I swear, ever since I retired, a brain cell has been abandoning this sinking ship every day. Some days, it seems to take along its entire family, the cleaning lady, the gardener, the pool boy, the mailman, the pizza delivery dude, and even the incompetent UPS driver.
So extreme is this mass exodus that on Monday, Mrs. HM did not even remember she was retired!!!
Okay, to be fair, I was slightly discombobulated because I'd tried to do a mobile deposit for The Pony in the parking lot of Save A Lot, and got a message that my photos of the check were unreadable. So I had that on my mind, planning to try again over at Country Mart's parking lot, along with trying to recall the three items I came in for, since making a list for only three items was a waste.
I rounded the banana table in the produce section, and was thinking about which aisle those little mini breadstick/cheese individual snacks were on, when I was accosted by a WOMAN!
"Hey, are you still teaching?"
"Uh huh," I lied. Absentmindedly. Seriously, who plans on being interrogated as to your work status when all you want to do is send your college son a check through thin air, and buy yourself some salty snacks, a box of crackers, and some mini ice creams?
I turned to look at my inquisitor, and I'll be ding dang donged if I could remember who she was. A former student, I suppose, now working for Homeland Security and stalking me to determine my work status.
"OH! I mean...uh...no. I'm retired. I wasn't thinking."
"Well, that's good, because it's not even 3:00 yet, so you should be in school!"
SEE? I TOLD YOU SHE WAS ON A MISSION TO CATCH ME IN SOMETHING!
"I retired two years ago. When The Pony graduated."
"Oh. How does he like college?"
"He likes it pretty good, I think. He's out at the University of Oklahoma."
"Are you enjoying your retirement?"
AGAIN WITH THE INTERROGATION!
"Yeah. I really liked it the first year. Then my husband retired. But I'm enjoying it pretty much."
With that, I wheeled my cart/walker down the dairy aisle, and grabbed some shredded cheddar. Not on my not-list, but the pack of it at the Mansion doesn't close at the top, the zip lock being faulty on my low-quality Save A Lot cheese.
As I came back up to the front aisle, having harvested my box of saltines and mini breadsticks, it hit me.
I DIDN'T BRING IN MY DEBIT CARD. Also, I had not put scratcher money in my pocket before leaving home. So I was in the store, food in my cart, and soon to be in line with no method of payment. WHILE AN UNDERCOVER OPERATIVE WAS STALKING ME!
And there she was! Coming at me again down the front aisle.
"Great! I left my debit card in the car, and I have to go back out!"
"Oh, I hate it when that happens!"
"Yeah. Me too."
Only it hadn't happened to me in over a year, and that time it was in the Devil's Playground, where I bemoaned the loss of The Pony's swift legs to trot back out and fetch it for me. At least it isn't far from parking lot to door in Save A Lot. I parked my cart over by the salsa on the chip aisle, and went out for my card. I could sense SNOOPER in line, watching me through the front windows, probably making note of my license plate number.
I really wish I could remember her. She looked so familiar. But I DID have over 2800 students during my career. So there's that.