Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Yesterday was my regular shopping day with Miss Kitty. As usual she had a list for all the things she needs and on a separate piece of paper, an item that had been recommended to her by her sister in law as something she might like to try.

Why she doesn't put that sort of thing on the existing list I do not know.

It happened to be some Ken's Light Balsamic Soy Ginger Dressing, which I knew was going to be trouble.

Miss Kitty doesn't like change. She doesn't like to try new things, she doesn't like odd brands.

Her favorite phrase is "I know him/her/that/those." I call it Land Park Snobbism. They are so proud of their little elite neighborhood and how friendly they are. Friendly like a nest of snakes. If you are ALSO a Landparker, then you are treated with such sweet kindness. If you are not 'known' then you are condescendingly smiled at. No overtures of true friendliness are made.

Miss Kitty's poor downtrodden pharmacist is retiring, and there is a lot of hoopla about where she will pick up her medicines now. I've told her that the Safeway Pharmacy is quite competent and it would make it so easy to be able to pick up her meds there when we are doing her regular shopping. She could even put them on their own list.

But, no, she has to go to some out of the way little pharmacy because, "I know him."

"How do you know him, Miss Kitty?" I ask.

"Well, I don't, but his Dad knew my Mother."

Of course, that makes him a very, very competent pharmacist so end of discussion. In Land Park you only need to be known by someone and your career is assured.

I only bring this up because my nose is out of joint. Miss Kitty's next door neighbor, the one who was so astonished to learn I was clever, always waves like mad at my car until she sees that I am not carrying Miss Kitty as my passenger and then she turns her back on me. I'm just the hired help, and nobody knows me.

So, there we were, facing a daunting wall of salad dressings, marinades and vinaigrette's, looking for Ken's Light Balsamic Soy Dressing. I could feel the agitation and tribal-fear growing in Miss Kitty as she was about to leave her compound of familiarity and step out amongst the hoi polloi to shop for something new and uncharted.

Ken's is not a major name brand like Kraft or Hidden Valley, but it has been around for a while and does seem to have about 15 varieties on hand. I'm not afraid of Ken. But Miss Kitty was muttering under her breath, "I don't know Ken. Is he Big? How BIG is Ken? I don't know him."

I soothed her as much as possible by showing her that she could actually get the Kraft Brand of Light Balsamic Soy Dressing instead. This put her into further agitation because it meant she wouldn't be getting the same, known kind that her sister-in-law had recommended in the first place.

It was all too much for her, I guess, because she decided that she didn't eat tomatoes anyway so why buy dressing to put on them?

As I was putting the bottles back on the shelf I heard her Loud Bray of Derision echoeing down the halls of Safeway Market...

"WHO the HELL is KEN?"

Poor Ken. If he had just been from Land Park, he could have been a contender!

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