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what a day... i got up at 10. i didn't have to work until 230, but i got up at 10 and couldn't go back to sleep. this is what an early internship does to you. i hate it. so i went downstairs and tossed my junk off to the side, making just enough room to have a bowl of marshmallows. (my sisters eat lucky charms every morning for breakfast, but they won't eat the marhmallows. they pick them out and put them in a tupperware container for me and jake to eat as we please. usually, we use them as toppings for ice cream, or put them on sandwiches, but sometimes we just have a bowl of marshmallows in milk.) anyway, i was finishing up and the phone rings. it's katie. she's in town becuase her uncle is getting married, and she wants me to please please please help her fix her hair. katie is the most creative person i've ever met when it comes to crafty things, hairstyles included. but she can't french braid. i've spent hours trying to teach her, and i think she just can't be taught. she doesn't really have all that much ability as a hairstylist; it's just that she has really good ideas, and even without too much hairstlying skill, they look good. so she asks if i'll just come down so she can keep getting ready becuase she's in a hurry. i say sure, but i gotta get dressed. since i work today, i start putting on my work clothes, but then i realize that's sorta dumb. so i leave the pants on, but toss on the first clean t-shirt i find. it doesn't match. the pants are navy blue and the t-shirt is black and red, one i got 3 or 4 years ago from a soccer camp i attended. katie lives down the street. i can't find sandals, and i don't want to bother with shoes, so i just walk down there without any. katie's home is practically my home, and her family is practically my family. it's no big deal. i walk up the walk, and i hear her dog yipping inside. their dog is the cutest dog i have ever seen. she's little and white, but she's not a poodle. she's some french breed. i don't know, but she's really affectionate, and she gets excited when someone she knows comes. so i open up the door, cry 'hi cutie how are you!' step inside, and bend down and pet the dog. she jumps up and licks my face and i talk in a baby voice to her-'i haven't seen you in so long! how are you? awwww you're so cute.' then i look up for the first time since i walked in the door, and realize that there are about 15 or 20 people in the living room, all dressed up formally, and they are all staring at me, in my old t-shirt that doesn't match, with no shoes on my feet, talking to the dog. i suddenly feel slightly self-conscious. i recognize a few of them. katie's older brother alan is there, and her dad and her boyfriend. i think one of them is her dad's brother, who i've seen a few times before. i don't know the rest of them. her dad looks kinda embarrassed as he introduces me to the rest of the people. some half-aunts and uncles and grandparents, all from out of town. then there's a few cousins and then there's alan's date for the wedding, who is hot. after her dad gets that out of the way, he tells me 'the girls are upstairs.' i think he's more glad to get me out of there than i am to get out of there, and boy am i glad... how was i supposed to know that the whole world was going to congregate at her house before the wedding? i go upstairs, and katie, her 3 sisters, and jana are up there. (jana went to my high school and is a few years younger than me, but me and her and katie hung out a lot.) katie has already done the younger two (tara and jamie)'s hair, and her and jana are almost done with the older one. we talk while they finish up, and then we get to work on katie's hair. she has this idea (which sounded really strange to me, but it came out looking good) that she's going to split her hair into 4 parts, and i'm going to french braid each of them towards the center of the back of her head. then she's going to gather all 4 ends of the braids into a ponytail, let out the braids, and twist the hair around and pin it back to her head. the top 2 parts are easy becuase it's just like doing 2 braids. the bottom ones are harder becuase i can't french braid upside down, so she ends up having to hang her head over the edge of the bed, and i kneel on the floor and braid while all the blood rushes to her head. jana handles the twisting part and i sit on the floor and play egyptian rat slap with jamie and tara. when jana's done twisting, it looks really good. 4 braids all leading to this nice tiwsted thing. i can't describe it. it sounds dumb, but it wasn't. the 4 girls parade downstairs so all their relatives can ooh and ahh. jana and i lag behind. they especially like katie's hair, and ask who did it. katie says jana and me did it, which might make all those people think a little more of me. not enough to want to hang out here any more though, and they're about ready to leave anyway, so i pet the dog (who is licking my toes) again, tell them all to have fun, and walk back home.

