Thursday, September 24, 2009

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

There was supposed to be a picture of a bracelet here, but since I didn’t get home until after 7 PM last night and still had to make (order) dinner and get the kid showered and to bed and the laundry done (boo! hiss!) I didn’t exactly have a lot of time left for photography. Plus, it wasn’t quite light enough outside to get good pictures, anyway.

I should’ve known the whole night was a loss when I had to work late and then got on the freeway to find it at a dead stop due to an accident. Now, this being So Cal, a freeway turned into a parking lot by an accident is actually the normal state of affairs. But this is a special freeway. This is a toll road. A toll road which I pay an exorbitant amount of money, (one might almost call it highway robbery…sorry, couldn’t resist) which I would much rather spend on beads, to drive on because there’s not supposed to be any traffic OR accidents to get in my way.

Apparently, somebody didn’t get the memo: There are to be NO accidents on MY freeway that I PAY to drive on!

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on with our little story, shall we?

So, as a result of the working late and the being stuck on the freeway, I didn’t make it to pick up the kid until he was the last kid there and they were closing up the place. I only missed having to pay a late fee by about 30 seconds.

And then the kid hit me with “Mommy, I thought you forgot about me.”


I lay all this out for you as a prologue so you will understand that by the time we got to the car and I realized we still had to go to the grocery store (the household being lacking in all things toilet paper), I was not in the best of moods.

Oh, and did I remember to mention that it was eleventy-billion degrees out, too? Okay, maybe not eleventy-billion, but it was 90 degrees…at 6 PM at night…in almost-October.

That’s just WRONG.

I want an early frost and crisp air and apples and sweaters. Instead, I’m contemplating an air conditioning bill that makes the national deficit pale in comparison.

Woops…okay…thought train de-railed again. Back to the story.

Upon entering the parking lot, I discover that yesterday had apparently been designated as National “Ignore the Parking Lot Stall Lines” Day. Nobody told me, though. I’m bummed because I would’ve gotten some balloons or a printed t-shirt or something.

Seriously, though, was I the only one in Driver’s Ed class on the day they explained how your car is supposed to fit BETWEEN the white lines? Not on them or diagonally across them. BETWEEN them. Why is that such a hard concept to grasp?

Oh, and a Hummer? NOT A COMPACT CAR. Don’t park one in the stalls marked “compact.” And definitely don’t take a bright yellow one and park it diagonally across TWO compact stalls.

And no, I am NOT making this up. I’m so proud this genius lives somewhere in my town.

But none of that matters, really, because I can’t get far enough down the aisle to get to any of these parking spots anyway because of the vacant-eyed, drooling teenage couple who are meandering down the center of the aisle, holding hands and each talking separately into their own phones. Hell, they were probably talking to each other on the phones for all I know, but I was too busy trying to restrain myself from running them over to figure it out.

Finally get the car parked and get up to the grocery store entrance where I am accosted by the “cause du jour” people. These are the people who have a table set up outside every grocery store, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. in my town and want you to stop on your way into the store to “buy cookies/ buy popcorn/sign a petition/register to vote/adopt a pet/save the homeless/save the rainforest/save geniuses who park their Hummers in compact car spots.” Now, I’m sure all these are worthy causes (well, except maybe that last one), but not only am I in a hurry, I’m just tired of not being able to go ANYWHERE without someone haranguing me about something every single time.

I’ve developed an entire arsenal of tactics to avoid having to deal with these people, but that’s probably a blog entry all on its own. Let’s just assume I avoided their snare yesterday and proceeded to try to enter the grocery store.

I know, I know…you’re thinking how long this entry has been and I’m not even in the store yet. That’s because I want you to feel the pain of how incredibly annoying this whole experience is.

I can’t actually get in the door because a woman has stopped with her cart halfway in. She’s getting hand sanitizer from the dispenser near the entrance – which is a good idea. She just needed to either leave her cart outside or take it inside, but don’t STOP IN THE DOORWAY! Her two kids are standing to the side of the cart so they are blocking a guy IN the store who is trying to exit. Their mom is completely oblivious.

Meanwhile I’m standing behind this whole mess thinking that the traffic moved more quickly on the freeway earlier this afternoon.

