Transplanted Life
Saturday, January 31, 2004
No Carter at the midnight movie last night; after we caught Kill Bill at the Brattle (the list of recent movies he hasn't seen is appalling) and went back to my place with a pizza, he just wanted to head to bed. "I mean, it's fun once in a while, but there are better things to do with a Friday or Saturday night. Are we going to use up every weekend on these?" Well, yeah, I'd like to, if it's something I haven't seen. A lot of them aren't available on video, you know. He counters with how a lot of them aren't worth my time (by which he means, his time), I disagree, and, besides, I told Jen we'd meet her there, since Carlos has to work tonight and these aren't a whole lot of fun by yourself. He mumbles something about not knowing we were at the point where we can commit each other's time, I say I won't do it again, and it's off to the Coolidge.

Jen must have had a similar evening - hers involving her policeman boyfriend not being thrilled with her being out so late - so we spend some time grumbling over men trying to tell us how to live our lives. I remember doing it a few times, and that's what makes it all the more galling; I know, for a fact, that men aren't trying to be jerks and usually it doesn't have anything to do with what a man's place versus a woman's is in a relationship. So I know Carter hasn't really done anything wrong, which makes me feel guilty about being mad at him. Which means the whole thing - being in a foul mood for the movie, being glad not to find him at my apartment when he gts back, and heading out to go shopping so I won't be around when the phone rings - is all me being petulant and stupid. And to think, back when I had hopes of my memory and personality being transfered back into my original body, that I'd figured this might be a good learning experience, being able to understand both a male and female perspective. The lesson apparently being that no matter what the problem is, I'm the idiot.

Anyway, I went shopping today because I was too lazy to do laundry. Makes no sense - instead of hauling a basket of clothes down to the basement and depositing my quarters, I take the T all the way to the other end of the green line (which involves changing trains) to buy some clothes. I do this because my underwear drawer is uneven.

As much as I'm comfortable with ladies' attire now (more or less), I miss the simplicity of my old underwear drawer. You have shorts, you have socks, and you have a few plain white undershirts. Through an attrition process, men (or those I've known) generally wind up with about the same quantity of underpants as they do pairs of socks, and slightly fewer undeshirts (if you don't count printed t-shirts). Thus, you generally hit the bottom of both the sock and underwear pile at the same time, and it's time to do laundry.

My current underwear drawer has panties, bras, socks, stockings, and pantyhose, and even a garter belt (which I see no need to use ever). These items each have different cuts, colors, and functions, which on the weekend just seems needlessly complicated. Nobody's ever asked a man "boxers or briefs?" and gotten "well, you need both - boxers for blah blah blah, briefs for..." as an answer, yet my underwear drawer has a startling lack of uniformity, and that's considering my own personal tendency just to buy white cotton undies as opposed to the original Michelle's more girly tastes. Until this morning, when there were no panties left but bunches of brassieres.

So I went out, bought some more panties and plain white socks, and then noticed jeans were on sale at Sears. I'll shop in the higher-brow places on the company's dime; for basics, I just need to be a step above Wal-Mart. Kate would be appalled by that attitude, but it's mine and I'm keeping it. Anyway, the labeling was awful; I actually might have bought a second pair of jeans if I'd understood it properly. It said "50% off pink-ticketed items"; the jeans I bought had a pink sticker with a price on it on the tag, so I figured that was the discounted price. But, it was evidently the price before discount, and I didn't feel like either saying "oh, in that case, don't ring it up" or going back and bringing something else to the register for a second time through the line.

I window-shopped some after that, amazed at how little willpower it took to not buy a bunch of new releases at Best Buy (Paramount's abject refusal to put the original theatrical cut of Star Trek VI out on video didn't hurt, either). This brain really must be wired different than the one I used to have.

The thing that bugged me, though, was at the grocery store. A few months ago, Shaws put in self-checkout aisles, which are pretty cool most of the time, primarily because I don't have to explain to the person at the end that I'm walking home and his tendency to use 10 bags for 15 items really isn't convenient for me. Getting through the line was quick, too, but the reason for that was that most of the technophobic people were still sort of wary of them, figuring that the minimum-wage teenager was able to do a job which requires no special training better than them. As soon as more of these people figured out that this wasn't the case, the efficiency benefit would evaporate. This apparently happened today.

Also, the machines' software had been upgraded to make them more user-friendly, with more voice messages walking them through a simple process step-by-step ("Please locate UPC code and scan your your item in the bagging area...scan next item..."), with messages repeated every five seconds if something hasn't been done (I avoided shouting "the code is on the bottom of the package! You've stared right at it a dozen times! Move it, my ice cream is f*@#ing melting!" somehow). And, with greater complexity comes more likelyhood that it will just freeze up and require a manager to override it for no particular reason. Just taking a simple process and making it aggravating.

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