Ah, the grocery store. I love it and hate it. I love to grocery shop because I love to have a well-stocked pantry and fridge. I hate it because it costs numerous body parts to afford to feed three teenagers.
I usually fit my shopping into whatever our schedule already is so that I’m not making an extra trip to town. Tonight it was a good bit of time between dropping off the girls to volunteer at VBS and picking them back up again. By ‘good bit of time”, I mean about 2 hours. Which is almost too much time because, as any mom knows, you have to time things correctly to make sure your cold stuff doesn’t sit too long. You have to shop all the non-perishables, then the produce and then the cold stuff absolutely last. Really, there’s an art to this.
And I shop every two weeks, when the paycheck comes in (cha-ching), so it’s usually a good bit of groceries in my cart each trip. Plus, this evening’s shopping trip included supplies for our camping trip next week. So…here I am with a lot of time on my hands, slowly walking up and down the aisles, as my cart slowly filled higher and higher. And because I forgot to write my list in “aisle order” tonight (yes, people really do that!), I had to double back several times, maneuvering my cart around people with 3 & 4 items in their carts. It seemed like every time I shlepped my cart around a corner, there was someone there to look at it, look up at me, and then look back at my cart. I got 2 raised eyebrows from other shoppers and a bonus eye roll from one little 20-something tart with what looked like an all-organic basket over her arm. Suck it, Barbie.
Here’s what my cart looked like just before I got to checkout…just add 8 packs of hot dog & hamburger buns to it and it’s complete. Yes…it’s a lot of food, I’m aware.
As I wheeled this thing along the row of checkout aisles, I passed the Express Lane, with it’s 15 item limit. There was a time when I used that lane, but no more. Now it just mocks me and my cart full of 3,568 items. I wander past it and look at all the single people standing there with their baskets of hamburger helper, top ramen, and 6-packs of beer. Then I glance at my overflowing cart and carry on down the row to a more accepting checkout, one that doesn’t get all judgey about my excessively towering groceries.
At least that’s how it usually works out. Tonight, as I started to unload my cart onto the belt, the young lady checking the groceries looked up, heaved a sigh, and then asked me to put her closed sign on the end of my cart. Sorry chick…gotta get through this metric ton of groceries before you get a smoke break. But, she hung right in there like a trooper and when everything was said and done, she even offered to take my second cart out to the car for me…yes, it took two carts to get it all out to my car. ‘Cause that’s how we roll in the Patrick House…on wibbly wobbly shopping cart wheels.