Home » SAHM ISO Adult for Non-Committal Relationship For The Express Purpose of Exchanging Pleasantries

SAHM ISO Adult for Non-Committal Relationship For The Express Purpose of Exchanging Pleasantries

I’m sort of a loner.

I don’t really need a lot of human interaction.  I just don’t.

Never have.

BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t want ANY non-spousal adult interaction.

Ok. . .most days I’m perfectly happy without any adult interaction. . .

Yet, I will admit a few minutes of small talk with an acquaintance is nice periodically.  Just a little. . .

Now I used to visit the liquor store – yes, for liquor but also for my small talk fix.  Since we don’t want to mess up Mac’s baby brother or sister (yet), I haven’t seen my buddies there for a while. . .

And I was starting to get a little lonely.

Sure Mac and I go to the Park every day and sometimes we see some of our friends there.  But a lot of times we don’t.

So I started to think about where I could visit to establish a non-committal, casual adult relationship for the express purpose of routinely exchanging pleasantries and little more.

Yes, there was the grocery store.  But I HATE the grocery located closest to our house.  The employees are really kinda’ bad – in an unconscientious and sometimes rude way.  I didn’t really feel like chatting any of them up.

And sure, I could pop into our church office under the guise of dropping off a spring carnival donation to see if perhaps the Secretary and I had any chemistry. . .but my attitude towards her soured after she made a wise crack at me prior to Mac’s baptism.

There was the marine supply store – which I LOVE visiting just to check everything out.  And yet, their aisles are so crowded, I always feel self-conscious dragging a stroller in there.

Any bakery, ice cream store, or coffee shop was out.  No way I can risk the temptation of all those extra calories.  Plus, I didn’t think all the hipsters in the coffee-house would appreciate Mac disturbing their meaningful thoughts.

Where to go?  Where to go?

One day I briefly considered the “Old Man” bar that opens every morning at 6:30 or 7.  Their doors are always open.  It’s never crowded.  I could sip on a soda, Mac could run around freely while I chatted up some old-timer.  But it’s probably bad form to drag a kid into a bar at 10:00 AM. . .or okay. . .ever. . .

And just as I was about to lose all hope, I stumbled upon the recently opened HARDWARE store!

The Hardware store had promise.

It’s only about eight blocks from the house.  It’s the kind of place I could make an excuse to visit every day.  “Oh, I just need some lightbulbs, today.”  Or “I’m looking for vinyl letters and some paintbrushes for a project.”  Or “We’re out of birdseed.  Again.”  And even if I didn’t need to purchase anything, the place is so well stocked with such a diverse inventory, I could easily wander in just to “look around” nearly anytime without seeming too creepy or desperate.

My first visit was magical.  A kind man greeted us at the door, helped me inside with the stroller and helped me locate the Magic Erasers I told him I was there to purchase.  We chatted the entire time and when we returned to the register together, he explained to me their “Rewards Program.”

Rewards program?  Sign me up!  I know I’ll be a regular here!

And before I left, he asked if I had smoke and CO2 detectors and if they were in good order.  Now how’s that for a value-added service?  I learned he was a retired firefighter so smoke detectors are very near and dear to his heart.

I left feeling happy.  Perfect small talk match.

A few weeks later, I received some rewards coupons in the mail.  They were fabulous – straight up $5 off any purchase coupons.  Even an idiot like me can use these!  I eagerly plotted my next return.

This time I was on a mission for some spay paint and perhaps a swag kit for a ceiling mounted light – at a $5 discount of course.

This time we were greeted by a young man.  Really young.  So young, one would think he couldn’t care less about a frumpy stay at home mom and her kid.  But he DID care.  He went crazy at the sight of Mac.  “I used to have hair JUST LIKE that when I was a little boy!” He exclaimed.  “He reminds me so, so much of me.  I was kinda strong and stocky like that too.”

My heart was melting.  So sweet, paint-counter kid!

He hooked me up with some spray paint and then handed us off to some other lady who was supposed to help me locate that swag kit.

My interaction with her was less promising.  It wasn’t that she wasn’t nice.  She was very nice.  And very helpful.  And clearly knowledgeable.  It just wasn’t as easy or comfortable to speak with her.  I felt like she was trying too hard or something. Something felt off.

We had a bad conversational date.  Zero chemistry.

But you can’t win ’em all.  I couldn’t expect to have small talk chemistry with all the employees could I? 

