7-Eleven is a dangerous place.
When I was 7, I tripped while reaching for a straw for my Slurpee and I broke my wrist.
When I was 11, I suffered food poisoning after eating one of their hot dogs.
When I was 14, I burned my arm while I was pouring myself hot chocolate.
Long story short, I have a rocky history when it comes to 7-Eleven. After yesterday, it appears that nothing has changed. Nothing at all.
Which brings me to what happened yesterday. I wanted donuts. You know, not the fresh ones, but the mini-donuts that are over-processed and are “best used” by a date nearing my retirement. I spotted the donuts, but that’s when I heard The Voice. I immediately ducked for cover. I found myself hiding in aisle 4 with the Twinkies (not by choice, obviously) from one of my least favorite people: Mrs. Covington, who is, unfortunately, my neighbor and a typical busybody. She is always inserting herself into everyone’s business and showing up at the worst possible times. Like right now.
Mrs. Covington was in aisle 5—better known as The Aisle Dangerously Close To Me. I didn’t know how long I could pull this off. At any moment now, she could turn the corner and accost me with her neighborhood gossip and intrusive observations. Did I care about either? No way. Would she still tell me? You bet.
No! I heard her footsteps, which could only mean one thing: Mrs. Covington was turning the corner. AHHHH.
“Gracie, so good to see you! Why are you on the floor? By the way, did you hear that Jane is getting married and moving to Texas? That means new neighbors for us! Maybe we should have a welcoming party! Oh, and do you have a boyfriend yet? Bring him if you do. You know, I told my Katie that she can’t have a boyfriend yet. 10 is way too young. Anyways, she needs to focus on soccer! That way, she’ll be able to get on a new club team and travel to Brazil to see the World Cup . . . ” Mrs. Covington droned on and on and on. I was watching her mouth move, but no words were registering.
All of a sudden, I noticed her mouth stopped moving. Mrs. Covington was no longer talking. Instead, she was looking at me for a response. Oh, shoot. I wonder what she just said.
“Wow, Mrs. Covington. That sounds great. Can’t wait. I would love to stay and talk with you, but I actually have a dentist appointment in 10 minutes. Great catching up with you!” I managed before escaping out the door.
“Wait, Gracie! I thought your mom was a dentist? And I just saw her come home from work before I came here,” she said, with a puzzled look on her face.
“So sorry, talk to you later!” I ran out of 7-Eleven. Soon, I was breathless and panting several blocks away. Far away. I felt the need to put as much distance as I could between Mrs. Covington, the 7-Eleven, and me.
Yes! I did it. I escaped.
Just then, a car honked and I looked over. It was Mrs. Covington pulling over and rolling down her window right next to me.
“Hi, Gracie! Oh, honey, you look exhausted. Can I give you a ride home? Hop on in. I’ll tell you all about . . . ” Blah. Blah. Blah.
I give up, 7-Eleven . . . you win. I’ve learned my lesson. Next time, Dunkin’ Donuts.