First Posted: 12/12/2014
I’m not a fan of shopping in the big, fat, generic super stores. But, it’s a necessary evil. Gone are the corner stores where one could buy a Slinky, a box of Jell-O and underwear, one block from your house. Now we have to get out the GPS, take a Dramamine, pack a lunch and take a field trip literally over the river and through the woods to the mother of all discount outlets; and you know which one I mean.
I had to saddle-up my coughing Volvo and make a trip there this Sunday. I had no choice. I had nothing but rice and maple syrup in the pantry, and although I think that can make an adequate meal in some parts of the world, apparently here in the States its considered child endangerment. No one knows how to substitute in a pinch around here! For example – they won’t use toilet paper to blow their noses or Preparation H as blemish cream. So, I had a list of crap to buy, and off I went. With a really bad attitude.
I knew, by my first sight of the parking lot, this was going to be a misadventure. I was already in a bad mood because my son used the last droplet of toothpaste and I had to run a lifesaver over my teeth to in order to remove last night’s stench and residue. Additionally, my little minions did indeed use the toilet paper as tissues and that left me with only a washcloth with which to…you know. It was an ugly day.
I finally found a parking spot the next town over and took a taxi to the store. Then the real fun begins: finding a cart without snot on the handle and with four operational wheels. Mission accomplished and off I ran; up the produce aisle, down the condiment aisle – weaving in and out of the vitamin and shampoo sections and winding up in detergents. There I found a young mother, wearing Hello Kitty pajama pants, chatting on her phone and ignoring her toddler, who opened a bottle of dishwashing liquid. She was speaking loudly to who I assumed was a boyfriend because she kept barking: “I’m going to punch you in the face if you don’t buy me that ring.” It was really sweet. So I lifted her baby out of the toxic carnage and handed her to her mother. Who scowled at me. You are welcome.
I finally made my way to the check-out line, where I read two entire magazines, the nutritional information from every beef jerky package and contemplated if I needed a mini lint brush or a 6 pack of cherry ChapStick. I placed my wares upon the conveyor belt and greeted the checker with fake-cheery salutations. She had dead eyes and looked right through me. She hated her life and she obviously blamed me. At least that was the vibe I got when she flung my zucchini onto the scale and bruised it into zucchini slush.
I finally made it out alive and I swear to you, I don’t care if this house has nothing left to eat but a piece of Juicy Fruit and a packet of mustard, I’m not going back there. No one can make me. Except I have to, because I forgot the Slinky. And the Jell-O. And the underwear. And my mind.