So I got outta the cabin, but whoa, there are certain people that make a gal long to be at home and quarantined instead of out with the masses who all appear to be unshowered and meriting a quarantine. The aisles of Target were teeming with the slow and inconsiderate and even the people who appeared to be normal, like the clerk at Guest Services, were really just Target enjoyment impediments in disguise.

The $20 gift card ‘just for a little virtual shopping,’ turned out to be so much more costly than that. I should have walked away when the clerk with the kind eyes blinked, smiled and then blinked again as she looked at the card, shrugged, giggled and said, “I’ve never seen this before.” We paused, it was a standstill. She looked at me and I stared back, certain that she would do more than admit ignorance.

Sean was watching from a distance and called out a, “I’ll just take the girls and get going,” as he threw me a look somewhere between, ‘I knew it wouldn’t be easy’ and ‘I’m gone.’

“Ok..?” I said, trying to lead her somewhere other than complete inaction.

“No, really, never seen it,” and tried to hand the card back to me.

“Ok, well, if you look right here, the card says, complete a baby registry, print a copy and visit Guest Services to have your card activated as a $20 gift card.” I handed her the email confirmation of my Target Baby Registry.

“Uh-huh?” It was a question. I didn’t know how to respond to that.

“Well, I printed this out and thought that since it has the registry number and it says ‘bring to Guest Services’ that this would work.” I said it as almost an apology.

“Ok. What I’ll need you to do is go to a computer and create a registry.” She said in a way one might describe as knowingly.

I smiled, happy to be able to explain that I’d come prepared and done that. “Here, this is a print out. My registry number is right there.”

She looked at the email as if it were a stone tablet bearing ancient hieroglyphics. “Oooh-kay. If you can jut go over there to one of those computer and start a registry it’ll print it out for you,” and she kind of shooed me toward a bank of smudgy, sticky looking monitors.

“Oh, no right here, see, it’s my registry,” I answered evenly.

“Oh, ok!” She chirped.

I sighed with relief. “If you go over there you can pull up your registry and it will print the list and you can shop from that,” she explained as she slid the card toward me.

“Ok, I don’t need a list and I am not shopping off the registry, I just want to get the card.”

She looked at me and hissed, “I need a bar code. Print something off of that computer.”

I walked away, face flaming. The first two computers I worked did not in fact start with a touch to the screen or the pressing of any key. The third worked and I quickly called up the registry and followed the directions to make it print. Would it surprise you if I said that after 5 minutes that felt like 20 it still hadn’t so much as burped? Yeah, I didn’t think it would.

I walked back over to her, disregarding her pathetic attempts to studiously ignore me. “It isn’t printing and if I don’t get to my kids they are going to melt down before we finish our shop.” I thought she might respond to this as when I had walked over to her the girls were with me and she was talking to her husband who had brought in her two young sons to see her.

“Well, I’ll have to call Guest Services over here,” which confused me as she was clearly the person working in Guest Services.

“Ok, I can just go. Maybe you can work on that and if it’s done when I get back I’ll use it, if not, no big deal,” and I meant it, $20 seemed insignificant and her genuine bafflement was not something I was not enjoying.

She looked at me, looked at the card and I am fairly certain that the thought running through her head was, “I don’t ever want to see this woman again.” She opened the drawer by the register, took out a gift card, loaded it with twenty bucks with a wave of her wand, took the card I had brought in and tossed it in the trash. “So do you need this?” She asked indicating the email I’d brought in.

“No.” I said.

“Great,” she muttered as she chucked it and turned away from me as if to help the next person even though no one else was around.

I left feeling slightly dirty, as if somehow I had done something borderline dishonest. I suppose she knew on some level I was going home to bitch blog and she resented it, what I hadn’t expected was to understand as clearly as I did, that she would be doing the same.