Every Wednesday I go to Whole Earth Deli in Princeton to pick up lunch for anyone that wants to place and order. It’s one of my three huge responsibilities at work and I take it very seriously 😉
If you’re not familiar with Princeton, NJ let me try to sum it up… yuppie entitled hippy-wannabe intelligent snobby jersey. Of course, not everyone is like that there but for the most part, yeah they are. So because of this mix of people I always have some incredibly interesting encounters at Whole Earth Deli (WED from here on out).
Let me tell you one from a few weeks ago.
So I fax in my order to make it easier on them and me. When I get there, I walk right up to the cash register if I see my order waiting for me and pay. I’m a really organized person so this whole thing really doesn’t take that long despite the fact that each order has to be rung in seperatly because everyone pays for their own lunch. I digress.
The flow of the deli isn’t exactly clear. You kind of stand in line along the food cases and tell the very kind (for real) workers what you want. Then you shuffle along until you get to the cash register and pay. Sometimes you’re carrying your food (if it was in a case), sometimes you’re still waiting for your food, and sometimes your food is waiting for you at the end of the counter. But I never quite knew what to do because I don’t have to go through that shuffling. My food is waiting for me. So I usually just quietly walk up to the cashier when it looks like no one else is going to and pay. I try not to butt in front of anyone or confuse the ebb and flow and usually no one notices me. But one week some woman did.
Jacquelyn stands behind a very tall man with a patch of hair at the back of his head waiting to pay. Jacquelyn has been standing there for a few minutes as hair patch man is very slow. Prior to this, Jacquelyn had been waiting out of line until she saw her food was ready. Total time spent in deli staring at register thus far: about 5 minutes.
Entitled Princetonian Lady: I was actually in line here but I’ll let you go ahead.
Jacquelyn: Oh, I’ve been here for a while I didn’t realize.
EPL: Yes, well, I was. I stepped away for a second and you got in front of me.
J: I’m sorry, I’ve been waiting here for a few minutes.
EPL: Well I was in line here but I’ll let you go ahead.
J: That’s okay, you can go ahead.
EPL: No, I will let you go ahead of me, but I was here first.
J: Okay… you can just go.
EPL: I’m letting you get in front of me even though I was here.
J: You weren’t. I’ve been here for 5 minutes so I’m going to go pay now.
Thank you, EPL, for being so kind and gracious. I couldn’t take her insistence that she was there first while at the same time being sure to point out that she is letting me go in front of her. (this story is better in person)
Then this happened this week
Jacquelyn is off to the side picking out a salad for someone.
Nice Owner Man: Can I help you?
Crazy Lady: Yes, I’d like a cheddar sandwich.
NOM: I’m sorry, that’s not on our menu. I’m not quite sure what you want.
CL: I want a cheddar sandwich.
NOM: Okay… what would you like on it?
CL: I want your cheddar sandwich.
NOM: We don’t make them I don’t know what you want.
CL: Thirty years ago you made me a cheddar sandwich and I want that.
NOM: Thirty years ago? I can’t even remember what I made yesterday.
Now I wonder… what in the world is going on in CL’s life that she remembers a cheddar sandwich from thirty years ago? What made her decide that that Wednesday of all days was the day she was going to go get that precious cheddar sandwich. Has she not been in Princeton or WED for thirty years? Did she just wake up from a coma? Coworker Ian and I came up with a few reasons why this cheddar sandwich from thirty years ago means so much to her
– 30 years ago was the day she bought her 15th cat.
– 30 years ago was the day she started her new medications.
– today is the day she started her new medications.
– she has been high for the last 30 years.
– she has been holed up in her house for 30 years and today is her first day out.
– she has had to work up the courage to ask for the cheddar sandwich for 30 years.
– it was her first and last cheddar sandwich.
What is your 30 years ago reason?