My little Sarita Bonita is growing up so fast. It seems like just yesterday we were fighting over which one of us was the true owner of the purple Mermaid Barbie, ‘cause everyone knows that nobody wants the dumb old pink one. The power is in the purple.
Before I begin this coming-of-age tale, you need to know three things about Sarah.
Number 1: Sarah is really quiet. I believe she’s had this problem since birth. It comes and goes depending on who’s around. There are special cases during which this may fluctuate, but as a general rule, strangers flip the switch from normal volume to super-soft-voice-that-only-dogs-can-hear.
Number 2: When we're walking together and we come upon a narrow space, Sarah falls back always. Maybe it’s because she’s younger than me, so she’s had years of practice following in my footsteps...maybe it’s just because I’m selfish and pushy and in those awkward situations where you run into someone and you’re not sure who should walk first, I always jump out and walk first before the other person knows what hit ‘em.
Number 3: Sarah has been using my Safeway card since she moved here over one year ago. This wouldn’t be a problem except that a) in an effort to make their customers feel special, the checkers at Safeway always use your name when they thank you. (This is the least they can do since they price gouge like a gas station during an oil shortage. Hey Safeway, is there a shortage on Oreo cookie filling? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure the same package of cookies cost me half this much at Wal-Mart. Well I would go to Wal-Mart but it takes twice as long to get there! WELL YEAH, I GUESS THAT IS THE PRICE YOU PAY FOR CONVENIENCE. AND IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHY I BUY OREOS SO FREQUENTLY. MY BINGES, MY BUSINESS.)
Whew....let’s take a breath and steady ourselves since it seems like some of us are getting a little worked up. Also this next paragraph is a doozy.
Alright, where was I...oh, yes. This wouldn’t be a problem except that a) (see above) and b) Sarah and I do all our grocery shopping together, meaning the checker thanks whichever one of us is first (usually me, for reasons that can be found about three paragraphs back) by saying, “Thank you Mrs. Gray,” and then when they go to thank the second one of us (Sarah, because she falls back always) they say, “Thank you Miss.....Gray....?” with a suspicious glance between the two of us. Here’s why: I wear a wedding ring. Sarah does not. We have the same face. It’s clear one of us is lying, because there are only two possible alternatives: either I’m not really married and our mom named us both Emily (maybe she really liked the name?) or we’re just two girls named Emily who happen to have eerily similar features and who married brothers named Gray. One of us is ashamed of her choice of husband and, in an effort to avoid public humiliation, refuses to wear her wedding ring. If I learned anything from Angels in the Outfield besides the fact that Joseph Gordon Levitt is awesome, it's that "it could happen".
Ok, now that you’re up to speed, I can tell you the big news: Sarah applied for her very own Safeway card yesterday! And it doesn’t stop there! She also spoke at a normal volume when turning in the completed form (because the girl didn’t hear her on the first go ‘round, and you know what they say about desperate times), and then topped everything off by walking through an automatic door with gusto, forgetting for a moment her secret fear that it wouldn’t open for her à la that episode of the Simpsons where the doors don’t sense Bart because he sold his soul to Milhouse for five bucks. This could also explain why her first response when I upset her is to scream, "Why you little!" before choking me in a hilarious, albeit completely inappropriate manner.
So good luck, all you Safeway checkers out there, on your attempts to accurately pronounce Howrey. It sounds just like it looks, but people seem to have an amazingly difficult time saying it. If you’re having trouble, just silently say “how ridiculous” in your head, and you’ve got it. Minus the diculous.