i screw around on the internet for a while, and by the time i look at the time, it's 2. i didn't eat lunch, so i have a bowl of ice cream, get changed, and go to work.

holly is there when i get there, and we have fun messing around. she spends forever trying to get me to pull up my sleeve and make a muscle becuase she wants to laugh at my scrawny arms. we just have fun. then they send me out to get carts, so i am, and i find this bank envelope in a cart. i toss it off with the rest of the trash, but then i think better of it, and check to make sure there's nothing in it. there's 3 20 dollar bills in it. somebody left $60 in a shopping cart. i bet they'll miss that... i start to bring it inside, but on my way in, i notice that the mulch is smoking. this isn't something you see every day... i veer over that way and discover that it's actually on fire. just a little. somebody threw a cigarette butt in there, and it sorta caught on fire. i stomp out the flames, but it's still smoking, and the flames are starting up again. so i head inside for some water to pour over it. i go back to floral becuase i know they have buckets. i'm filling one up in the sink, and the floral lady asks what i'm doing. so i tell her 'oh, the mulch is sorta on fire, so i'm just going to put some water on it.' the floral lady panics. i think the word 'fire' makes people panic. she starts talking about calling the fire department and calling the manager and i try to calm her down and tell her it's not a big fire at all... as soon as i put this on it, it will be out. it's no big deal. she doesn't seem to get it. i say it's not really fire, just smoke. i spend so long in there trying to convince her it's no big deal that by the time i get back out there, it's quite a bit bigger of a deal than it was when i left. i stomp out the flames again, but the water in the bucket only covers about half of the smoking stuff. i jog back inside to refill the bucket and when i get back, a few managers are out there, stomping on the flames. i hear sirens. they put out the flames, and then i pour the water over it. i'm pouring over the last of the smoke when a fire truck screams into the parking lot. i let them explain that there's no fire, and head back to floral with the bucket. the floral lady asks me if the firemen got here. i tell her yeah, but the fire was out by the time they did. she looks dissapointed. then i head up to the service desk, turn in the $60, and go out and finish getting carts.

holly and i mess around a while more. then brandy tells me to go take my break, so i head on back. less than a minute after that, brandy calls over the intercom 'loser to the service desk.' hmmmm... she should know i'm on break... i go up there anyway, and this lady asks 'is that her?' brandy says yeah. the lady turns to me and asks 'why didn't you keep that money?' it takes me a moment to remember what she's talking about, and then i'm surprised. the thought had never even crossed my mind, to keep the money. any time i find anything other than trash in a cart, i take it up to the service desk. it belongs to somebody, and they should get a chance to claim it, whatever it is. i tell her honestly 'well becuase it wasn't mine. why would i keep something that wasn't mine?' she looks thrilled at my response. she says 'that's wonderful! that's so refreshing, to hear someone so honest!' i feel a little weird. i wasn't trying to be good or honest or anything. i was just doing my job. i mumble 'uhhh... thanks,' and wonder if i'm allowed to go back to my break now. she says 'here,' and hands me a $20 bill. i back away. 'no thank you,' i tell her.
she says no, take it, if it weren't for you, i would be out $60, this is the least i can do for you.
i tell her no, the least she could do for me would be to give me nothing.
she says no, no take it.
'it's yours!' i tell her.
she says 'but i'm giving it to you,' and thrusts it in my face.
i shake my head, push her hand away, and turn to leave.
she says 'well i'm not taking it with me. i'm leaving this $20 sitting right here, and it sure would be a shame if it wasn't you that kept it.'
and then she puts the bill on the counter and leaves. i'm halfway across the front end. i look at brandy. she looks at me and says 'at this point, you'd be stupid to leave it on the counter.' i tell her i feel bad taking it. she says it would be really dumb for somebody other than me or the lady to take it. so i shrug and take it and stuff it in my pocket and head back to break. i wish i knew the lady's address or something. i'd mail it to her. on the way back from break, i ask brandy if she knew the lady's name, and she just laughs at me. she says 'no, i don't, loser. just give it up.' so i give it up and head back out there to bag, 20 dollars richer.

