“That’s your total sir, and will you be needing a bag?” the friendly cashier wanted to know as the elderly customer ahead of me cocked his head in confusion. “Due to the latest ordinance, bags are now ten cents apiece if you don’t bring your own” she informed him. And agreeing to pay the price to conceal his (what ought to be private) purchases of personal hygienic necessities, my heart went out to the old fella.“Next in line” the cashier waved me over, as I approached the counter with one item. “Here’s your total, and do you have a reusable bag?” she asked.
“Why yes I do” I beamed. “It’s bright white with neon orange lettering, and I hang it inside my front door to remind myself to take it with me when I go shopping” I told her. “And when I left the house today, I promptly tossed it aside to get it out of the way.”
“No worries” she laughed, “none of us are quite used to this just yet.”And striding out of the mechanical doors next to a ridiculously handsome gentleman who too had neglected to bring his own carry-out tote, we made an unfortunate glimpse of eye-contact at each other’s hand-held purchases.
“Yeah, I’m not a real redhead” I shrugged unapologetically, my dazzling box of Miss Clairol Nice-n-Easy hair color catching the full beam of the LA sunshine.“That’s cool, and, um... this Princess wrapping paper and twinkling gold glittery bow is for my, um... sister” he nodded.
(And my parents wonder why I haven’t yet met my future husband???)But I digress!
>>><<<With a pit stop at home and my bright white reusable tote with the neon orange lettering tucked securely under my arm, I proceeded to my next task of the day. I was running low on cleaning supplies – most notably, the world’s greatest invention whatever created, i.e. the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser – and upon entering my local Smart & Final store, observed the sign that they were now charging twenty cents per carry-out bag if you didn’t provide your own.
“Pfft” I snorted, now feeling like a true shopping pro as I made my way towards the back of the establishment. And stuffing my tote with a box of Mr. Clean eco-friendly sponges whilst perusing a neighboring aisle for a fresh scent of Febreze Air Effects, a sales associate suddenly appeared by my side. “Can I help you find something?” he eagerly wanted to know as I shoved a can of “spring and renewal” Febreze into my bag.“No thanks, I’m good!” I smiled, toddling away for orange juice, completely oblivious to the fact that I appeared to be the BOLDEST, MOST STUPID SHOP-LIFTER ON THE PLANET.
And lining up behind a young guy who was apparently throwing a weekend kegger with massive quantities of chips, snacks and miscellaneous alcohol heaping out of his shopping cart, the cashier rang up his total to just over two hundred bucks. “Would you like to purchase carry-out bags for an additional twenty cents apiece?” she asked professionally.“Are you high?” he smirked, swiping his card and wheeling his stuff out to his car trunk.
“I guess it takes all kinds!” I smiled to the cashier.“Yes it does, ma’am!” she replied. “I see that you’ve brought your own tote for shopping! Good for you!” she applauded me. “Now, can you please remove all of your items and place them on the conveyor belt for me to scan in front of the security cameras?”
Making a second pit stop at the bat cave to refrigerate my OJ, shuffling a few items around in an effort to purge perishables approaching their “use by” date, and implementing my Mom’s highly scientific and well-proven extrapolation that “when in doubt, throw it out”, I was feeling relatively confident in my current unemployed capacity as a Domestic Diva. And with the expulsion of some very sad looking wrinkly blueberries, a pod of three strawberries who appeared to be growing beards and one grease-stained cardboard pizza box housing a four-day-old slice of pie, my orange juice seemed safe enough.Until...
Surveying the bottom shelf and eye-balling a compact Tupperware container, I winced at the possibilities. I clearly remembered heating up the savory beef stew when I was just getting over the flu, but that was how many months ago??? I’d feel just awful tossing out the container, as the tub and snapping lid were a holiday gift from a friend (years prior to the stew), who had taken the time to bake me a slice of her incredible signature dessert, with the Tupperware serving as an added homemade bonus of a crème liqueur topping. But as the Son of Deceased Crappy Landlord has yet to fix the garbage disposal in my kitchen, how could I keep the container, yet toss the contents without a Hazmat suit and a sturdy plastic baggie?But again, I digress!
>>><<<Tooling off to my third task of the day, I wheeled Cecilia (my beloved Toyota) into the carwash for a much needed bath. Clearly she didn’t mind my unemployment so much, as she had developed a symbiotic relationship with the neighboring Bougainvillea which was attempting to embrace her and bring her into its twining fold like a lost cub; but seeing her sitting idle beneath the Son of Deceased Crappy Landlord’s air conditioning hose which dripped relentlessly upon her roof in a Water Torture trickle was more than I could bear.
“Let’s get you cleaned up!” I patted her steering column, unloading one hefty brown bag of miscellaneous straw papers, napkins and tissues from her back seat floor before entering the car wash tunnel.And that’s when I started to feel paranoid...
Granted, I’m always a tad uneasy in the confined space – particularly after Cecilia once randomly jumped the railing and got us stuck in the throes of the pink and blue foamy octopi tentacles (yikes!) – but this time I was mulling over the future of tackling the most mundane chores without the convenience of simple, free disposable receptacles. Would I need to begin hoarding paper and plastic bags for my emergency earthquake kit? Sure, I always maintain the obvious supplies; i.e. peanut butter, toilet tissue, Band-Aids and water (need I even mention the extra bottle of voddy?), but in this wonderful new idyllic world of cutting back on unnecessary waste, well, what would we do with our actual “waste”?Oh, the great state of California was indeed on a slippery slope for looting, and I wasn’t even thinking about the San Andreas Fault!
