Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Minor irritations

To amuse you on this Easter Tuesday (Alleluia, by the way!), a litany of small complaints.

I went to my least favorite grocery store, Gristede's, this morning, which is a whole list of complaints right there. It's the closest supermarket to my apartment, but also the worst -- but I had to pass it on my way home from the post office, and I only needed a couple things, so I figured I'd suck it up. I needed to buy some ingredients for tonight's supper: fresh basil, which was not available from Fresh Direct, and rosemary, which I ordered from Fresh Direct but did not receive. They sent me oregano instead. So that's another complaint. Fresh Direct does have a very responsive customer service department, and they refunded my money as soon as I notified them (although the refund came in the form of a store credit, which is a bit sneaky). So now I have free oregano. But still no rosemary.

So anyway, I went to Gristede's, and I bought a few other things while I was there -- too many to fit into the bag I'd brought with me. The husband and I are trying our best not to bring more plastic bags into this apartment (and to use the ones we already have as trash-can liners), but I figured one more wouldn't hurt. But I got two more, because they always double-bag at Gristede's, even though the distinctive yellow bags have this printed right on them:
    New Stronger Bag
    No Need To Double
Either the Gristede's employees have not been informed of the magical properties of the new bags, or they have learned from experience that this statement is a lie. Or maybe it's all an absurdist joke, like "This is not a pipe." "No need to double," and yet we double. Doesn't it make you think?

When I got home I was confronted with another minor irritation: our mail carrier keeps putting mail intended for me, addressed to my maiden name, into a neighbor's letterbox, because said neighbor happens to have the same last name as I once did (and still do, as far as my credit card and insurance companies are aware). This Mr. Wilson does not live in the same apartment as I do, so you would think the fact that my apartment number is clearly indicated below my name would clear up any confusion. But it seems our mail carrier doesn't like to read past the first line of the address. So Mr. Wilson, whom I have not met, has to set aside the letters for me and leave them on the table in the lobby. I am grateful to him for doing so, but annoyed that, instead of waiting for me in our locked letterbox, my mail sits out in front of the elevators for all to see. Today it was a hospital bill. I am also worried that Mr. Wilson might be getting sick of this, and I'd hate for him to develop a grudge against us without even knowing who we are (presumably he is not too lazy to read past my name, and therefore he knows where we live). An angry face for you, mail carrier.

Finally, while I'm on a roll, I would like to complain about the many small, yappy dogs who reside in this and neighboring buildings. How do people live with that? How can you stand to have just one yappy dog, let alone several, in your small living space? But they are very popular in these parts, and when they meet in the hallway, or coming in or out of the building, or on the sidewalk, they let the world know how little they think of each other. And every night around 8:30, right outside our window, there is an explosion of yipping and yapping when two (or more?) dog-walkers meet on the street with their herds of tiny, angry dogs. Every single night. You would think someone might move their dog-walking up half an hour, or take a different route, but perhaps this little rumble is the highlight of their day. It does make me laugh to think that the street gangs of Hell's Kitchen have been replaced by gangs of small, rat-sized dogs wearing sweaters. But mostly I wish they'd just go away.

I'm sure I could think of more petty things to get upset about, but I'll stop now and continue my attempt to be productive. I will leave you with one petty thing that I am proud of: I'm a "Comment of the Week" runner-up at The Comics Curmudgeon! As always, I'd like to thank Gil Thorp.

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