As I mentioned somewhere, I do not like to go to the grocery store. When I lived alone, I would wait until the only things left in the kitchen were ketchup, sour cream and flour before going to the store.
On my way home I started craving some spinach and artichoke dip for supper, which meant that a trip to the store for ingredients was warranted.
A few of blocks from our house is the "10% over cost" grocery store. I pull into the trash strewn parking lot and begin to mentally prepare myself to enter the store.
After taking a couple of deep breaths, placing my phone, pepper spray, organ donor card and money in my pocket, I open the door with shaking hands. I will survive.
I walk through the doors, and I'll be damned if it isn't Welfare Check Day and Social Security Check Day. The sight of $500 cars with $5000 spinning wheels and Crown Victorias with handicap parking decals crowding the parking lot should have been my first clue. Sigh. I will survive.
4:30pm I grab a buggy (or cart to you yankees) and begin the gauntlet.
4:31pm I get stuck behind Big Momma and her 14 chirren. As I wait, I marvel at the power of the knit pants she is wearing. They must be holding in 200 pounds of flesh--in each leg.
4:35pm I'm still stuck behind Big Momma and the Momettes. I'd take some deep breaths, but someone just hit puberty and hasn't yet discovered deodorant.
4:36pm There's an opening around Big Momma, and I make a run for it. I'm bobbing and weaving. I can SEE the aisle where the jar of artichokes will be.
4:37pm I'm stuck behind Eugenia and Betty. Seems they haven't seen each other for months....church picnic.....has cancer....is getting divorced..... Apparently, now is the perfect time to catch up.
4:38pm Seeing that visiting time at the old folks home is going to take a while, I turn my buggy around and take the long way.
4:39pm Artichokes are successfully placed in the buggy!
4:40pm I'm on my way to the frozen food aisle to get spinach. "Hey, Nurse!" Why do I ever go to the store in my scrubs? I turn around and see a guy from work. "When are you giving flu shots?" I try to finish the conversation politely and quickly.
4:45pm There is a buggy parked in front of the freezer case. The owner is just standing there transfixed by all the choices. I try to be patient. Ok, forget being patient, but I don't know how to say "excuse me" in spanish.
4:50pm Success! Spinach is in the buggy, and I practically skip as I head to the checkout. I may make it out of the store before nightfall!
4:51pm Stuck behind Big Momma and the Momettes again. "Momma, can I has dis?" I hope that the Momette has a bottle of deodorant in her hand. Sadly, it is some sort of cereal. "Put dat back! I dun tole you, you ain't getting nothin'. Don't you ax again!" "Waaaaaaaa, but....."
4:55pm I made it. I made it to the check out lines. And each one is 3 deep with someone with at least a cart full of groceries. I choose the line with the only checker who has any sense and knows how to bag groceries.
5:00pm I'm in line behind a new WIC mother who doesn't understand what she can and can't buy on WIC. The fact that she isn't old enough to have finished the eighth grade doesn't help. It's not like they have signs that say "WIC Approved" under appropriate items. And no, cigarettes are not WIC approved!
5:05pm The lady in line behind me sees that I'm a nurse and begins to tell me all about her blah, blah, blah. I smile politely and think to myself, seeing as how you have a fresh bandage over your fistula from your 5 hour dialysis treatment, you might want to put the 2 family-sized bags of potato chips, 3 packages of honey buns and bottle of regular Coke back on the shelf.
5:10pm MY TURN! And it only took 40 minutes to buy 2 items.
I need a drink, but that would probably take another 40 minutes.......