What Goes On In Walmart, Stays In Walmart
I’m not really a girl who gets embarrassed very easily, but if I were, my trip to Walmart would be the time that would define the most embarrassing time in my life.
Although my story doesn’t involve girlfriends, it is a story that gets the most laughs when we’re all together. It’s a laugh-until-you-pee-your-pants/snort-through-your-nose kind of story.
Here’s the Backdrop
When we lived in New Canaan, CT, we built a 10’ x 20’ vegetable garden down by the Silvermine River that ran through our backyard—although the “river” was more like a trickling creek. Pete, the kids, our handyman, and I worked on it all weekend long. It turned out beautifully. That year (and every year that followed), I grew a full, raised bed of basil and harvested it in September to make pesto.
I enlisted the kids to help strip the basil. They were teenagers, and sorta liked to help strip the basil leaves from the stalks...and sorta didn’t. I made them help anyway. This particular year there was so much basil that it covered our 10’ long outdoor patio table. By the end of our reaping, we all had brownish-green fingers that had a heavenly scent of fresh basil. (This is one of the reasons I just love September.)
The key to harvesting basil and making pesto is not to let the leaves sit for too long because they’ll turn black, and then you can’t use them. That had happened to me once before, but not this year. I was determined to make enough pesto to freeze and last us until next September.
I Have a Secret...or is it My Secret Recipe?
I really don’t know how to make a proper pesto. That holds true for almost anything I make. I’m like a little kid in their mom’s kitchen, just putting a bunch of stuff together. Somehow though, my “stuff” seems to turn out yummy.
Here’s how I make pesto the Loopie way. Forgive the untraditional recipe.
- As much basil as you can get. Strip the leaves from the stalk and de-stem.
- A big block of parmesan cheese
- 3 cups pine nuts
- 12 whole garlic cloves
- Sea salt
- Olive oil
- I bought a case of 12 oz. Ball jars
Blender (Note: I use a Vitamix® to blend, but a traditional blender, Nutribullet® or the like will work fine)
Toast the pine nuts in olive oil until slightly brown. Cut up the parmesan cheese into chunks. Peel the garlic cloves.
Add 6 cloves of garlic, a handful of cheese cubes, about 3 cups of pine nuts, and 3 tablespoons of salt.
Fill the blending container to the top with the basil leaves.
Fill the container about halfway with olive oil and blend until desired consistency. (Note: The desired chunkiness determines how long you will blend it. For me, the perfect consistency is when there is a swirling “hole” at the tip of the mixture about the size of my index finger and thumb making an OK sign. Kinda like the eye of a hurricane storm)
Please taste it and determine what you like best. More salt? Maybe chunkier, then add more pine nuts. More garlicky? Whatever you desire you can tweak as you see fit.
There it is. I hope my language is understandable enough. If not, send me an email and I’ll explain more: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back to My Story
After we finished our annual basil duty, Pete and I needed to go to the Walmart in the neighboring town of Norwalk to get the Ball jars. It’s around 6 p.m., so Lex had made some gluten free macaroni and cheese for dinner. I couldn’t resist, so I grabbed a small bowl before heading out.
We got to Walmart and I parked the truck. As soon as I got out, I felt a “wave” in my tummy. I had a shopping cart in my hands and stopped right in the middle of the parking lot to hold on tightly as I winced in pain.
“Oh boy, the macaroni and cheese didn’t like me!”
Pete looks at me and says, “Whoa, what’s going on?”
“Uhhh, Lex’s mac-n-cheese isn’t agreeing with my tummy.”
The wave passes and we continue on to the store.
Hint: THAT WAS A MISTAKE.
I walk through the doors and I’m feeling perfectly fine. No pain. No rumbling. Whew!
In typical form, once I grab the jars, I continue to shop to find other things that we may need rather than going back home. I’m walking the aisles, finding all kinds of stuff to load up on. Then it hits me again. This time it’s like a tsunami in my belly. It took my breath away!
This is an Important Detail
I’m wearing a pair of cute, tan capris, a white t-shirt, and flip-flops. It’s a warm September day—one of the last times I could dress so comfortably before winter.
I have to give you more details on the capris (you’ll know why in a bit). They’re very plain; the only features are two drawstrings on either side of the hips. They look the same from the front as they do the back. They're Nautica® brand, so they resemble something you would wear on a boat with dock shoes.
I Have to Think Fast
I look at Pete and say, “Check out and I will meet you in the truck.” I hand him my phone (Hint: THAT WAS ANOTHER MISTAKE) and I take off for the bathroom that is—no lie—at the complete opposite end of the store from the cashiers.
My mind races back to my math class and remembers “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line”. So, I calculate my straight line. I walk quickly to the back wall, and hang a right to get to the bathroom. I can feel what was once in my tummy makin’ its way through like hot lava, and I am in total fear that I am not going to make it.
There is a group of four teenagers standing in front of the door marked “women”. I go around them, my cheeks squeezed as tightly as I can, and push open the door. At that moment it happens. I erupt into my cute tan capris. It ain’t pretty!
I push into the first stall and untie the drawstrings. Once I got into the stall, I kid you not, this is the scene. It was so incredibly painful. Now, when you’re in your own bathroom it’s different. You aren’t conscious about anyone being around. But when you’re in a Walmart bathroom, you're a bit inhibited.
I have to throw away my underwear. Yep they went right into the metal sanitary napkin box on the floor. I’m doubled over in pain—head down over my knees it hurts so badly. Someone pushes open my stall door (I had no time to latch it), and it slams me in the head. Honestly! What else can happen?
I am in this stall for 20 minutes. Women have come and gone. Some laughed. Some are disgusted by the smell. Some are actually sympathetic, telling other women, “hey this kind of stuff happens”. Uh, yeah it does!
I have flushed probably 15 times before I felt like I could get up. At some point you don’t have anything else inside of you, right? This is when I remember I don’t have my phone. I also realize I have nothing to wrap around my waist to hide the traces of the tsunami that swept through my tan capris. No sweater, no sweatshirt, nothing!
So now what am I going to do about these stained pants? How on earth am I going to get out of here unnoticed? (True, I’m in Walmart. This can’t be the first time something like this has happened to someone who just plowed through a bad batch of macaroni and cheese.) But I’m vain, and am desperately trying to come up with a plan.
The pants are simple, remember? They have drawstrings on the side. Who would know if I had them on backwards and wore them out of the store? So, I turn them around, tie the drawstrings on both sides of my hips, and bolt out of the stall. I retrace my shortest-distance-path to get out of the store, hands clasped in front of my crotch. (I know what you’re thinking, “total babe” huh?)
Pete is patiently waiting for me curbside. I get into the truck and I am busting up. He asks, “Hey what the hell happened in there?”
“Well my friend, what goes on in Walmart, stays in Walmart!”
You may wonder why I feel it necessary to tell such a story. I don’t have an answer other than, 12 years later, I still laugh as hard as I did when it first happened. And, I love to make others laugh. So I hope you found the same humor in it as I do.
I love that you were with me today. I’ll see you next week.
Lisa A.K.A Loopie