I snuck to the store a few more times more out of actual necessity:  degreaser for the stove top, birdseed, more magic erasers (this kid loves him some crayon on a wall).  I wasn’t really there to chat on these occasions.  And each time I left feeling annoyed.

The Swag Kit Lady was always hot on my heels (literally, inches away) in the aisles asking if I needed any assistance.  Asking what I needed.  She wasn’t getting my hints.  It was like running into that harmless but awkward guy who really means no harm but makes you bonkers.  Over.  And.  Over.

Where the hell was that nice older man and the young paint counter kid?  What happened to them?  

I stopped any unnecessary trips to the store.  I just couldn’t chance another uncomfortable encounter with Swag Kit.

But those coupons were collecting in the drawer.  And there WERE things I needed. . .or sorta needed. . .

So earlier this week, in a torrential downpour, desperate to get out of the house, I packed up Mac, put on my all-weather jacket, slid the coupons into my wallet and headed to the store.  I needed chalkboard paint, a 6 inch foam roller, and a case of quart-sized Ball jars.  I knew EXACTLY where every item was located in the store.  I figured I could get in and out FAST easily avoiding Swag Kit if necessary.

I was greeted by Paint Counter Kid.

Oohhhhh!  Despite soaking wet sneakers, this day was looking up.  

I beamed at him.  “How are you?”  I said in my most pleasant voice, wishing I had some chewing gum – just in case he was going to assist us.  But, to my great disappointment, he mysteriously disappeared as soon as he helped me in the door.

There at the check-out counter was a woman I had never seen before.  Maybe she’s Swag Kit’s replacement?

She gave me a kind greeting.  Asked me what I was looking for and I (stupidly) told her every item on my list.

Then she asked if I needed assistance.  “No.  No thank you.  I know exactly where everything is.  I’m just going to grab it and I’ll be right back.”  I chirped at her in a tone I hoped conveyed I was a nice person but not interested in dragging out this visit.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to risk small talk on this woman having been burned by my attempt to conversationally “date” Swag Kit.

I grabbed the quart of chalkboard paint and placed it on top of the stroller and turned around to face the wall of paint rollers and brushes.

Hmmmm. . .They had quite a variety of foam rollers.  I was pretty sure I needed a 6 inch roller but they had about five options. I nervously compared prices and quantities.  Mac was bouncing himself up and down in the stroller, clearly becoming impatient.

“Do you need assistance?”  New lady at the check out called still stationed at the cash register.

“Oh no.  No thanks.  I’m fine.  Just picking out a foam roller.”  I called back.

I shoved my phone at Mac hoping to buy enough time to get us home without a meltdown.

Three aisles over were the Ball Jars.  I was pretty sure I wanted a case of quart size jars.

I looked at the box.  It was a decent sized box.  And I stopped momentarily to ponder whether it was a wise idea for me to try carrying home a sizeable box of glass jars in a downpour on top of the stroller.

I was startled out of deep thought by a slightly crazed sounding voice:  “Do you need any help?”

I turned my head to the right and found myself nearly nose to nose with Swag Kit!

Gawd!  How did she manage to creep up on my so quietly?!  What the hell?

“No!  No!”  I exclaimed taking three gigantic steps back, pushing the stroller with my hip.

“I’m good.  Thank you.  Really.  I’m good.”  I said, avoiding eye contact, heaving the box on top of the stroller.

I practically ran the opposite way down the aisle away from her.  Pausing to shiver after I turned the corner.  Easch.

I tiptoed towards the register, looking over my shoulder for Swag Kit. . .

New Employee was asked me if I’d be ok with my items.

“Sure.  We don’t live that far.”  I said still not sure about her.

“Well, that’s a pretty big box.” She said.  “And it’s raining.”

What exactly do you suggest I do lady, hang out here half the morning?  Just sell me the damned jars already.  I can’t risk another encounter with Swag Kit.  

“It’s fine.  Really.  We don’t live far.  It fits just perfectly on top of the stroller.”

“Well, I was wondering.  So I sent the other lady back there to see if you needed any help.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  YOU TOLD SWAG KIT I WAS HERE?!

New Employee is clearly like the mean girl in high school that tells awkward people to do shit for her own amusement.  She’s not to be trusted.

New Employee was definitely not going to be my small talk buddy.  EVER.  NEVER!!

Now I’m stuck driving to the BIG hardware store AND I have to start small-talk dating all over again!