Over the weekend I talked to my friend Martha and mentioned that we were grilling pork chops for dinner, a free bonus from my new favorite market after I signed up for their e-mails. Organic produce/responsibly produced meats, senior discount for anyone admitting to being 60 or over, e-mail coupons… I love this store! It even has a popular cafe I’ve been wanting to try. Martha says she’ll sign up and hey, why don’t we meet there Monday… we can have a bite to eat and she can buy a few groceries and pick up her free pork chops.
Perfect! I can run some errands myself afterwards.
Monday, 10 AM: Martha calls. “11:45? Meet you at the store.”
Monday, 11:47: Find shady parking spot near bookstore (next stop on my list of errands) and walk (exercise for today) across hot parking lot to market. Martha not there, so settle into corner booth and read while waiting.
Monday, 12 PM: Still no Martha. Better call. Curses…! Left cellphone in car.
Monday, 12:10: Ask store employee if they have more than one store.
“Oh yes. I only know where two of them are–one out in suburbs, another in Rock Hill, South Carolina.”
Realize Martha no doubt sitting 20 minutes away in the suburban store. Give up coveted corner booth and go back to car for cellphone. Two messages from Dearly Beloved about Martha. Call her husband and ask him to give her my cell number.
Monday, 12:20: Martha calls. Agree to meet at another shopping center midway between us. Different organic market there–no cafe–but good deli in same shopping center. Ten minutes away for both of us.
Monday, 12:40: Settle into booth and order Diet Coke. No Martha. Hit Send to call her at unfamiliar number from which she called. Must be new cell. Must be new voice, too– not Martha. Hit Send again. Same number, same not-Martha voice. Guess she borrowed phone. Call her husband: if she calls, I am in booth at deli.
Monday, 12:45: Martha appears. We squeal and hug, heady with success.
Monday, 1:30: Finish lunch. Remark that now she will have to go back to store and get her meat.
“The free meat from signing up for their e-mails.”
No need to make another lunch date yet. Neither of us will remember.
Go into market and buy almond croissants for dessert. Yum! Decline free coffee in favor of free wine samples.
Monday 2 PM: Drive north to buy–no kidding– Miss Piggy’s weight in pricey diet dogfood. Lug dogfood, receipt, credit card, and treat from receptionist out to car.
Monday 2:20 PM: Drive south to Lowe’s for mulch. At counter, can’t find credit card. Cellphone begins ringing. Ignore. Pay with different credit card, frantically trying to recall last use of primary credit card. AHA! The vet! Phone rings again. Know who is calling… and why. Answer–reluctantly.
Man-o-mine tells me that vet office has called to say they have credit card. Tell him already on way back to get it. Must have left it on counter.
“You didn’t leave it on counter. You dropped it in the parking lot. Someone found it and took it inside.”
Ouch! Thank goodness for honest customer.
“How about Martha? Did you ever find her?”
Monday, 3:15: Drive home. Car thermometer says 101. Believe it.
Google the market, curious to see how many locations they have. Surprised to see they have stores in five states.
E-mail Martha: ROAD TRIP!!!!