Years ago I thoroughly enjoyed watching a TV series called “Kung Fu” which featured a “Shaolin Monk” called “Kwai Chang Caine”. One of the skills he had learned in his many years of training as a monk was to quickly reach a level of deep meditation.
Today was Saturday and my wife and I decided to run some errands and do a little Christmas shopping. I needed to buy a picture frame at Wal-Mart and she wanted to go to the local Mall to look for a gift for her sister.
She has a car that she parks in the garage, while I park mine in the driveway. As we were leaving the house I asked her which car she wanted to take and she said we could take mine. As she had just washed hers yesterday.
As I started to get into my car I heard her say “this car is filthy”, “you need to wash it”. As she opened the passenger door she said “I’m not sitting in that garbage”, “Clean that out”. As I travel back in forth to work, I generally toss my trash on the passenger floorboard. After I cleaned out the trash she got into the car and told me “This seat needs to be adjusted, I feel like I’m laying down”, “I can’t see out of the windshield, you need to wash it”. “Wash the windshield.” Hnnnnnnnnnnnn.
Wal-Mart is always an experience. My wife is short and she barely shows above the display rack. The walk to the frame display took several minutes as we stopped to look at sweater, pants, sweats. I’m wishing for a rear view mirror at this point because my wife stops without warning and begins looking at something she is interested in. If I keep going she tells me “You never pay attention to where I am” The solution is to continuously swivel my head as I walk down the aisle.
When we get to the frame display it is across the aisle from the toy department. I stop to look at frames and my wife tells me that she’s going to look in the toy department for a gift for our granddaughter’s birthday. I tell her that I will be right there in the frame department. My first mistake. I find the frame I want and I’m ready to go. I look over into the toy department and my wife is gone. This happens regularly so I know to stand my ground. 30—45 minutes later I see her coming down the aisle with a frown on her face.
“Where have you been?” “I’ve been all over this store looking for you!” “I’ve been in the grocery department, upfront and I was almost ready to go out to the car.” Hnnnnnnnn……..
We get to the front of the store and the checkstands are all busy. I head for the 20-items or less line and before I can turn around I am trapped. The lady in front of me thought it was the 2000 item line, and she is a “Couponer”. The cashier has finished checking her purchases and now the negotiations are on. The Couponer has some kind of a halter over her shoulders to which is attached a large file with what looks like thousands of coupons. As her and the Cashier negotiate, they select each item she has purchased and the Couponer searches her file for the Coupon that applies to that item. Hnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.
When I return to Wal-Mart the negotiations are over and it is time for the Couponer to pay. At this point she begins to search her bag for her checkbook. Finally, finding her checkbook she begins going through the ledger. Apparently she hasn’t calculated her balance for several months because she begins making numerous entries from one page to another in the ledger. Hnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.
At this point, all I say is “Thank You, Kwai Chang Caine.”