holly goes home and ashley shows up. then, a little later, drew gets here. drew the new drew. there's 2 drews, one who's been there forever, and one who i'd never met before this summer. for simplicity, i'll just call the old one andy, becuase i do that sometimes anyway. drew and i joke around a little. when i first started back here, i thought that drew liked me, but then i watched him around ashley, and decided he treated me the same as he did her, and i was probably just being paranoid becuase of the whole jim thing. so i relaxed, and enjoyed drew. he is a really nice guy, and he's not full of himself at all, like a lot of the guys here are. he's not that talkative, but he's real nice anyway. i avoid ashley. sandy is off and i'm starting to feel sorta sick anyway. i don't want to deal with ashley. they send me out to get carts when we have none in the building. it takes me forever to clear the lot. there's a million carts, it's hot, and i feel like shit. when i come in, i go straight to the bathroom and puke. i used to get sick all the time when i was younger. i've learned to deal with it. so i get a drink of water, have a mint, and go back out there and bag groceries. a half hour passes, and i'm in the middle of bagging an order for ashley when i have to take off for the bathroom again. same routine, and when i come back out, i head to a different register. in another 20 minutes, i'm off to the bathroom again. i didn't know there was this much food in me... a few minutes later, i'm bagging for ashley, and when she finishes the customer, she asks if i feel ok. i tell her 'yeah,' but it's not very convincing. she says 'you don't look so good.' i tell her i'm just feeling a little queasy, but i'm fine. she pauses a moment, and then asks 'when you left in the middle of that order, is that why you had to go to the bathroom?' i say sheepishly 'yeah.' she exclaims 'loser! go home!' i say no way. she says they'll let me go home if they know i'm throwing up. i say i know, but i'm not going to tell them becuase i'll be fine. she says she'll tell them. i tell her not to. she sighs and says 'now that's dedication.' i tell her it's not dedication, it's just me, and head off to another lane to bag. what would i do at home anyway? i'd sit around and feel sick. i may as well feel sick here and get paid for it, and maybe having something to do will make me notice it less. after a few more trips to the bathroom, i start to feel a little better (probably becuase there's nothing left in my stomach to feel bad). a bunch of the ladies ask if i'm ok, and i tell them i'm just tired. i like 'just tired.' it covers a lot of ground. then after a while, ashley leaves. you know you're working long shifts when people come in hours after you and leave hours before you.

