I actually enjoy my time shopping for groceries immensely, moseying down aisles of delicious food, meandering slowly through the produce section; it’s a time for relaxation and solitude. I purposely schedule my shopping at a time after which I don’t have anywhere to be or anything to cook, and when most people are at work. However, there are certain moments that cause me to reconsider venturing through those automatic sliding doors ever again.
1. That moment when you are trying to figure out what brand of peanut butter to buy this week (basically the cheapest) when a man slowly walks up behind you so that he can figure out what kind of peanut butter to purchase as well. This particular man doesn’t understand PERSONAL SPACE and brushes against you as he reaches across your person for his choice. This may have been done on purpose, since he then turns to make eye contact and grin, mouthing “Pardon me,” with a gleam in his eye. It makes you want to instantly leave to go home and shower. Twice.
2. That moment when Mrs. Old Lady ahead of you in line pays with a bajillion coupons and a slowly written check. She has the clerk scan the coupons slowly, one by one, so she can monitor the whole process by reading each coupon out loud and comparing it with the “amount owed” screen. If she doesn’t get 50 cents off her 24 roll pack of Charmin, by golly, she will speak up in outrage! The line is getting longer behind her, but she pays absolutely no mind. After everything is rung up, because of the intense concentration needed to micro-manage the employee scanning the items, she just now starts to dig around in her purse full of used Kleenexes, Werther’s so old they unwrapped themselves, and countless Sweet n’ Low packets, to find her check book. Now she needs to find a pen. Finally, the clerk exchanges her neat, calligraphic check for a receipt, but then she needs to stand there another few minutes to study it like a twelve year boy and his first experience with an R-rated movie.
3. That moment when you realize you forgot your “Earth friendly” reusable bags at home and now have to use the paper ones provided at the store. What you have to look forward to are the judgmental stares from the people in line behind you, and the unspoken accusation from the judging checkout clerk’s eyes as they WHIP out that paper bag, causing you to wince with guilt (this is all times ten if you are shopping at Whole Foods).
4. That moment when you leave Roth’s with their trademark insistent “Let me help you carry your single bag out” employee and you can’t remember where you parked your car.
My pet peeve in the grocery store? When Mrs. Calligraphy Little Old Lady (or substitute fat middle-aged suburban mom who hates her life) parks their cart on one side of the aisle, while slowly meandering up and down the canned soup aisle trying to figure out the price per unit, or whether Campbell’s or Progresso has more sodium, and whether or not they clipped that coupon for BOGO soup in the paper today. Meanwhile, you just want to get past them and grab a can of tomato soup because you have a the cold from hell. But you’re afraid if you reach in to grab it you either break the fragile old lady (or get squished and glared at by the suburban mom). I just want my damn soup!!