Why do people shut off their brains when they’re in grocery stores?
I try to be considerate and get the half-cart. I could get a full-sized one, but who needs all that space and luxury? I’m into efficiency and what’s good for the grocery store environment. So I’m a good citizen and I get the half-cart.
I appear to be the only one.
I don’t spend a lot of time piddling around at the store. I know what I need and if I take a moment to reflect, it’s because I’m either comparing price per unit (that little treasure of a calculation listed on the upper right tab of the price that no one else reads) or because there’s been some newfangled product line introduced and I’m trying to stare it down and see if it will buckle under the pressure of my wary consumer eye.
It usually does.
Everyone else seems to arrive at the store as if visiting the museum. Slow trodding, frequent stopping, and long gazes into the shelves. The most common obstacle for me is old ladies. Yes, I’m going to make that awful sweeping statement, because I’m sorry but for me it’s true. They have absolutely no regard for people around them, and are always positioned exactly in front of the thing I need. Not a problem – I’m a go-getter. I simply excuse myself. But since I do so at a polite volume for the rest of the aisle, the offender is usually unable to hear me. And I just feel so bad getting upset because they’re so wrinkly and adorable. Getting to the grocery store was probably the only thing on their to-do list that day and I’m just some yuppie that can’t slow down and enjoy the beauty of the cereal aisle.
Actually, you know what? It’s not just the old ladies. Let me be fair.
There was a ridiculous couple who took up the entire freezer section today. The entire thing, I kid you not. The man had the first (full-size) cart and one kid inside. He was positioned just slightly left of the aisle’s y-axis. His wife/girlfriend/baby momma was just to the right. With another full-size cart and another kid. Both were strolling along at a solid half mile per hour. I excused myself but got no response. The female was much more concerned with making sure the male knew she wanted an ample supply of chitlins for Easter.
There’s nothing like celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with a feast of pig intestines.
I was trying to size up my options for frozen dinners as last minute work lunches but was unable to do so because even after she noticed me, she couldn’t pull her kid away from the section. He appeared to be stuck to the freezer door. As she pushed the cart down the aisle and his grip tightened on the freezer door, I stopped to stare at his incredibly stretchable midsection. He was a genuine Stretch Armstrong. She continued forward, physical limitations set in, and with his inevitable release came a storm of screaming.
By now, my blood had worked up to a slight simmer.
When I finally arrived to the dairy section, I was thwarted in my attempts by a middle-aged woman who was overwhelmed by the multitude of yogurt options available to her. She picked each one up delicately, handling its packaging as if a beautiful gift and pondering the ingredients like a Shakespearean sonnet. And since I’d already attempted to excuse myself with both the old lady and the couple, I had basically thrown my tactics list out the window. I tried a new game and parked my cart to observe her, as if watching an animal at the zoo. Activia….Yoplait…Gogurt…Stonyfield…LORD HELP ME SHE’S READING THE ACTIVIA AGAIN.
Unable to maintain control over my anger, I B-lined toward the checkout line. I don’t need yogurt. There are little microscopic creatures inside and it’s always freaked me out anyway.
By the time I made it to the car, I had encountered nearly fifteen unique tests of my patience and use of decent language.
I can’t do this daytime shopping thing anymore. I told myself it was normal and decided to give it a go again but I just can’t have this sort of stressor in my life. I should have known not to willingly enter such a heavily populated closed quarter. That’s the stuff mass murders are made out of.
So it’s back to the night shift for me. There was a time when I longed for a friendly face behind the register instead of the zombie-like night crew. I had visions of overflowing produce and aisles clear of stock boxes. The idea of daytime shopping was like a world of sunshine and lollipops that had to be revisited.
But that was before 5:45 yesterday, when for a moment I entertained acts of violence toward total strangers.
You see? This is why I stay inside. ♣