Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Food For Thought

My family likes to eat every day. They are needy like that. So, yesterday I went grocery shopping for food for the week. I'm thoughtful like that.

It's a relationship that works for us.

I usually do my grocery shopping on Mondays. It's one of my least favorite things to do, so I prefer to get it over with early in the week. It's kind of like removing a band-aid, I like to do it quickly and be done with it!

I made my list of items needed for the week, which may or may not have included a box of Entenmann's chocolate donuts. My intention was to get the shopping done before I picked Ben up from school at 3:15. Because shopping with one child is enough to make me lose it, let alone trying to get it done with two children in tow begging me for Pringles potato chips and Little Debbie's Nutty Butty bars.

Not that I ever buy Pringles or Little Debbie's.

Not for the kids, anyway.

However, I was extra tired yesterday afternoon, what with all the blog visits I made earlier in the day, so I tried to squeeze in a short nap before the dreaded event. I think I'm fighting a sinus infection and really wanted to rest before heading out. When I got up, it was 2:35.

Now, any rational thinking person might say to themselves "I don't have enough time to drive to the store (which is 10 minutes away), do a week's worth of shopping, check out, put the groceries in the car and then drive to Ben's school all in less than 45 minutes." But for someone who would rather have her wisdom teeth pulled out without the luxury of novocaine than do the weekly grocery shopping accompanied by her two children, rational thinking tends to take a back seat to crazy thinking.

Thoughts like "40 minutes? Psst! I'll do it in 30 and have 10 minutes to spare. Plenty of time to arrive to Ben's school early to welcome him with open arms as he emerges from the building, showering him with kisses and inquiries about his day at school and walk him lovingly to the car.

I'm a "the glass is half full" kind of girl.

What I didn't anticipate is that Walt's, my favorite eager-to-serve-you with a smile grocery store, was anything but eager to serve me.

There is a sign hanging above the courtesy counter at Walt's that reads: WALTS - We Always Love To Serve. Unless you are an idiot who only allows 15 minutes to do something that realistically could take 30-45 minutes to do. Which, apparently, I am. In that case, they don't so much as love to serve you, as much as they love to torture you.

So, all of the employees decided it was their civic duty to teach me a lesson about time management. Starting with the lady at the deli counter, who I swear, was giving me the evil eye the minute I walked in the store. I waited for a few minutes for my turn but she was slicing ham so painfully slow, that I decided to run and get a few other items that were near by and then come back to the deli. The only problem with that decision is that, when I came back, the line was even longer than the first time I was there.

I decided to ditch the deli because I'm sure Ray won't mind peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch all week. I then headed to the meat department to grab me some ground beef for the chili that I plan on making this week. Are you impressed with culinary ambition? I know. I even surprised myself with that one.

But the meat man, as I like to affectionately call him, was not aware of the fact that I had plans of welcoming Ben into my loving arms in less than 20 minutes. And I still had to find no less than 17 items. My list seemed to be getting longer as the minutes grew shorter and it was very clear that meat man was not down with giving me my meat in a timely fashion.

Now that's something I never thought I would say.

No, meat man walks to the beat of a different drummer. He's got all the time in the world to calmly do his job, even whistling all the while. Unlike that of this hurried housewife. He even takes time to visit with Ali, asking her about school, telling her a joke and asking if there is time for him to get her a sticker. "Oh yes, there's always time for a sticker!" he laughs.

Is he on crack?

There is never time for a sticker.

But, I politely smile and nod but inside I am screaming "Give me my meat!"

After I finally got my ground beef, I ran through the store like a lunatic searching for my remaining items. Ali is pushing the cart, while I ran ahead of her grabbing stuff of the shelves and recklessly throwing them over my shoulder into the cart. I'm pretty sure that people were looking at me with sympathy, knowing that I am domestically challenged. That, or they thought that I must have broke into my box of Entenmann's chocolate donuts and I was high on sugar.

After getting all of the items on my list, we headed to the checkout lanes and managed to get there without knocking over any elderly people or small children in the process. But when we arrived to the checkout lanes, I gasped. Never before has Walt's ever seen this many people at one time. Not since New Year's Eve of '99, when everyone thought the world was about to end and wanted to stock up on bread and milk. And Entenmann's chocolate donuts.

I scoped out the situation for the shortest lane and dashed to get in line. Big mistake. Huge. (Did you notice I was channeling my inner Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman? Remember? When she goes shopping on Rodeo Drive and the sales clerk won't give her the time of day, what with her being a hooker and all, but then she goes back and they realize she does indeed have money to spend.....oh, never mind.)

The cashier in my lane is either new and this is her first day on the job or, like meat man, likes her job just a little too much because she is not efficient in the way that I need my grocery store cashier to be.

Slowly, with just minutes before I need to be at Ben's school, I have advanced to second in line. But then the unthinkable happens. The lady in front of me pulls out a fist full of coupons and, at that moment, I know I have been defeated. New cashier lady is never going to enter those coupon codes in the speed in which I need her to.

So, I did what any self-respecting person would do in this situation.

I abandoned my cart in the corner of the store by the courtesy counter and ran out of there as fast as a 5 years old's little feet would allow me and drove to Ben's school. It was not the glorious reunion I had envisioned but the good news is that I got there at EXACTLY 3:15.

Can I time stuff out perfectly or what?

This story does have a happy ending. I went back to Walt's after getting Ben and my cart was still in the same place where I had left it, with all of it's contents undisturbed.

Except for the box of Entenmann's chocolate donuts. Word on the street is that some crazy woman ripped it open in a fit of frenzy.


  1. Love it!
    "I have to go shopping now..."

  2. Oh, you sound like me!!! I hate shopping and hurry my way through the store as fast as I can just so I can get out of there. Now the same is not true if I'm in a clothing store. Clothes shopping? FUN!!! Groceries? Not fun!

    I enjoyed reading your post. You write in a way that makes it FUN. =0)

    Nice to "meet you" Val. =0)


  3. Glad your cart was okay! It seems like I always shop in a hurry too.

    You cracked me up when you said, "they are needy that way". :)

  4. Oh how I feel your pain. Monday morning is my shopping time as well. It's pure madness and always gets me stressed. And those box of chocolate Entenmann's is my biggest weakness!