So Amelia turned 21 on Thursday. Although the legal technicalities have never phased any of her habits, it's still monumental when you can go and drink a beer wherever you please. She celebrated with her friends at the bar for a few days and then on Saturday Dan had a party for her and all of her non-21 friends. Pretty good times.
All day Saturday, Dan and I were getting ready for the party. We hit up the grocery store and I decided I wanted to get a bunch of balloons for the shindig. Turned out the grocery store price for a dozen balloons is equal to that of a dozen roses. So we hit up Rite-Aid.
"Excuse me," I said walking up to the counter. "But -"
""Hold on, I am doing something," the cashier replied. He wasn't doing anything, I swear. Not a darn thing.
"Okay, what," he finally said.
"Do you guys sell latex balloons?" I asked.
"Latex balloons?" He asked, looking confused. The man was older, but not older than latex.
"Yeah, like for a birthday party." I said.
"Yes, I think they're ten cents a balloon."
"Fabulous. Can I get a dozen?" I inquired.
He looked at me and raised an eyebrow. "Well, do you have any balloons?" He asked.
I refrained from rolling my eyes, and replied, "I guess I'll go find some." I went back into the aisles of Rite-Aid, and found the balloons and returned to the cashier.
"Okay, here we go," I said. The man looked at the balloons and then smirked at me.
"But what about the ribbon?" He pursued. "If you don't have any ribbon then you won't have anything to tie them with and they're going to be flying everywhere."
I gave him a look, and again replied, "Well I guess I better go get some," and headed back into the aisles of Rite-Aid.
For the third time I returned to the counter. My lovely friend the cashier said, "Well, I guess we're ready to go then. But you have to tie the balloons. I'm not going to tie the balloons." I just kind of did my are you kidding me laugh and handed Dan the ribbon to cut so I could tie.
"And you're going to have to tell me when to stop with the helium," he continued. "Because if you put too much in, well, it'll pop, and then you're still going to have to pay for it." Was this guy for real? It was so hard not to just bust out laughing. I nodded and did the best I could to keep a straight face.
Finally, with the ribbon, balloons, helium, and a certified helium-balloon capacity filler watcher, we were able to finish the balloons. It turned out to be about half the price of that at the grocery store, but double the effort. Crammed with a truck full of balloons, Dan and I returned to campus.
A few hours later, Dan needed a money order. "Watch the only place we can go is Rite-Aid," I joked.
So two hours after the balloon incident, I found myself sitting in Dan's truck, in front of Rite-Aid, miserable and incredulous about the fact that we were again at Rite-Aid. Not once in three semesters have I ever gone in that store, and I would soon be entering it for the second time in one day.
We walked in through the doors, cool and nonchalant. I did a quick survey of the scene; no one to the right, an old lady reading some Valentine's cards, and [sigh of relief], a person I had never seen before at the counter.
Dan and I strolled confidently over to the counter where we needed to go, when BAM, out from behind an aisle, my favorite cashier rolled out like the stealth bomber.
"Aha! Did you pop any balloons?" He smirked.
I did the best I could to be as sweet as possible. "No, no they're all still perfectly in tact."