Tag Archives: Ralph’s

Cause Baby Now We’ve Got Bad Breath

A couple weeks ago at work I got so busy that I literally had no time to eat anything. My stomach, normally accustomed to snacks every minute or so, was freaking the fuck out. When I finally returned to the office after running errands, I grabbed the first edible thing I could find: Mustard and Onion chips. Seeing as it was 5 PM and they were the first thing I had eaten all day, they tasted like freedom, or early retirement, or Zac Efron’s nipples. I ate a bag and a half before dusting myself off and retreating to my desk, where my horrified coworkers recounted watching something similar on Animal Planet.

Exhausted from the day, I was ecstatic to see Boyfriend when I got home. Now, I had just absorbed a shit ton of Mustard and Onion artificial flavor, which in hindsight should have been a red flag for me to keep my mouth shut until I got near some mouth wash. But I remained blissfully unaware, ignoring those flags like the pile of unopened envelopes on my kitchen table from something called the DWP. When I finally saw Boyfriend, I jumped all over him, kissed him a bunch of times, and told him all about my day, much to his utmost horror. Looking back, I can recognize the signs of him turning his head away from me every time I spoke, subtly trying to hide his gagging, and generally keeping a distance of at least fifteen feet from me. But in the moment, I was content to exhale my toxic fumes all over the place.

That night we walked to Ralph’s together and while I browsed the aisles, picking out the items from our grocery list, he zoomed to the check out. When we met up again, I had our groceries and he had one thing: tic-tacs. “Why did you get tic-tacs?” I inquired. “Those weren’t on the list.” “Because…………” Boyfriend is bad at making excuses. “Because?” “Just……..because.” “Uh, okay.” As we walked home, he produced the tic-tacs and ate one. He offered me a handful. “Want some?” He was holding at least six in his hand. “Why? Do I have bad breath or something?” “Uh……..” It was then the night flashed before my eyes. The avoiding, the head-turning, the gagging. “Wait. I DO have bad breath?!” I was mortified. How could I not see it? Mustard and fucking Onion?! I don’t even know why that flavor exists! The only time someone would need Mustard and Onion simultaneously is if they were a hot dog in desperate need of condiments. I hate-spiraled the rest of the way back, convinced that there was no longer a situation in the future where Boyfriend could find me sexy. Not after he smelled my lovely aroma reminiscent of raccoons diarrheaing in a garbage can. When we returned I brushed my teeth so many times my gums started bleeding, which only made my appearance more disgusting (“Love me” I cried as blood poured out of my mouth, or something like that). Luckily for me, Boyfriend has forgotten about the whole incident and we’ve moved on (I think the sharp blow to his head I administered to induce short term memory loss helped).

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Never Go To Ralph’s At 12:28 AM

Nothing good happens when I diet (er, try to diet), which is why I don’t diet. When I do, it inevitably ends with me crying in the empty kitchen at 12:05 AM, starving, broken, and contemplating driving to Ralph’s before they close at 1. I say “contemplating” as if there was any chance I may stick to the diet and stay home, but my heart and I always know I’ll end up going to Ralph’s no matter how many pros and cons are presented.

On one such occasion, I drive to Ralph’s and arrive at 12:28 AM, giving myself just enough time to browse the aisles. I say “browse” because my mind thinks I’ll get fruit, but I can’t stop my body when it knows what it wants: cheesy rice cakes and microwave popcorn. I’m a monster. Before I get in the door, my mouth salivating for its processed sugar pay-off, a young man stops me. We’ll call him Eyedrops because his eyes were so red he either just came from a funeral or, as my mom would call it, “he likes to smoke the weed.” So Eyedrops says hi, I say hi back because I’m weak, and then I run into Ralph’s and avert my eyes from the homeless guy judging me for sacrificing my diet for cheesy rice cakes. I can feel Eyedrops red-rimmed eyes watching me the whole way.

 In Ralph’s I collect my goods without wasting any precious stuffing-face time.  And then I see Eyedrops, roaming the aisles like a lost, little pothead. I duck into the closest checkout line and avoid looking at any of the other poor souls because my arms are full of cheesy rice cakes and microwave popcorn and it’s 12:30 in the morning and I have no dignity. Eyedrops spots me and moves with a slow, determined pace towards me. I tap my foot impatiently; of course I ended up behind the one guy in Ralph’s who decided to do his monthly grocery shopping at 1 AM and then pay in exact change. Eyedrops arrives and stands next to me in line, staring. I try to ignore him, but he shoots weird small talk at me (“Where did you buy your shoelaces?”) and I notice he’s standing in this checkout line with no food items. “Aren’t you going to buy something?” I ask. “Oh yeah. I came for a…toothbrush.” How sexy. “I think toothbrushes are over there,” I say, pointing vaguely in the opposite direction. “Nah, I’ll get it some other time.”

Eyedrops follows me all the way through the checkout line and out the door. I send frantic SOS messages with my eyeballs to the security guard at the exit. She smiles at me. Eyedrops follows me into the parking lot and I finally tell him I’m in a relationship (it only recently occurred to me that you can tell that lie to creepy strangers). For ten minutes, he tries to convince me that I’m not happy in my current relationship and before I know it I’m angry at my hypothetical boyfriend for not treating me right. And then I realize I’m crazy and my fantasy boyfriend is the greatest. Then I have to spend ten minutes convincing Eyedrops that my boyfriend brings me flowers before running to my car, locking the doors, and stress-eating cheesy rice cakes all the way home.

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