Intro to Balloon Handling
Did I really have the following conversation at the floral/balloon counter at our grocery store yesterday? Why, yes...yes I believe I did.
Me: Hi, I want to get that Thomas balloon as well as two other blue balloons and a yellow balloon to go with it.
I said this to a seemingly normal woman except for the lip liner that ran 1/4 inch above her natural lip/skin border. I don't want to rat anyone out, so we'll call her Denise.
Denise: Sure. Now, are you going to tie these balloons to something?
I hate when customer service involves quizzing me about my post purchase intentions. I've bought balloons before, just trust me.
Me: Oh, I don't know. They are just going in my house so I'll probably just let them go when I get in there.
Denise: Well, unless you tie them to something, they will go straight to the ceiling.
You don't say.
Me: Yes, I know. I have a low ceiling.
In my 1950's ranch house with no pantry and the washer and dryer outside in an outbuilding.
Denise: Is this for a child?
You mean the Thomas the Tank Engine balloon?
Denise: Well you should know that these balloons are made of latex. They are dangerous if a child swallows them.
Denise, I had my child in 2007. This was right at the time that every cough medicine for a child under the age of 4 was taken off the shelves, Jenny McCarthy had written books on Autism and vaccinations and the BPA scare was coming to light. I tied up all the pull cords on my blinds, baby proofed my entire home, front and backyard and got a magnifying glass to determine the batch number on our children's tylenol no less than four times in three years. I have read every book, magazine, pamphlet and cereal box factoid about every possible danger to my child. I laugh at you thinking I don't know that swallowed latex is harmful. I had a baby in the age of paranoid...go ahead and quiz me.
Me: Yes, I realize this.
Denise: (still not sure I can handle this purchase) Okay, here you go. (handing me my balloons) Now, you'll want to hold on to these because if you don't, they will float away.
Is there a helpline I can call if I forget any of this?
Sorry I had to pick on Denise, but...geez. There are some purchases that I believe involve a conversation not unlike the one above. I think it's good to discuss electronics, cars and pharmaceutical purchases with the appropriate sales person or expert. These are helpful and necessary. There are other purchases, in my opinion, that one does not need to discuss. For instance, I don't need a consultation at Starbucks to discuss my latte, I really didn't need that woman at the drugstore a few months ago explaining to me that too much of the sugar free chocolate I was buying acted as a laxative and I certainly don't need Denise at the balloon counter assuming that I don't know how helium works.
PS - We had a small family birthday party for Sam last night and tomorrow - he will be THREE! What a privilege it is to be entrusted with a child and what a reward to get to see them grow.