idea is not how I was shamed in public-- solely because there are no guys in the group. If I give a mix cd and candy to my group of eight women, I'm a good guy. If I gave a mix cd and candy to a group of MOSTLY women and, say, just one other guy, I'm the biggest tool in the shed. Thankfully, I'm aware of this, and the former is the true situation. Onward.

So I bought the blank CD's and made the mixes, no problem. Then, I realize I still need chocolate. Ok, except here's the situation I realized I was in as I pulled into the parking lot of the store. I was suddenly the guy, the DAY BEFORE VALENTINE'S DAY, at 9PM, walking into a LONG'S DRUG STORE, over to the practically empty, totally picked over Valentine's Day section, and purchasing a SEVEN DOLLAR BOX OF CHOCOLATES. I didn't even buy the box I picked up from the shelf. I ended up buying one of the boxes in the checkout line. That's right-- I bought the "Impulse Buy Valentine's Day Chocolates." The boxes of chocolate they put out for the people who weren't even actually considering buying chocolate for their valentine up until the very last moment that it was possible, when they allowed the store to make the decision for them. Needless to say, the girl behind the counter gave me a look that said, "I feel very sorry for whatever girl is YOUR valentine..." to which I responded with a look that said, "Nonono, you don't understand, this is not for my girlfriend, this is for my office and the people I work, you see it's above and beyond," but I think the look might have made me look like I could see dead people, so she looked away quickly. I then walked out of the store as fast as possible, knowing I would not be able to show my face there on a wednesday at 9pm anytime soon.

THE SECOND TIME I was shamed in public, it was a more personal shame. What I mean is that it involved my lying in order to avoid shame, which means that while the world was protected from my shame, I knew it was there, and soon you will too. Here's what I mean:

I was in Safeway, shopping the good shop, trying not to drop another forty dollars when I was originally planning on only buying one thing. This led to my wandering down the snacks aisle looking for some tortilla chips, which led to my grabbing of other items on the shelves. After I picked up one delicious ON SALE item, a middle aged woman leaned over to me and says, "You've picked some great items!" Confused, but happy to be complimented on my obvious shopping intuition, I smiled and was about to say thank you when she followed this compliment up with, "You're throwing a good party tonight, huh?" I looked down at my basket. Barbecue ruffles, triscuits, cheese, tortilla chips, Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and Wheat Thins. Dear God. I had accrued enough junk food in the last minute and a half to both catch this woman's notice AND make her think I was throwing a party with numerous guests. Meanwhile, in my head, I had been thinking, "Good, now I can go home and watch a movie." So what did I say to the woman? Did I correct her and inform her that no, I wasn't having a party, I was just a lone guy in the midst of the downward spiral towards obesity, or did I tell her that yeah, I pick good snacks and love to share? Well, you already know that I lied-- I told you that before. "Yep, I hope so!" I replied, and quickly launched into a "Shopper's In the Know" spiel about how Triscuits and Wheat Thins are ALWAYS on sale, and if they aren't they will always be again in a few days, and how there's never a reason to buy them at their marketed 4 dollar price. She then informed me that I was right, but she bought a box at regular price last week. I then informed her that I had as well. It got a little awkward at that point so I left. Once I walked away, it was just me and my thoughts, which explains how about fifteen yogurts and a carton of soy milk made their way into my basket.

Shame Me Once, Shame on You...Shame Me Twice...Well, The Point Is I Don't Like Being Shamed Twice,

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