If you live in the suburbia, or quite frankly anyplace where civilization exists, you have been to a grocery store. There are any number of chains from the high end to the budget kinds. I suppose the Sam's Clubs and Costcos should be classified as grocery stores, yet for this post, I am focusing on the typical grocery store. Hy-Vee is where I shop due to its location and selection of just about anything you could want,absent a strict adherence to certain dietary rules.
A couple of weeks' back, I found myself there and I stared into the abyss. Here is my tale.
I had been sent there on a fairly simple mission: Get groceries. Of course, this mission had some overtones of getting stuff I have never heard of and there was a bit of a time crunch. My wife was helping host a Pampered Chef party and I volunteered to make the grocery run. After all, how hard could it be? I was about to find out.
Despite my association with an organization that values time management (right place/right time), when left to my own devices, I can get a bit off-track. Again, I had that time crunch to worry about and grocery stores are full of distractions. Not nearly as bad as sporting good stores, but still, distractions abound.
Now I was not flying completely blind, as the photo above indicates, I had a list. Normally, that would have been enough except I ended up getting trapped in the produce aisle and was looking for things I had no idea existed. (To those of you who eat a plant-based diet, my apologies.) Thanks to the gentlemen working the produce aisle, he got me squared away. I had no idea there were that many versions of tomatoes, just sayin'...
I bit of an observation on modern shopping: Just my opinion of course, but I do not think anyone under the age of 18 should ever be allowed to operate a smartphone in a supermarket. More than once I almost took out a family of three boys who were engrossed in their device and failed to realize my cart almost took clipped them right above the elbow. Mom, bless her heart, was as persistent as ineffective in her admonitions. Let's move on.
Then there are the aisles. There really are no rules of the road on weekends at supermarkets and approaching corners rivals driving in downtown Cairo, except of course, Cairo is safer. (Well, that may be a tinge of an exaggeration but you get my point and this is after all satire.) I think this incredibly nice woman born circa the Hoover administration had a GPS lock on me to be turning at me every time I crossed the aisle. I lost her in the beer and wine section.
I am looking at my watch, crossing things off my list when I see this request: Plum Jelly. What?!? I never heard of such a thing and if it’s good, I’ll take your word for it. Oh, and of course it is not in the jelly aisle. Every other kind is there, but no plum. Just as I was about to throw in the towel, I try the health food aisle.
I am on a roll. The rest of the list starts to get pared down, I've lost my elderly lady friend and the three kids are gone so I think I am in the clear. Of course, time is not on my side and like a quarterback down two scores, I have to move up the field, er store, quick. I think I am done then I see this item- black olives.
The olives, no, No NO!! not fair.
There are simply too many choices. In the back of my head, I hear Devo's "Freedom From Choice" blaring. I have one chance to pull this off. I use my last lifelife and call my wife hoping that through a combination of affection and pity she would answer.
Now, candor demands I acknowledge that this was not the first inquiry to her during this trip. I take solace in the fact that I was far from the only person with a Y chromosome who was calling for "advice and counsel" on a variety of purchases. In any event, I received this reply- "The can ones are fine."
Pushing the cart full of stuff I head towards the checkout...
And thus ends the tale. I got all this stuff back to the house in time for the event and, I might add, for me to conduct a tactical retreat from the AO. Not that the Pampered Chef party wasn't a good time, I have no doubt it was, I just was not there to witness it.
As I mentioned above, this post has more than a bit of satire and more than a scoop of sarcasm. Although I was less than amused to have dealt with this task, it really was no big deal. I suspect that if you are reading this (and thank you if you are) you will see this is, with a nod to Jerry Stenfeld, a post about nothing. I was a lot more motivated to write about this when this all happened a couple weeks ago but thought it was worth passing along as I want to balance out this blog between more serious stuff and...well my personal tale of angst. If this is as bad as it gets for me, then I am truly a lucky guy.