Monday, June 8, 2009

Witness to the Incredulous

I hate grocery shopping. Hate it hate it hate it. I just posted up in Facebook that I hate grocery shopping so much, I've been using my brother's toothpaste for the past week. I had finally given up the fight and went today, because I was out of lemons.

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Less than quick story...weird but true. Last March, after returning to Chicago from Tampa with Trish and her family, we are all trussed up in a mini-van taxi being driven by a big man. I had to cram into the front passenger seat, knees digging into the dashboard, nose seemingly inches from the windshield. I love Trish and her family as my own, but I was exhausted from the parental test-driving I did over the week with her two boys. I tried to send my astral body out to a remote island until we arrived at my car's location and I could RUN AWAY. So I was fairly silent in the taxi.

The driver started to tell me a story...and you know how this is if you don't want to talk to anyone...but he reminded so much of Bernie Mac and his spiel in "Ocean's Eleven" at the car dealer that I couldn't be mean. So I listened to him ramble on and then eventually realized he was talking about my then bad bout of acne. Man, I'm 37 years old and more than once I thought about donating my facial oil to a fast food joint or a biodiesel plant. Grease-ee. Why on the GREEN EARTH is this stranger talking about my bad skin?? He was kind though, and pointed out that he had once been a puppet of the McJob himself, suffered the same facial fate, and someone passed on the virtue of lemon juice. No shit. Wash your face, squeeze some lemon juice into your hand (from actual lemons presumably...I'd imagine the concentrated bottled stuff might be too harsh), splash it on. I did thank him for the advice and, after all the money spent on one stupid product or another that never worked, it seemed so ridiculously simple, I was game.

So, March, April, May, June. I've been using lemon juice on my face every day for all that time. Totally cleared up. No more angry red things. No more grease. Even with that monthly eruption issue, only a couple dared surface. Awesome. Thank you, dear, dear Bernie Mac-lookin' driver man. I owe you big.

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Back to the grocery shopping. Out of lemons. Now you know why. After stopping at the local gourmet beer and coffee joint in town, and cleaning them out of Beamish, I sped over to the grocery store. I can't boil down my hatred for shopping into one reason. It might be that I'm weak and lazy, and sometimes come home with $200 worth of frozen, microwaveable food (and ice cream). It might be that I think I'm just a little agoraphobic. I remember one Christmas season having to leave a shopping mall because I was going to lose it. Now, I prefer to shop online as much as possible for the Christmas holiday and only go to the mall if I have no other choice. I WILL not go anywhere near the mall within a week of Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's.

I also equate grocery shopping with some of the worst drivers I've ever seen. I am not without my own errors in judgment, but there's people who drive on the "wrong" side of the aisle, who park their cart in the middle, blocking the whole aisle instead of "pulling over", who plug up the only "hole" in the flow of traffic, and God help me, three people who WERE STANDING DIRECTLY IN THE DOORWAY OF THE ENTRANCE CHATTING. Amazing how I can appear to be so laid back most of the time, isn't it? Which is WHY I avoid the grocery store, right?

I've wandered back and forth throughout the store picking up my necessities...seriously, why are the Hershey's bars in the candy aisle, the graham crackers in the cracker aisle and the marshmallows in the baking aisle? If I had my way, grocery stores would have a s'mores aisle. Damn it, I passed the lemons.

I'm rounding the home stretch past the ice cream and through the bakery section when I notice a slim, solo, blond woman seizing a baguette of French bread. Snarky Me pops to the surface to mumble, "Oh God, how movie of her. Now all we need is to see carrots with the tops still attached poking out of her crisply creased paper bag."

I wheel my crap over to the checkout lanes. Gotta get out, gotta get out. I queue up behind one other woman and start unloading my cart. The pleasant woman behind the counter steps out and places a large sign directly behind my groceries that her lane is closed. LARGE sign. About a foot across and half a foot tall. CLOSED. She smiles at me and says, "After you, of course." I reply, "Thank you. I was worried for a minute there you were going to wait until I unloaded my cart to tell me you were closed." We exchange smiles and I continue to dump my junk on the belt. Now it's my turn. She mentions something to me like, "It's funny. You should see how many people actually move AROUND that sign to put their groceries down." I sort of chuckle and start loading up my groceries into the bags as she rings the rest up (it's a YOU bag aisle...fitting, I believe, as I AM a bag).

My face is two feet from the floor as I'm picking up the case of pop from the bottom rack of my cart when I see two feet appear behind it. I stand up and Movie Baguette lady has perched her little single-people's basket on the belt behind my stuff. AROUND the CLOSED sign. That's when I look at the pleasant woman behind the counter...beaming at me through her cute, square rimmed glasses. I bust out laughing as she says, "See? And you didn't believe me." As I'm still packing my groceries into the bags, laughing hysterically and now, welling up with tears and snot, Pleasant Woman continues to make conversation with me...probably trying to keep herself composed while all around her are losing or have lost their head. "Ooo, you're making s'mores? Hunting, camping, fishing?" I blurt out "Camping!" as I gleek on my loaf of bread and carton of ice cream. The laughter subsides...I can't look at Movie Baguette lady, I keep losing it as it is. Then more laughter. "Oh that's awesome. Thanks so much for planning that laugh for me." Pleasant Woman says, "Oh, no problem at all. Camping, huh?" "Yes," I struggle to breathe. "Brother. Brother's girlfriend, me. Vintage. Motorcycle. Racing." Pleasant Woman to me, as I bust out again, "Sweet! Well you have a nice night." Me: "Oh God. THANK YOU! I hope your job ends SOMETIME today." As we laugh again, and I push my cart of shit out the door...looking like I just popped onion peels under my eyelids.

Movie Baguette lady? Utterly, completely, oblivious.

Okay, so it was probably more funny in person that it is on blog. But I was there...ergo, funny. Have a lovely! Try not to stab anyone at Wal-Mart with a pool noodle!

Also...there's this.

That's right, a new fragrance for your armpits! Take your pits away to a Tropical Paradise! Rent 'em a hammock! Buy 'em a daiquiri, one each! Let's go, Pits! Bora Bora!


  1. How about this one? On two separate visits to the local super Wally World, I encounter the same trio. The two 400 pound women (each) in the motorized wheelchair things and the younger 500 pound man in the lounge pants pushing the cart. As I try to pass the entourage, which is no small task, the young man says to the women "Okay, here's the Cool Whip but I can't find the pound cake." I have nothing further to say.

  2. So they went home with just the Cool Whip, eh? Smart people. Why waste the space on the pound cake carrier (how am I not 500 pounds)? :)

  3. I freakn HATE grocery shopping! And wtf is with people who ignorantly stand in doorways, rudely chatting as if only they matter? Hate that. Thanks for a great new post lemonhead, this was the only thing that could pull me away from Bella!

  4. You should give serious consideration to writing a book. SERIOUSLY!!!

  5. So, when it's 100 degrees out, suddenly the grocery store is not so bad. I couldn't help but send you that pic last night.

    Update the blog girlfriend......