Food Shopping

I made a big intake this morning, but in my own defense it isn’t something I do a lot. I went grocery shopping. And to add to my  mistake this morning I did it without the aid of coffee in my system. My wife and I are having chili later today so we needed a few last midnight things – which can happen when you decide this at 10pm the night before. Since I tend to get up early – yesterday it was 530am and it was Saturday – I offered to go, given a specific list so I could be in and out.

Of course, I woke up this morning at 915 and was out of the house by 930. The streets were not bad so I thought I might be in luck. And since the Eagles don’t play until tomorrow night, I hoped that it wouldn’t be too bad. I got a decent parking spot and headed straight in, grabbing a cart on my way. So far so good.  What could go wrong. My spirits high I headed straight to the meat counter for the lunch meat and the wheels started to come off.

I was only 5th in line and they had several people behind the counter. The first woman stepped up to place her order, but had to question the price of everything she ordered. And everything was too expensive so she argued with the (poor) clerk for each item. Several times asking what was on sale, only to get the more expensive choice because “the sale item must not be any good”. Personally, I like Black Bear meats, but that is just me.

The next guy in line steps up to place his order and at first I felt bad for the guy. After all, I only had about a dozen things on my list. But, based on the two pages he was holding in his hand and the clear block printing he was doing his wife a favor. For some reason though he had no idea what meat he should order or how much. So every selection was a deliberation as lengthly as if he was buying a new house or car.

I was very proud of myself when I stepped up and quickly placed my order and stepped away just a couple of minutes later. Then to add to my pride and manly chest thumping, thinking I had clearly mastered this whole grocery shopping “thing”. I got everything else on the list quickly and efficiently, my last stop being in the bean aisle grabbing a can of black beans. I started to look for the chili mix and found that just as quickly. Piece of cake.

I turned back to my cart – I had left it three feet behind me – and there was a woman taking stuff out and putting the items into her cart. She laughed and apologized saying she had put a few of her things in my cart. I smiled and said “that’s ok it’s not my cart.” And then it hit me – my cart was gone. Someone had taken my cart. I am sure you are thinking, what’s the big deal they probably had similar items. Not even close!! Not only was the cart left behind tow-thirds full, it had a huge bag in the child seat are where mine had been empty.

I shook my head as the woman behind me said “go to customer service and they will announce it, it happens all the time”. Somehow that didn’t make me feel much better. So I wandered up and down the half dozen aisles right by me in case the person didn’t get far or was coming back. Then I went to customer service, where in fact it does happen all the time so they announced it. Then shaking my head even more I went to get a second cart so that I could start shopping all over again.

Two items in I found my cart. It had been left in the middle of the dairy aisle, with a package of butter added to my items. Now I was really confused. First, they took the wrong cart. Then they added butter to my cart. And then realizing it was not their cart they LEFT the butter behind along with everything else in my cart. I was flabbergasted – and yes, I have been waiting to use that word. Shaking my head I quickly paid and got out of dodge.

I am sure there are people who will read this and laugh saying they do the shopping all the time and see the same things. I sure hope not, but I am sure that you do. Will I go food shopping again? Sure why not? If I can write and publish a novel, then I can master food shopping! For all of you who shop regularly I feel for you, honestly. For those of you who are doing your spouse a favor – don’t forget to take an itemized list and a lot of patience.


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