Before you read this post, I’d like to get a few things straight. I am generally a very mature person, in speech, in actions, and in the way I carry myself. At least, that’s what people have told me for most of my life. Maybe they’re liars. Or maybe this is how maturity works. Either way, every once in a while there comes a day when all of that just breaks down, as if the universe has conspired to reveal my true inner 5-year-old. Depending on your placement during this occurrence, you’ll come away with any number of new viewpoints concerning my humble self, ranging from amused and bemused to seriously considering strangling me with my own fluffy hair.
No one’s too cute to strangle. Not even me. Or ESPECIALLY not me. One of those.
Anyways, my friends are routinely treated to my lapses in adulthood. Poor, hapless Erica witnessed and played damage-control during my latest episode.
The other day, her family came into town to help her with some automobile issues. Because they love me (for inexplicable reasons), I was included in this little family reunion, but was also promptly relegated with Erica to the “sit-and-wait” part of the repair team. We’re not exactly the most savvy of grease monkeys. Still, we decided to make use of the down time to take care of some shopping at the evil conglomerate that we love so much, Wal-Mart.
At this point in the day, we’d spent a decent amount of time on the boiling asphalt, sweating through our clothes and our scanty store of patience, and I had once again forgotten to feed myself regularly (my first major mistake). This left me weakened and substantially more susceptible to my puerile alter-ego. Add to that the fact that Wal-Mart is nothing but an endless series of eye-catching distractions, and you’d just better brace yourself to meet Kaitlin Hyde.
As we strolled around the store, I picked up random sundries that I just knew I had to have, trying my best not to be sidetracked by every other shiny obstacle in my path. If I pretend really hard that I have blinders, I can usually keep my slightly ADD self on track. However, that efficiency was to be our undoing. We were done 15 minutes after we were dropped off at Wal-Mart, and were more than ready to go home. However, our ride had not returned, so we decided to make our second big mistake and get creative.
“Let’s go look at clothes,” I said, and Erica agreed, because sometimes neither of us have any sense of impending doom. As we walked towards the clothes section, I saw the yarn, and would you believe it? There were sparkles in some of them. Of course I had to stop. I frickin’ love me some yarn. And sparklies.
After I’d convinced myself that I didn’t REALLY need more yarn until I’d used up my 15 other skeins, we moved back towards the clothes. That’s when we encountered the movies. That took a whole other 2 minutes, at which point we were distracted by underwear. And then books. We are particularly fond of the cheap romance section, though not for the reason you might immediately assume. Do you know how fun it is to mock those things? Try it sometime, if you too have been abandoned to the endless monotony of Wal-Mart. Just try to read the titles out loud, like “Silken Satisfaction” and “The Viking Who Thrilled Me.” I am not even exaggerating. For serious fun, try and read the titles in front of your mother. Endless entertainment.
Aaah, yeah...alliteration makes me hot.
Anyways, that took us another couple of minutes, at which point Erica, who’d been lagging resignedly behind me as I darted from aisle to aisle, demanded food. She’d been even less well-fed that day than I, so we checked out and bought her a sandwich. We sat down to let her eat it. That was our third big mistake, and proved to be our undoing.
Approximately 30 seconds after my feet stopped moving, I flopped dramatically across the table.
Me: “Okay, I’m bored now. Where is your family?”
Erica: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Call them.”
Erica: “They’re probably busy. They’ll get back as soon as they can.” Her callous disregard washed over me like a tidal wave, and in the blink of an eye, I felt maudlin despair overwhelm me.
Me: “…Why doesn’t anyone love me?” I whined, astounded by her lack of concern. Couldn’t she see I was suffering?
Erica huffed, pulled out her phone, dialed, and talked. Her family was busy. They’d get back as soon as they can.
Me: “Okay, fine, you won that one.” I stole a handful of her cheetos, because they’re sorta like tiny clubs, and I could duel with myself while we waited. Erica let loose a sigh of relief and settled into her sandwich.
The cheeto battle went a lot like this. Be sad you weren't there.
Unfortunately, cheesy goodness could only keep me occupied as long as I hadn’t swallowed it, so once the chips were gone, I felt the tension rising. My feet started tapping, as I fiddled with the straw wrapper and fidgeted in my seat. Erica looked at me under lowered eyelashes, just waiting for it, until I couldn’t handle it. I could feel her eyes poking at me, dammit.
Me: “WHERE IS YOUR FAMILY?" She jumped, caught off-guard. "We should probably just start walking. I don’t think they’re actually coming back, and something’s wrong with me. I’m serious this time. I’m…dying…” I gasped heart-wrenchingly and collapsed pitifully into the leftover cheeto dust.
Erica: “Alright, let’s go outside and wait.”
Me: “Go…outside? ‘Neath the evil daystar? I’m GINGER. I’m going to DIE.”
You can totally tell the sun hates gingers. I think it might be racist.
Erica: “You always call me a ‘wuss’ for complaining about the heat! You’re being such a hypocrite…”
Me: “That’s different. You ARE a wuss. I’m bored. Let’s go sit outside.” She stared at me for a moment, probably trying to remember exactly why she hung out with me. However, years of friendship can’t be discarded so easily. Not usually. She sighed.
Erica: “Hold on, let me stick my sandwich in my purse—“
Me: “Sweet, sassy Moses, why must you always hold me back?!? I shall not be restrained!” I darted outside, giggling madly, while she followed at a trudge.
As soon as we were actually under the sun, I remembered exactly why I hadn’t wanted to come out before. The July sun in Kansas is nothing to mess with. I could practically hear my skin sizzling, as I began to wilt in the rays like the dainty 5’8’’ lady that I am. I had bought a small fan in a box, and carrying it was only making me hotter.