Finally, the woman wakes up and realizes she’s doing the equivalent of changing her tire in the middle of traffic and gets out of the way.

The kid and I proceed inside only to discover that there are no small hand baskets to be had anywhere so we have to go back outside to get a cart. I pull a cart out of the line, turn around and start to exit the cart storage area when around the corner comes a huge line of carts right at me. One of the highly intelligent (cough! cough!) store workers has rounded up the stray carts from the parking lot, formed them into a massive snaking line and is pushing the line into the storage area. Except that the line is really long and he’s at the far end of it which is almost around the corner so he can’t see that my son and I and our cart are trapped in there and in danger of being run over.

Run over by grocery carts is NOT the way I want to go.

He finally comes around the corner and sees us standing there and I will give you one guess as to whether he backs off and lets us out or not.

Yeah, you know he didn’t, right? I mean that was too easy. No, he just kept on shoving that line of carts in and we stood there trapped until he was finished.

Notice that I have STILL not made it inside the store.

Finally, though, we’re in. And I think we can all say a small prayer of thanks that for once I did not have to visit the deli counter. Because I’m not sure the store or I would have survived that encounter at this point.

Once inside the store, I realize that they are ONCE AGAIN reorganizing the place. I mean heck, it was only a couple of weeks ago that they moved the Slimfast to the condom aisle. Obviously the place was ripe for another re-decorating.

Half the aisles are blocked with dollies and wire cages full of stuff that they are in the process of re-locating. This makes finding items and maneuvering down the aisles extra entertaining. It’s like a scavenger hunt and an obstacle course all in one.


Oh, and moving the bottled water to the Asian Foods aisle? Genius! Absolutely the perfect place and right where anyone would naturally expect it to be. Not quite up to the Slimfast/condom aisle combination, but close.

I swear there’s some evil little gnome of a guy in a cubby somewhere watching all of the customers run around like crazy looking for stuff and giggling some insane giggle to himself because he just gets off on screwing with us.

Let’s see – what else?

Are there any carrots or bananas to be had in the produce aisle? Nope. Totally out. Makes sense – I’m sure I heard on CNN that there is a worldwide carrot and banana shortage.

Oh look! A watermelon has fallen onto the floor, cracked open and is spilling a huge puddle of juice across the entire aisle. I don’t suppose anyone wants to clean that up?


Okay, never mind.

Can I get any milk that has an expiration date more than 2 days from now?


Means I get to come back here in 2 days. Goody!

I’m not even going to go into detail about the checkout line except to mention that the cashier took one look at my face and told me to “Smile!”

I’m sad to report that due to a small thermonuclear explosion, the store no longer exists.

Nice crater, though.



WonderfulWire said...

Dang!! LOL!!!! I can't stop laughing and this last comment says it all!!
"’m not even going to go into detail about the checkout line except to mention that the cashier took one look at my face and told me to “Smile!”

I’m sad to report that due to a small thermonuclear explosion, the store no longer exists.

Nice crater, though."

Oh man!! Can't wait to read this to my husband!b :)

Dori said...

Are you related to Erma Bombeck? I haven't laughed so hard in years. Thanks so much for sharing.

The Joy of Nesting said...

Oye!!! Thank you Little Mama!!

Here is another reminder why I love living in this country!!! The only loud, obnoxious,rude, pushy impolite people are from the Northlands. Wear black soaks with their sandals, wife beater tee shirts with extreamly intelligent quotes, tube tops 3 sizes to small and shorts 10inches to short. :)

Take a deep breath put a bit of Jimmy Buffet on the stereo and make a bracelet with the awesome tropical flavored beads you've got stashed!! :)

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

TesoriTrovati said...

You sure know how to make lemonade from those lemons KJ! How about a vodka lemonade?! You could use one right about now!
Thanks for the chuckles!
Enjoy the day!

thecolorofdreams said...

What a story! Have you ever thought about writing a book? You have a talent with words that make other people laugh!
I hope that you have a better day today.

Marie Cramp said...

ROFLMAO!!! Girl you have a way with words. I avoid long winded blog post at all costs, but your just seem to pull me in and make me die of laughter. I laugh because I see myself in the same crazy situations, you are fuming, you want to just shove your way through and you repress it with all your might. Totally me.