angela gets there. i hadn't seen her in a while, and by the time she gets there, i'm pretty much better. i'm a little dizzy, but my stomach feels fine. empty, but fine. while i'm bagging for her, drew comes by with a broom, and hits me in the back of the knee with it. 'oh, sorry!' he apologizes. i laugh. 'sure you are,' i tell him. he heads off with his broom, and angela teases 'i think somebody likes you...' i tell her i don't think so. she says no, really, she thinks he does. you can just tell. i tell her 'no, i thought about that before, but i really don't think he does.' she asks if i've ever watched him talk to her. i say no. she says well she has, and there's a big difference in the way he talks to her and the way he talks to me. i say 'ok fine, but have you ever watched him talk to ashley?' she laughs and says 'well yeah, but LOOK at her!' i laugh. ashley is hot. there aren't many guys who wouldn't look happy talking to ashley. and she adds 'but he talks to you the same way as her, so that must say a lot for you.' i shrug. i don't know whether to believe her or not, and even if i do, so what? then later, i was bagging for angela again, and she asks what time i get off tonight. i tell her 11. she says awww, and then we're talking some more, and then she hands me this slip of paper from under her register. they ususally are used for kroger card numbers. people can carry them in case they forget their card or something, or if they have more family memeber than cards. she tells me 'write your number down.' i am confused. i ask 'my kroger card number?' she says 'yeah stupid,' only i think there's sarcasm in her voice and i honestly have no idea what's going on. the customer says 'she probably means your phone number.' i feel dumb. so i write it down and i write down my kroger card number too. just to cover all the bases. i hand it to her and she cracks up. she writes down her phone number and cell number and kroger card number and gives it to me. i am not used to this. to me, work is work and you can love working with the people you work with, but seeing them outside of work is like forbidden. the first time jennifer asked me to hang out with her outside of work, i thought it was some sort of trick. like she was going to say 'i can't believe you actually thought i was serious,' or she was going to say 'i just needed you to act like you were hanging out with me so my parents wouldn't know i was going over to my boyfriend's' or something. i spent the whole night trying to figure out when i was going to find out what the trick was, but i never did. we just hung out and had fun, just like at work, only we didn't have to work. it took like 3 times doing stuff with her before i finally stopped being suspicious of her. with the exception of holly, jennifer, and sometimes drew, angela is my favorite person to work with. but i still am sure that any second, she's going too say 'yeah, i just needed another number to prank.' she doesn't. she asks if my parents let me stay out late or if i have a curfew. before i can answer, drew comes by and hits me with the broom again. i tell him he's a slow sweeper. when i get back to angela, we've both forgotten the question and are back to the topic of drew. she whispers about how he looked at me. i just laugh.

there's this bagger, pete, who drives me crazy. he bags for hot girls. like, he has this mental list and it puts all the cashiers in the store in order of hotness. and he goes down the list, and the first cashier he hits who is here, he bags for, and doesn't move from the end of their lane until they go on break or home. honestly, just from working with him, i can tell you how he orders them. first comes ashley, then holly, then rachel, then jennifer, then brandy, then angela. poor simon (the only male cashier) doesn't have a chance. tonight, there are 3 older ladies and angela on register. me and pete are the only baggers. he fixes himself to the end of angela's lane, and i am left covering the other 3 registers, even when there's nobody in angela's line. i hate that.

later, i'm out getting carts, and the pay phone rings. i don't know if you're supposed to answer pay phones or not, but i did. the guy says 'hello, is evie there?' i tell him this is a payphone, and he has the wrong number. he says no, this is the right number. she called him from this number a few minutes ago, and he NEEDS to talk to her. i say 'this is the payphone at kroger.' he says he knows, and evie is grocery shopping, and he must talk to her now. this has never happened to me before, but i go ahead and get the last name, tell the guy to hang on, tell the kids selling candy bars not to let anyone hang up the phone, and go page this evie lady. she comes up and i take her to the payphone. i thought the whole thing was strange.

then, closer to 11, i'm back at angela's register. pete and drew are gone, so she can talk louder now. she asks if i like drew. the easy answer is no. but i lie. i say 'but i think he's young...' in a voice that means i do like him. she says he's 17. i say i know. she says well you're only 18! i tell her i'm 20. she is surprised. i add 'barely 20. more like 19 and 14 months.' she laughs and says that's 20. i say i know, but i don't feel 20, so i sure can't say it. she says it's still not a big deal, and she's dated a 25-year old. i say 'i dunno...' she says she'll talk to him and see what he says about me. i say ok. only i think the age thing makes her think different about the phone number thing. now, she jokes to other people 'loser and i exchanged card numbers,' like she doesn't want me to think she was serious about calling me. i think she thinks i don't want to hang out with someone so young. she would be wrong. i am 7. to me, she is old. does that make me strange? i do have friends my own age. i also have a 30 year old friend, sorta. and i also have lots of younger friends. like katie's sisters. i do stuff with them when katie's not around. they're fun, and they're not THAT young. 18, 15, and 11. although out of the 3, i get along with the 11-year old the best...

then i finally get to leave, and that's the end. i have to work tomorrow at 11 am so i gotta sleep. i also have to clean up. my parents have been gone for 2 days, and the mess is already awful. i am a slob.

was that really long?