Monday, August 20, 2012

Grocery Store

The grocery store is not one of my favorite places, but because I am a mother that stays at home, it is one of the few "outings" I get each week. I'm not saying I get to go there alone, I'm just saying that while dragging children around there are very few places I am willing to chance taking them inside.

When we get to the store, I approach the door knowing that I have "x" number of minutes that my children can go before we have a breakdown in the store. Someone will get mad because we do not purchase something they want, or someone wants to hold a can and I unknowingly put it in the buggy, or they get mad at one another. No matter how great a day it has been, at some point it will happen.

Each week as we approach those automatic glass doors, I take those steps to begin getting everyone happy and in a good mood. Kiss and hugs, a good joke, no matter what it takes I need everyone to be in the best possible mental place once we are on the other side of that door. As soon as we cross that invisible line, it's all business.

To be able to go through the store as quickly as possible I write my list before we go to the store. I get all my coupons ready (yes I am a couponer, but the store has NEVER owed me money at the end of a transaction. Even if I only have 1 coupon worth $.25 off toilet paper, I'm using it dang it!!! I'm a couponer!!), and make sure that every item on my list includes all the details of exactly what I am purchasing, how many, AND it's all written in the order of the store. I know what meat is at the end of the cereal isle and because I always go down that isle from the front to the back of the store, I know I'm picking up a bag of frozen chicken breast at the end of it. I'm just saying, time is of the essence.

   We fly through produce and back around the lunch meat counter and so on, filling our cart with the needs of the week. There are certain isles that I know I have to account extra time for, like the bread isle. They are always stocking the stupid thing and for some unknown reason to me there is always someone who parks their buggy directly across from the guy stocking the bagels blocking the whole thing. People are always cussing and getting all mad (I'm one of the mad ones, not the cussing ones) and by the time I make it off that isle with my tortillas, half of my time is used up.

   37 is our magic number…we have right at thirty-seven minutes to get from produce to tampons. Rounding the corner to the milk, this morning, I thought I was in the clear with 9 minutes left. Then out of nowhere there she was. I knew as we got close that she was a danger, but I needed just a few cold things and we were home free. It was entirely my fault…I made eye contact, something I try to never do in the grocery store. A little white-haired grandma.

   They are the sweetest enemy I have in this setting. She started with a “hello”, then, “your children are so beautiful”, and then dove head-long into all about her grandchildren, all their names, where all 7 of them live, how she never gets to see them and then began telling me a story about each one. We were on a lovely story about how Little Charlie (grandchild #4) was not ready for school to begin again, when I looked down at my watch. I gasped realizing I didn’t have any of my cold stuff and we were down to 1 minute. SHIZAM!

  This is why I hate the grocery store. I’m always getting sucked into this stuff. It kills me. I try to be nice and end up screwing myself over. The worst part is that I know something similar will happen again next week, and just like this week at least one of my kids will cry the whole time we’re trying to check out. Today I did something I’ve never done. It got so bad that I opened the bag of mini bagels and handed on to each kid so they would just hold it together until we got out side.

Oh, Grocery Store, perhaps one day we will have a better relationship.


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