Of all the things I dislike, grocery shopping tops my list. Given a choice between an hour at the market and, say, going to the dentist, I will choose the dentist. Heck, if it were possible, I’d find pregnant women and offer to endure labor and delivery in their stead if they would just do my grocery shopping.
First, grocery stores blow icy air year around. I’ve been warmer while shoveling snow. Can’t they come up with some other way to keep the produce fresh? And how about when they move things? For years my favorite cereal was in aisle two, second shelf from the bottom. Then one day—poof!—the cereal is gone, replaced by Meow Mix. Meow Mix may be lower in calories than Raisin Bran, but I bet it has half the fiber. I’m an old bagger. I need my fiber.
When I was 5-years-old I disobeyed my Grandma at the market and picked up a jar of pickles. Have you ever seen how far pickle juice spatters when the glass jar shatters? Really far, y’all. The grocery clerk who came to clean up the mess glared at me with devil eyes that glowed red. Is it any wonder I suffered trauma? (Grandma told Mama that she dropped the pickle jar. Mama raised her eyebrow at me and gave me the scary mom face, so I know she knew better, but she couldn’t spank Grandma and we both knew it. God bless Grandma.)
Wednesday is shopping day at our house because it is senior citizen discount day at the local Publix. No, buttercup, I don’t qualify (yet), but Papa does. He always asks the check-out clerk: “Did you give me my old guy’s discount?” They love him. They’d triple the discount for Papa if they could get away with it which may be why he actually enjoys grocery shopping.
Anyway, today was shopping day and when Papa and I ran out of room in our cart we decided to check out. Two lanes were lit, and one was a ten-items-or-less lane devoid of shoppers. The other lane bloomed with a queue of elderly people leaning against overflowing carts, eager for their senior discount. The grocery manager saw the traffic jam, called for backup, and directed us to the empty ten-items-or-less lane. Within thirty seconds, every person in the store with ten-items-or-less decided to check out. Behind me now were no less than six people glaring with the same devil red eyes as the clerk who cleaned up the pickle mess. Their look clearly said, “What part of ten-items-or-less do you not understand, you idiot? Ten or less! Ten or less!”
I mumbled an apology and blamed the grocery manager. “He told me to check out here!” They raised their brows and gave me the scary mom look alternately with the devil glare.
Grocery stores seem like benign places. They draw you in with bakery smells and the promise of big sales on potato chips, but I know the truth. And now, so do you.
Til next time –