But of course my fretting was absolutely ludicrous. Lord knows this City of Angels has already faced unspeakable challenges including riots, wild fires and mud slides; not to mention the fact that we Angelinos willingly climb into our automobiles every single day knowing full-well that we’re taking our lives into our own hands as we share the roads with Lindsey Lohan. *shudder*Still, I had a few more errands to run, and angling Cecilia like a shining Emerald into a cushy golden spot directly in front of the convenience mart, I took a winning Lotto Scratcher out of my purse ($2.00!) and headed inside to collect my booty and a couple packs of ciggies. (Bright white reusable satchel with neon orange lettering FOLDED UP in hand!)
Unfortunately, as the customer line happened to be rather long, I found myself standing directly next to the self-serve case of fresh donuts and pastries, the lard-laden waft of which seemed absolutely criminal to ignore. And with a delectable tray of twelve mini chocolate éclairs (three for ninety-nine cents!) which seemed destined to be tossed by the end of the day, I deemed it my Civic Duty to rescue a trinity of the deep-fried cream-filled pockets of joy!Uck, but THEN what? An extra load of laundry to wash chocolate goo out of my only reusable tote? Where would the madness end? Ninety-nine cents for a moment of weakness, vs. $2.50 for the machines in the Son of Crappy Deceased Landlord’s laundry room?
Until...Like a subtle wink from The Universe, I caught a glimpse of the nearly hidden contraption – an outright free-for-all spindle of pastry plastic baggies!
And like a whirling dervish, I spun around the store maniacally, tonging (YES!) three mini éclairs into one sack, two bananas into another as well as an entirely self-contained wettish package of expensive pre-cut refrigerated watermelon chunks into a third. And milk! Yes, a quart of 2% milk slid easily into yet another sleeve, as did a chilled bottle of Vitamin Water, an individually wrapped two-pack of frosted cherry Pop Tarts (hey, those sprinkles could break loose at any moment!) and essentially everything else within my reach during my frenetic hoarding frenzy.“Find everything you need, sweetie?” the cashier wanted to know as I eventually regained my composure and remembered my original plan to purchase smokey treats. “No problem” he smiled as he reached under the counter. “Are you gonna need a separate pastry sleeve for those too?” he giggled.
Doh!“You know, I only used this many bags, ‘cause I brought my own tote and I didn’t want it to get all dirty” I lousily attempted to justify my behavior like a child caught making mud pies in the sandbox.
“Relax, honey. We’re still using up our old inventory” he chuckled as he tossed everything into a plastic carry-out. “Anything else?”“Ooh, I’ve got a winning “Monopoly” Scratcher!”
“Cash in, or buy more?” he smiled broadly, waving his hand ala Vanna White at the plethora of opportunities to win big money.“Buy more! Buy more!” I clapped giddily.
>>><<<By the end of the day, this Domestic Diva was feeling “relatively” proud of herself.
I don’t know for sure if it was Son or Wife of my Crappy Deceased Landlord who tended to the neighbor’s aggressive Bougainvillea with branch cutters while we ran errands all afternoon, but Cecilia was able to elegantly glissade into a lovely FOREST-FREE area to rest her clean, shiny green chassis in her usual spot.As to the bat-cave, I was sufficiently and adequately prepared for any natural disasters (food stuffs tended to, as well as an orderly-Capricorn-neatly-folded-pile of paper and plastic baggies in reserve), all of which seemed to provide a comforting feeling of security despite the disturbing news on my Yahoo home page that Lohan is still free and driving amongst us. *insert repeat shudder*
Even my hefty two buck investment of “Monopoly” Scratchers had paid off, as I found myself sitting atop a financial bonanza of silvery flecks which unearthed a whopping six dollars!
|The Choo-choo doubles the prize!|
But as an Actor and (most often) a Stand-In, and having played hundreds of various roles (all of which presented their own unique challenges), I must say that owning the head-lining marquee as a Domestic Diva in my own life has opened my eyes to a foreign world which, despite my best efforts, simply doesn’t suit me.
And as if The Universe heard my plea until I’m booked on whatever sit-com is destined next for me, a small package arrived via USPS – a purchase I’d nearly forgotten about, as my nocturnal hours have become rather wonky without the daily structure of an alarm clock...But there it was, in all its glory – a “daydream” pink and black satin sleep mask adorned with a crown of Swarovski crystals, accompanied by a blue plastic eye-cooling gel pack insert!
And choosing to go to bed early(ish), I slid the chilled blue gel pack out of my freezer and into the mask, turned off the lights, and laid down like Royalty with my Swarovski diadem situated just above my nose as complete darkness descended.Aaaah, heaven...
Glorious pampering!And drifting gently off to sleep without a care in the world, I’m relatively certain that I banked a solid nine minutes of actual REM before bolting upright in my sheets yelling “What’s on my head?! Get it off me! Get it off me!”
Um...Still working out the kinks!
~Temporarily Domesticated Diva PAuthor’s Addendum: I believe I was approximately three minutes into the acclaimed TLC show “Hoarding: Buried Alive” last night, when I actually RECOGNIZED the lady who was being documented. I hadn’t seen her in decades, as she was a Happy Hour fixture at a local bar on Melrose that I used to haunt back in the 90’s. I immediately remembered her eccentric taste in fashion, her flair for hats, her tremendously huge and generous heart in offering me financial support if I ever needed it after I quit a horrendous job on Rodeo Drive; and all of her wildly impossible Hollywood stories that I assumed she fabricated as to being an actual heiress, without ONCE dropping a name to “implicate” anyone. (I may have just fallen off the Indiana turnip truck back then, but C’MON, what kind of an “heiress” drinks alone for half price at Happy Hour???)
Doh! A REAL one!Cheers to “Louise” for reaching out for help, and in her honor, good-bye to my creepy Tupperware container of beef stew! EEK! When in doubt, THROW IT OUT!!!