Today, it was a slightly chilly morning and I decided to head up the hill to the little grocery store. I have an obsession with these little pre-packaged coffees, mainly because it’s the only time, besides paying exorbitant amounts for Starbucks, that I can have an iced coffee. But, the grocery store next to my apartment hardly ever has these coffees in stock, more likely than not because I buy them all in one swoop. What I’m trying to say here is that I end up going to Franprix every other day in hopes of, like an extinct animal, spotting one of my precious Caffè Lattes. (It’s Swiss! And delicious! I just Google searched it!)
So, I went today and, feeling optimistic, headed to the refrigerated aisle. And, as I rounded the corner, I saw, all lined up, fully-stocked, my glorious coffees! I covertly put eight into my basket, leaving two on the shelves, even though I didn’t want to, but thought it was dignified to do so. Oh, how I was so happy with my dignity. You just wait, guys. Spoiler Alert: I shoulda taken the last two, because my dignity does not stay in tact for very long.
I grab a few other things then head to cash out at the register. I pile my random purchases onto the belt and rush over to bag my own groceries. In France, generally the cashiers do not bag your groceries, so you’ll have to, all at once, unload your cart, pay, and bag your goods before the numerous people waiting in line kill you. Actually, that’s a lie, I really don’t know the patience level of the French. I’m guessing it has to be pretty high, since everything they do is painfully inefficient. But, I digress.
I start bagging my groceries frantically when, all of a sudden, one of the coffees slip from my hand and what ends up happening is that I chuck it so high and so far that I question whether or not my real job should have been professional softball player. This thing had some serious height to it and it lands with a splat, spilling all the contents onto the floor. I yell, “Pardon!!” as I look at the cashier, who has the most shocked expression on his face, as if in the history of Paris having grocery stores, he has never, ever, ever once seen a person spill even one thing ever, ever. He looks at me and I sort of shrug thinking, “Well, what the fuck do you want me to do now? I’M SORRY I’M SUCH A SORE ON THE BEAUTIFUL GRACE OF THE FRENCH.”
But, he just keeps looking at me like I’m the most hideous person in existence mixed with, “What do I do now? As you know, people never spill anything in France, so I’m unprepared for this moment.”
After he’s done looking at me with his disdain and confusion, I do a mopping motion once I’ve picked up the cup and lid and placed both in the trash. He leaves the four people in line and goes to find a mop, returns with one and then, instead of having one of his coworkers help him, starts mopping up the coffee while EVERYONE WAITS IN LINE, INCLUDING ME BECAUSE I HAVEN’T PAID YET.
I try to find an ally, so I look at the guy behind me in line and do my signature charming shrug of the shoulders that conveys universally the sentiment of, “Oh, how silly life is!” And, this man who is buying four bottles of wine at ten in the morning says something to me in French that I think roughly translates into, “Is this your first time in the world?” Which, I think is the equivalent to, “Were you fucking born yesterday you American idiot? I hate you, I just want to buy my wine and go daydrink in peace, goddamnit.”
So, no ally, the cashier is MIA mopping in a way that makes you think he’s never mopped a day in his life before and, here I am, with all my groceries bagged and all the French people in line staring at me like I’m wearing a dunce hat that has the word “DUMBASS” written on it.
At this point, I was tempted to mop the coffee up for him but, I was so mortified and had lost so much of my dignity (see? told you…) that I just grabbed my change and ran out of there like I was being chased by angry drunk Frenchmen.
Needless to say, I’m going to stay inside my apartment the rest of the day and try to recharge whatever is left of my dignity and use whatever excess energy there is to plot for the destruction of all people who are total dicks.