Chapter One Hundred Forty- Seven: Ma’am and the Elf…

I try to be cognizant of others around me. Especially around this time of year when you see so many doing without. Here in the city, the amount of homeless people has definitely grown. I also have learned that perhaps the person is suffering from some sort of substance abuse so, instead of giving them money, I may purchase them a meal or hot beverage. I know it’s not enough, but it is what I can afford to do.
Having said this, I also seem to be the one in the crowd that has “SUCKER” written on their forehead.

I find myself out of bath wash and unwillingly do not wish to smell like a woodland lumberjack by using Confused Husbands bath wash. I run up to CVS to grab some.
Standing in front of the glass-locked case of various choices of bath wash makes me feel like I am in the finest museum or jewelry store admiring a rare gem.

I have to locate an employee to come and unlock the case for me. I stand there for a while waiting, for this to happen.

Next to me, a guy dressed as a Christmas Elf saunters up and stands there peering into the glass as well. I explain that I am waiting for the employee to unlock the case. He nods and continues to peruse the items in the case. Not one for awkward silences, I ramble on about how ludicrous it is that things have to be locked up because of shoplifters. I share my waiting 45 minutes for a deodorant case to be unlocked one-time story and feel like I am losing my audience in a stand-up audition. I am just about to ask him how things are going up at the North Pole during this hectic time of the year, when the employee arrives with a HUGE amount of keys, reminding me of Schneider from One Day at A Time. We then stand there and watch as every key is tried. (I consider going home and using the woodland lumberjack bath wash because this is becoming RIDICULOUS! ) Of course, the last key on the massive ring is the one to open the cabinet. Then the employee asks which one I want, and they will bring it up to the counter and meet me there (I feel like I am involved in some nefarious drug deal.)

The Elf looks over at me and asks:” If I could buy him a sandwich?” I want to say: “You mean Santa doesn’t offer a meal plan?” but decide against it. I look him up and down, from his pointy curled-up shoes to his elf hat. I realize that his outfit has no pockets and, perhaps rushing to work this morning, he may have forgotten his wallet. I nod okay and say: “I didn’t know CVS has sandwiches and, he replies: “Oh, they have food.” He scurries away, and I head over to the long line at the register.

I look around for the Elf, but he has vanished.
The line is ten people deep, and one cashier(the same employee who had to unlock the case for me. ) I stand there debating how much do I want this bath wash? Then I feel bad because the employee went through all of that trouble of finding the right key, and so I remain in line. I am fairly sure that years have passed since I first came into the store. I wonder if my family notices my absence? Have they moved on without me? Did they distribute flyers around the neighborhood with(what I hope)is a decent photo of me? Has Confused Husband remarried and, have my children forgotten me? Has the world outside of this store changed so drastically that we now have flying cars?

I think I dozed off because the lady behind me has tapped me on the shoulder to let me know that it’s, my turn. I leap with joy to the register and wait while the employee rings up my coveted bath wash. I also debate asking them to grab me another because I don’t want to go through this stew of nonsense again. The employee informs me that my total is $47.89. “For bath wash?!” I bellow. She points to a charcuterie platter(yes, you read that right) a super pack of Advil, cough syrup, a couple of cans of red bull, and a box of condoms.
Shaking my head, I inform her that those are not mine. I only have the bath wash. She points out the front store window and, there, smiling and waving, is the damn Elf! She says:” Those are your husband’s items.” WTF?!!!!

I LOUDLY announce that: “The Elf is not my husband and I have never met him before I came into the store. I then attempt to explain to the line, which is turning on me like a scene from Les Mis, that I only offered to buy the Elf a damn sandwich! There was never any discussion, nor offer of, an entire accouterment, charcuterie platter, and pharmacy items!

That this entire scenario is a stew of nonsense!

Behind me, a man says:” Don’t be ashamed that you are married to an elf!” He gets more laughs from the other bodies in the line.

I turn around and boldly promulgate again that: “I am NOT married to the Elf!” The same numbskull who mocked me for being married to the Elf loudly declares: “The Elf’s wife won’t let him buy condoms!” The line starts to chant #ELFSEX this is LUDICROUS! Meanwhile, the moronic Elf is outside of the shop, has his face pressed up against the glass looking at me with a sheepish grin. I want to punch his stupid face. I glare at him, gesturing for him to come in.
He pops his head through the door, and I inform him that he: “Only gets a sandwich!” He gives me a look of disappointment and bows his head. He is a consummate actor! The line audience takes his side and, I overhear conversations like: ” Poor Elf! his wife is soooo controlling!” ” She won’t even feed him or give him sex!” I do not have the bandwidth to announce yet again that:” I AM NOT MARRIED TO THE ELF!”

I also point out to the Elf, that a charcuterie platter is NOT a sandwich! He shrugs his shoulders and stands there with his pointy shoes and ridiculous hat. All eyes are on me. Even the nice employee looks like he is siding with the Elf. I just want to get out of here. I like a schmuck go ahead and pay for everything. I thrust the bag at the Elf, minus my bath wash. The idiot line comedienne announces: “The Elf is going to get some!” There are cheers throughout the line. I turn around and give him a look.

By the time I get outside, the Elf has disappeared with his bag of goodies. I make my way home, exhausted, defeated, and have a new disdain for elves. Inside my home, no one has noticed I was gone for a decade. I head upstairs with my bath wash which has become the bane of my existence.

There is a knock on the bathroom door. Apparently, Confused Husband found my CVS receipt. He calls through the door:

“Where is the charcuterie platter? I am starving! I didn’t know CVS sold those!”…