My husband hates to go to the grocery store - hates it almost as much as he hates the New England Patriots and fuzz balls on sheets.
That has meant that the bulk of grocery shopping has fallen to me. As a result, it seems like I'm at the grocery store CONSTANTLY.
Most of my frequent trips are due to the fact we never know what we want for dinner until that night - requiring me to get some exotic ingredient we don't have on my way home from work - like fried chicken from the deli counter.
We also go through booze quite quickly in my house, and I tend to panic if we are down to one bottle of wine in the fridge. I mean, what if the stores close down for some unknown reason tomorrow and I can't get more, requiring me to spend an entire day sober?!? Oh the tragedy of it all!
But all this time at the grocery store has turned me into a bitter, violent person (alright - MORE of a bitter, violent person). And it's not because I don't enjoy picking out food and alcohol - which I do very much. It's because there is just wayyyyyy too much humanity at the grocery store - and wherever there is too much humanity, stupidity is sure to follow.
Just this weekend I was at the store and saw several idiots that made my blood boil with the effort of not beating them to death with a package of Hamburger Helper.
Idiot No. 1 was in the soup aisle. He was a man probably in his 50s, who was apparently very, VERY serious about his soup selection. Because it took him for fucking EVER to choose. In the meantime, his cart, and his butt, were blocking anyone else's attempt to get soup.
First he just looked at the wall of soup - studying it carefully with a furrowed brow like he was looking at some complex math problem on a blackboard. Then he'd slowly reach his hand up toward the Minestrone, pausing just before the label as if he was facing some great internal dilemma: "Do I REALLY want the Minestrone? Will my life ever be the same again if I choose the Minestrone?" Apparently the voices in his head screamed "NO! DON'T TOUCH THE MINESTRONE!" because he quickly put his hand down again and continued to stare at the wall of soup, seemingly now frightened of the Minestrone, but fascinated by the Chicken Noodle.
I was trying to be patient, but was starting to lose it. "Can I just reach in and get some Tomato?" I asked, trying to wedge myself in between his cart and the cans.
"Um ... sure ..." he looked at me with bewilderment in his eyes, and a little awe, like I was the bravest woman on earth because I could just reach over and snatch up a can of Tomato soup without a second thought as to my health or safety. As I returned to my cart and pulled away, I looked back at him. His hand, which seemed to be shaking a little, was poised right in front of the Vegetable Beef. I had to resist the urge to yell back at him "HOW FUCKING HARD IS IT? IT'S FUCKING SOUP!" I mean really, the man could starve before deciding on a can.
I pulled out of the soup aisle, where Idiot No. 2, a woman in her 40s, was pushing her cart willy nilly through the store as she stared up at the signs that listed what was on each aisle. Not paying attention to where she was going, she smashed full speed and head-on into my cart, despite my best efforts to avoid her. Then she had the nerve to look at me as if I just drowned her puppy in a bathtub.
"Watch where you're going!" she yelled at me.
Oh honey, do you really want to take that tone of voice with me, I thought. Are you really feeling THAT lucky?
"You're the one who smashed into me. You weren't watching where you were going," I said as I fantasized about sticking her head through the display of Pepsi Cubes.
"WHATEVER! You were in my way. I think you need to apologize," she said, crossing her arms over her chest and taking on a combative stance. She obviously didn't know me. The day I apologized to her was the day I would wear socks with sandals.
I took three deep breaths.
"I apologize that your head is so far up your ass you can't see where you're going," I wanted to say. But instead I just let out a half scoff, half laugh, as if to say "You aren't worth my time" and continued on my way. I didn't want to be banned from the grocery store for starting a fight. Not again, so soon after parole.
A short time later, as I turned down the cereal aisle, I came in contact with Idiot No. 3, who had given birth to what I was sure to be two future idiots, who were running up and down the aisle simulating being airplanes - very LOUD, very obnoxious airplanes. As they did so, with their arms outstretched, they proceeded to knock over about 20 boxes of cereal. Then one of them began jumping on the boxes, creating a cereal explosion that would make an experienced Army vet take cover.
Idiot No. 3 never raised her voice. I don't know if she just was too tired, or too medicated, or just didn't give a shit anymore. She just calmly and quietly said "No, no. Don't do that" and started to scoop up the mess and try to put it back on the shelf. Airplane No. 1 and Airplane No. 2, of course, did not hear what their mother had said, nor did they seem to care. However, they had spotted me and had seen the look of horror and disbelief in my eyes, which meant one thing to them - fresh meat. So they ran over to my cart and started climbing on it, rifling through the contents to see if there was something other than vodka and a can of tomato soup for them to play with or shove into their screeching mouths.
I was less quiet than Idiot No. 3 and started yelling at the little idiot darlings - "NO! Get off my cart! Get off my cart NOW! No, don't touch the vodka. Please god, NOT THE VODKA!" I then began to try to back out of the aisle, hoping to shake the buggers off my cart before they accidentally grabbed the vodka and dropped it, forcing me to lap it off the floor.
"What are you doing?" Idiot No. 3 suddenly came to life. The hysteria in her voice was clear. She had snapped. But apparently, she decided to snap at me, and not her bratty children. "STOP IT!" she screamed as she glared at me and lunged at my cart. She gathered Airplane 1 and Airplane 2 into her arms. "Are you crazy? You could have hurt them! They could have fallen off your cart and been hurt!"
Um, yah. That was the idea. Sheesh.
But her eyes were wild, piercing. She looked like a mama bear protecting her cubs, and I wasn't about to fight with a pissed off mama bear. So I just continued to back away, numb from the near death experience my vodka almost suffered. I needed to get out of here, I thought. The rate I was going, all of the customers in the store would soon riot against me.
I almost ran toward the checkout counter to pay for my groceries. The checker was someone I knew, and I joked with her that they really needed to put in a full-service bar here, or at least allow me to open up my vodka and sip from it as I was shopping. She was still scanning my groceries when Idiot No. 4 literally pushed me aside and started piling up her groceries on top of mine. WTF?
Now it was my turn to snap.
"Excuse me!" I yelled, as I pushed her back in the line where she belonged. "Not quite done here yet, if you don't mind!"
Like the idiots before her, Idiot No. 4 had the nerve to be pissed off at ME.
"I'm in a hurry," she said, looking at me like I had just been scraped off her shoe. "How much longer are you going to be?"
"As long as I want!" I said. And with that, I asked the checker to have one of the clerks go get me another bottle of vodka - and a carton of Ben and Jerry's. I'd need both after this.
I went home, unloaded the groceries and told my husband I was never going to the store again. We may have to start growing our own food, or eating take-out every night. I may even have to start paying people to buy our booze for us. But I think it's best, not just for my sanity, but for the welfare of society as we know it.