Me: “Erica...,” I wheezed.
Erica: “What?” she said, suspicion in her eyes.
Me: “It’s my fan. It’s sapping my strength.” She raised an eyebrow. “You just have no idea. It’s so ridiculously heavy, and I’m too bored—I mean TIRED, I’m too TIRED to continue carrying its monumental weight.” I gave her the saddest puppy-dog eyes that I could. They must be ridiculously effective, or she was just hoping I would shut up if she went along with it.
Erica: “Okay. I’ll hold it for you.” It weighed about 5 pounds. Still, I’d somehow won...something. Of that I was sure. If she didn’t know we were in a competition, then she obviously didn’t know ME very well.
Unfortunately, the thrill of victory could only sustain me for so long. About 30 seconds after relinquishing my burden, I thought of a new fun idea. I turned to Erica, giving her the most shocked expression I could. She stared back, unsuspecting. The poor thing.
Me: “That’s my fan!” I shrieked. “Give me back my fan, you thief! Blackguard! Cad!”
She gives it back, of course, as people started to look at us out of the corners of their eyes. She was such a fool, thinking she could steal it. I could see that I’d properly cowed her. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to actually carry the fan. I just wanted to win.
Me: “Okay, bored again. Carry my fan for me.”
Me: “Ericaaaaaaa…,” I moaned. She grabbed the fan from me and slammed it on top of the nearest trashcan.
Me: “Well. Hmph. You’re a terrible servant.”
Erica: “I am not your servant.”
Me: “Yes huh!”
Erica: “No, I am not, I am just the poor, stupid person who got pulled into your crazy—“
But I was already bored with that conversation, so I started swinging my arms back and forth, smacking her in the butt with my bag of stuff. She glared at me, affronted, but decided to try the cold shoulder to get me to stop. Didn’t work. I knew I had her attention, and it was endlessly entertaining. However, when she wouldn’t react, I poked her, just to see how far I could push her before she’d snap.
Me: “Yeeeeeees?” I smiled my best Miss America smile.
Me: “Oh, fine.” I ambled off into the shade, pretending to find something else fun to do, before darting back to her, poking her in the stomach, and dashing away again with high-pitched cackles. She huddled against the building, literally beating her head on the hot brick. She was obviously bored, too. I tried to think of something else to do to amuse her.
Erica: “Yes?” she muttered through gritted teeth.
Me: “…I’m bored.”
Erica: She sighed so deeply that it ended in a growl. “I don’t get paid enough for this.”
Me: “You’re not getting paid at all.”
Erica: “THAT’S WHAT I’M SAYING.” Finally, I could see as much crazy in her eyes as I could feel in my own.
Like this baby. It, too, is done with your bullsh!t.
I was happy, though. I had converted her. She would play now. She was TRAPPED IN MY WEB. However, I allowed her to relax for a second, letting her think she had the upper hand. I decided to pull out a non sequitur to confuse her.
Me: “We look like really pathetic hookers,” I started conversationally. “It’s hot out here. This corner sucks. And our pimp won’t even unpack this fan and turn it on for us.” Erica sighed again, but it may have been in relief this time, as she seemed to think I was done poking her.
Erica: “Plus, we’re in front of Wal-Mart. During the day.”
Me: “We need a new pimp. Cause it’s so hot. So frigging hot. I can’t control myself much longer. I’m going to kill everyone. With MY MIND.”
I glared squintedly at the people walking past us, who glanced over their shoulders with wide eyes as they passed. That was fine. Just meant they understood the danger of the situation.
Erica: “You just got judged.” But…I didn’t want to be judged. That wasn’t nice. Those people were weren't very nice AT ALL.
Me: “They’re just jealous cause I’m so pretty. PREEETTTYYYY!” I began to squeak it in a high-pitched voice, barely pausing for breath, thrilled with the new sound I was making. Erica was less so.
Erica: “No! Bad Kaitlin! I’m going to start telling people you’re touched in the head.” That only made it more fun. ‘Cause I am a little touched in the head.
Me: “EEEEEEEEEEEEH!!!” I squeaked, so glad to have finally found something that might entertain me for a while. Erica threw a hand over my mouth.
Erica: “OKAY, okay, I’m sorry. Mom and Clayton’ll be here soon, I swear. In like 10 seconds.” I shoved her hand away.
Me: “They better be. Or I’m smacking you. Cause I’m delicate. Like a flower."
"I can’t take this kind of heat. The vapors!” Erica’s eyes got wide with apprehension. She was fully aware I wasn’t kidding when I said I’d smack her.
Erica: “10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1THEY SAID THEY’D BE HERE!”
Me: “Come back here, you!!!” I chased her, grinning wildly and smacking her with a bag of underwear. Playing chase was so much fun. Luckily for her, the family finally chose this moment to drive up, and we both darted for the air-conditioned interior of the car.
As we clambered in, Erica yanked her bag out of my hand from the back seat, bruising my frail lady fingers.
Me: “Ouchie!” I whimpered.
Erica: “Really? REALLY?” I thought her eyes might bug out of her head. “I’m going to be BLACK AND BLUE BECAUSE YOU WERE BORED.”
I gave her the most disapproving, condescending look that I could, shaking my head in regret at the low caliber of friend I’d collected. I’d hoped for better from her.
And then her brain imploded, and it was very gross, and I no longer have an Erica to harass. But that’s how the cookie crumbles, I guess. Some people just can’t handle the heat.
Normally, I would try to make the action of winding up a post somehow witty, or not so abrupt, or something, but for the last several days, I’ve been getting extremely dizzy in the evening hours. I think I may not be eating the right stuff. Or I have feline leukemia. One or the other, obviously. I knew that radioactive cat bite was going to be trouble…