Stupidity and the Birthday Card

The purchase of a simple greeting card should be a painless, inoffensive task…unless, of course, there is a stuper (short, yet again, for an insurmountably stupid person) involved. Then it could turn into a journey similar to wading through a swamp, blindfolded, while balancing a basket on one’s head filled with coconuts that must promptly reach a starving village.

My favorite natural foods market, Lazy Acres, sports an awesome greeting card collection. I’ve always found cards so perfect, I’d swear they were created just for my intended recipients. In fact, I love the whole store. I know many employees by name; they’ve watched my kids grow up and often ask after my mother. These wonderful workers act happy to see me, and they merely smile and nod when they catch me privately confabbing with myself. What more could I ask for?

I’ve considered setting up camp there or just moving in, that’s how welcome I feel. Best of all, stupers are absent…almost. Periodically, idiot employees make a brief appearance, then vanish altogether leaving store managers looking sheepish and apologetic, muttering to themselves,

“I don’t know how that happened,” or “We were always so careful.”

However, there is Andrea (An-DRAY-uh). She’s worked at Lazy Acres for years despite her overt, obvious and ostentatious stupidity. I’m certain one of the Zen monk type store owners hired her as a sort of benevolent act of charity or perhaps to offset some karmic debt that desperately needed to be repaid. There is no other explanation.

When Andrea worked in the Deli section, my #1 Son dreaded ordering lunch. Invariably, when he’d ask for yellow mustard on his roast beef sandwich, he’d get horseradish, and the roast beef would conveniently be left out. He’d ask for a soft French roll, and get rock-hard, crusty panini, befitting a lusty sea captain.

Andrea soon vanished and peace was restored in the Deli.

Then one day, I sought a birthday card. The greeting cards that caught my eye sported poignant quotations from wise, respected historical figures.  The particular one I chose came from a group of smallish size cards with different quotes for various occasions. There were about fifty such cards, all missing one vital requirement: envelopes.

I asked a manager for help. He left for a few minutes, then returned, apologized, smiled contritely and stated they were all out of that size envelope. I found this to be quite alarming. Stupidity was lurking about.

I purchased the card, knowing I had plenty of envelopes at home. As I neared the exit, I ran smack into Andrea in the greeting card section.

“Hihowareyou,” she stated in a monotone reserved for those made mostly of hard components, wires in primary colors and assorted electronics. She shuffled away with me in close pursuit.

“So where are the envelopes to these cards?” I asked, waving the evidence (birthday card) in my hand.

“Oh, you know, customers come and take them all,” she replied flippantly.

I took a quick eye-count and noted that each one of the other types of greeting cards included envelopes. I didn’t have to be Inspector Poirot, Clouseau or even Gadget to realize what happened. Andrea’s cable connection was clearly scrambled.

My choices were twofold: continue to argue with the semi-operational Andrea and get absolutely nowhere except doused with a heavy film of annoyance or remove myself from the active presence of a stuper and thereby maintain my sanity.

I did not want Andrea to trespass into my mind, leaving her messy fingerprints. If I became irritated, she’d do just that. No matter how impatient you feel, don’t lower yourself to the level of a stuper. If the signs of the presence of a stuper are glaring, do yourself a favor and move on.

Keep thinking.


6 Responses to “Stupidity and the Birthday Card”

  1. Julianne says:

    My favorite part of this story was your contention that perhaps the Zen store owners hired Andrea as an act of charity. That’s a point of view I’d never considered. Leave it to the Zen monk types to give their time and compassion to the oft-overlooked stupers among us.

  2. Dorothy says:

    I came across this blog when I did a Lazy Acres Market search. It’s so funny! I know exactly who you’re talking about in the market. It’s true. She is crazy. I thought she was long gone. Now I have to make sure I avoid her in the card department. At least she’s not in supplements!

  3. Elaine says:

    The customers are taking the envelopes?? What kind of response is that? Boy I can see why you and the other customers avoid her. Good thing they removed her from the Deli department, that must have been a disaster.

  4. dawn says:

    Sometimes it pays to pick your arguments… Andrea isn’t worth it 🙂

  5. Ferd says:

    I’m gonna call her An-dray-DUH!

    It sounds like they are moving her from department to department, maybe looking for the right fit. Square peg, round hole. It’s not happening, is it?

  6. Keli says:

    I try to use different points of view in order to better understand stupers, and hopefully, tolerate them. It helps.
    And I thought I was being so subtle! I know what you mean about supplements. I think they shifted her to what they believed was the safest department. Thanks for the comment!
    No kidding! I thought the same. Blame it on the customers! No doubt either Andrea took the envelopes or forgot to ask for them or?? Who can possibly know?
    That’s a good one, Ferd! I think the next move for her would be out the door, which incidentally, is right next to the greeting card section!

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