Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Botched Business of Baking the Blues Away

On one particularly rainy day in recent weeks, I decided I wanted to make a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. The sweet gooey treat seemed to be the perfect antidote for the crummy weather we’d been experiencing. And though it may seem like a very simple task to accomplish, it somehow ended up taking over my entire day. Not because the cookies were particularly difficult to make, but the angst and drama I went through on my route to actually making them is what monopolized most of my time.

It all began when I took a drive to the local grocery store to pick up the ingredients for the cookies. After all, I don’t just have bags of chocolate chips lying around. (Mostly, because they’d never last very long.) So off to the grocery store I went to pick up the chips, along with some other essentials I happened to need in order to survive the week, and ended up filling my shopping cart to the brim. (Warning: Never go the grocery store on an empty stomach…you will end up buying much more than you need, and sometimes things that you’d never even heard of.)

Anyway, when I got up to the self checkout area, there was already a long line of people waiting to go through. Partly because some moron at the checkout didn’t know how to properly use his ATM card, and needed a cashier to come over and instruct him. Once he was finally through, the next person couldn’t seem to find her cash and we all had to wait while she scrambled in her purse to find it. Still, I was not getting upset. After all, I would be making chocolate chip cookies. That cures almost any ailment. Especially the Rainy Day Blues.

So when it came to my turn, I was quite speedy and efficient in my scanning process. Some might even refer to me as an expert on proper scanning technique, that’s how good I am at it. I could see how relieved the people in line behind me were to finally have someone competent ahead of them. I smiled with self satisfaction as I whipped out my wallet to complete the transaction. And that’s where the trouble really began. For nowhere in my wallet, or on my person, was my ATM card. Nor were there any credit cards to be found. In fact, the only thing I seemed to have in my wallet at the time were several folded up receipts, some one-way tickets for NJ Metro, and a dozen or more Frequent Shopper cards at local grocery stores. But nothing that even remotely resembled money.

After five minutes of searching every pocket three or four times, I humbly apologized to the line of people behind me, and began packing all the groceries back into the cart I’d just emptied them from. Someone yelled for the Manager to come over and help the customer who forget his money, and pretty soon everyone in the checkout lines was staring at me. HUMLIATING.

Nevertheless, I was determined to make those darn chocolate chip cookies, so I drove back home and began tearing my house apart looking for the darn ATM card. I found all my credit cards, but I didn’t want to use a credit card. (After all, credit is not a thing to be taken lightly these days.) After several hours of searching, I decided I must have lost the ATM card the last time I used it. In fact, I was almost sure I never took it out of the ATM machine at the bank. So either it was still there, or maybe they could issue me a new one. So back in the car, and to the bank I drove, hoping to finally be able to start the cookie process within the hour.

Once at the bank, the cashier at the counter looked at me strangely when I told him my dilemma. It was almost as if he didn’t believe I was telling the truth. But to prove who I was, I reached and my wallet and pulled out my driver’s license, which unwittingly dislodged one of the folded up receipts. And there, hidden behind the receipt was my ATM card. It had been in my wallet the entire time, but I hadn’t seen it because I hadn’t bothered to move the folded up receipt. (It would have been too much trouble to pull it out and then stuff it back in, so I sort of took it at face value. Who knew something was hidden within it?)

Completely humiliated again, I backed out of the bank, and drove over to a different grocery store to get my items. Once I’d completed my second round of shopping that day, I was finally back home and well at work on my cookies. It was so relaxing to measure out the flour and sugar, and then mix in the butter. Everything was finally falling into place….Until it came time to add the chocolate chips. Because of course, the one ingredient I completely forgot to purchase on my second shopping trip was the one ingredient that made these cookies so special. I nearly started to cry. But instead, I jumped into the car again, and drove like a maniac to the store to get the chips, cursing at myself the entire way.

Later in the evening, I was finally able to relax enough to enjoy my freshly baked cookies with a nice tall glass of milk. And yes, it was pure heaven. But the Hell I had to go through to get there was something I wouldn’t want to repeat any time soon.

But that’s just me. Have you ever had a similar incident like this?


Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Bwahahahahaha. That's way too much work for chocolate chip cookies. Well, done. I had a visual or your hurried trips here and there. Have a great day. :)

LizzyT said...

Glad to hear you didn't lose your card because that is a real pain in the you know what. I bet you enjoyed those cookies after a day like that.

Lidian said...

Oh, this reminded me of some days I have had! Recently I spent most of the day making trips back and forth on the subway to retrieve the cell phone which I left somewhere in the main downtown library, and they phoned to tell me they found it just as I was getting home and had torn the house up looking for it.

I am very glad you finally had your cookies - they are truly the best cookies ever (and like you I can't keep chocolate chip around, ahem).

Dan Brantley said...

This was painful to read. i had to check several times to make sure I hadn't written it.
Fortunately we live less than five minutes from everything; work, school, church, store, etc. And it's a good thing too.

Henson Ray said...

sandee (comedy+)--I agree. Had I known what I would go through to accomplish making them, I would have just gone back to bed.

lizzyt--I actually got a little sick from all the cookies I ingested that night. Had to work out extra that week just to get rid of all the extra pounds.

lidian--the cell phone incident sounds very familiar. What a pain. And of course all those trips on the subway are never fun anyway.

dan brantley--yeah, it was a pretty painful experience. I'm sure I'll think twice the next time I have a craving to bake chocolate chip cookies.

Marie said... seems as though you are actually living my life.

Sorry about that. :(