The idea of grocery shopping is great. You pick out all the food you want, and just chuck it into a basket (except for the eggs). It’s a freaking shopping spree, and nobody can tell you when to stop. Yes, we have grand ideas of putting together the perfect meals with the food we select, but then the time comes. It’s time to actually go to the grocery store.
You’ve got your list, and you know exactly what you’re going to get. The plan couldn’t be more perfect. Produce, boxed items, frozen food, and the dairy aisle. In that order. It will be quick and painless, and you’ll be back home in 45 minutes.
Not this time. Not next time. Not anytime. Here’s why….
You leave the house only to realize you forgot your list. No big deal, you haven’t even left the neighborhood yet. One little set-back isn’t going to ruin this experience. So you go back home, grab your carefully researched and edited list, leave again, and arrive at the store.
You look for your parking space. You know, the one that’s far enough away from the ten nut-jobs fighting over the two closest spots, but not too far away from a cart return. You find that prime parking space, but see a boat sized Lincoln Town Car with all its doors open right next to where you want to park, while a couple of ninety seven year-olds take half an afternoon to load up four bags of prune juice and Werther’s Originals. Looks like you’re headed for the employee parking area…damn near across the street.
After a short hike, you enter the building. With only a couple of disturbances, the original plan is still in pretty much intact. You take your cart, and damn it, wouldn’t you know…that STUPID CLICHE BROKEN WHEEL! Whatever. Moving on.
Tomatoes are on the list, so you head over to the produce department. As you approach the tomatoes, you notice an elderly woman is occupying the tomato stand, groping and fondling every last juicy tomato in the basket. Totally unaware of her surroundings, and quite possibly her whereabouts, she does this for another 5 minutes. You finally pick out what a few minutes ago seemed like fresh tomatoes, and press on.
Ah, now it’s time for the main aisles. Plans of zipping up and down the aisles are curbed due to the genius employee that decided to put two palettes of products side by side, blocking thru traffic. Of course the next item on your list is just on the other side of the roadblock, so you high tail it all the way around the next aisle to get back to where you need to be, but you never get there.
Two old men (they’re all old at the grocery store) are chatting in the middle of your detour aisle, also blocking the way. You ask politely for one of them to move, and they can’t hear you because they’re just too damn old. Every aisle is more of the same. People aimlessly wandering with no sense direction or of anyone else around them trying to get on with their day.
Oh, and God forbid anyone looks before they come drag racing out of the end of the aisles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been T-boned while walking along the end of the aisles.
Realizing your trip isn’t going as planned, you fight your way through the rest of the store while painstakingly crossing off another item on the list. Your list is now complete. It’s over! It’s finally over! Think again Jack.
The dreaded checkout line.
My philosophy is to just pick your pony and go with it. Find a line and stay there. In my experience it doesn’t matter if you’re in a line with 3 people or 8 people. There’s always a problem. Always. It’s either the banana’s were marked 6 cents lower than what it’s ringing up for, or someone’s check isn’t going through because they don’t have enough money, but act like it’s because something fishy is going on at their bank.
It’s your turn to pay. It’s always way more money than what you thought it was going to be, but you don’t care because all you want to do is go home. It’s then that you realize you still have to dodge traffic with a now 100 lb cart to get back to your crappy parking spot and load them all in to your trunk.
Still not over.
With everything that already happened, there’s nothing worse than pulling back into your drive way only to have to haul all this crap into the kitchen. You grab two too many bags and forget to unlock your front door first. While setting all the bags back down to get to your keys, you notice something is broken inside one of the bags. The eggs. “Damn it! I even took extra special care of those things this time!” Until you had to throw all your bags down on the porch to get your keys out. You make it unnecessarily hard on yourself by justifying only making two or three trips instead of four or five. With your hands and fingers cramped and overworked from carrying 50 pounds at a time, you plop the last of your groceries on the counter, and put them away.
Two hours from when you started your treacherous journey, it’s time for a nap…a long nap. Gotta rest up for the same thing next week.