Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shopping Cart Rage

You have probably heard of road rage.

In fact, you have probably suffered from it at one time or another (or constantly, if you deal with Route 128 on a daily basis). But another kind of rage lurks in our midst. One that shows itself on a less regular basis but is never the less stressful and violence-spawning in it's essence.

Shopping Cart Rage.

Now, it may surprise you to learn that I am a shopping cart neophyte. When I go food shopping, I am a plastic red basket girl all the way. A shopping cart is too big a commitment for me, I just want to be in and out. My usual process is to plan out what we are having for dinner a few days in advance, make out a shopping list for those meals and buy just those things (and maybe some snacks/drinks). This usually neccesitates going food shopping a few times a week but I actually enjoy it. I usually go on my lunch break when the supermarket isn't that crowded and manage to get it done with enough time to hit up Marty's for our weekly supply of wine and cheese!

Those are some skills, you know!

However, since Adam's accident I have had to ammend my food shopping routine. For one thing, he needs breakfast and lunch in addition to dinner every day (he used to buy those meals at/on his way to work). And I ammended my work schedule to work through lunch so I can leave at 4PM. For another thing I have a lot to do after/before work these days and don't have a whole lot of time for multiple shopping trips each week.

And I refuse to go food shopping on the weekend. No Way.

So last week I walked into Stop & Shop and grabbed a cart.

I see now why TJ Maxx and Marshalls have a cart, because a true shopper (whether he/she is buying shoes or produce) will take all that space as a challenge. Can I fill this cart up to the brim? Oh hell yes.

And so as I case the supermarket, stocking up on produce (especially leafy greens like mustard greens and kale which I read online are good for bone health, anyone want to share a good recipe with me?), and cold cuts and Kashi waffles and Classico spaghetti sauces, and assorted packages of fresh meat, I realize that there are as many assholes in the aisles of the market as there are on the roads of the Boston area. And the similarities are striking:

*The woman on her cell phone who blocks half the aisle and is totally deaf to your repated "EXCUSE MEs!"
*The old lady who pushes her cart so slowly you she may as well not be moving but who you cannot get your cart around.
*The mother who lets her kid push the cart who then proceeds to ram into everyone and everything in a 3 foot radius
*The man who has no idea what he is doing and stares at the different kinds of coffee for about 10 minutes before finally asking someone where the tea is.

And then there is me, the person who wants to get done with what she is doing and get where she needs to go with as little muss and fuss as possible. The person who has basiclaly memorized the layout of the supermarket and goes methodically from produce to bread (but of course always forgets something ridiculous like one onion and has to go all the way back to the other side of the store before she can check out). But still, even though I have upgraded to cart living I still want to get in and out as quickly as possible.

Basically impossible during the apres-work rush at Stop & Shop on a weeknight.

But I have taken to applying the rules of the road to my time in the aisles: when you have a chance to pass someone: TAKE IT. Say excuse me twice, then do what you have to do. And if there are only two jumbo packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.99/lb left, you take both, even if you are not sure there will be room in the freezer.

The saying goes "going to hell in a basket". But I think I am probably going in a shopping cart.


Diva (in Demand) said...

CRACKING ME UP. People operate four wheels the same way no matter what they're attached to.

Sarah said...

ha!! that's a really good point.

Hannah Lane said...

I am completely with you on the shopping cart. I was complaining about it a few weeks ago. Men should NEVER be in charge of a cart, they have absolutely no idea about shopping cart etiquette in addition to having no idea where anything is located. The best time to go is at the crack of dawn on a weekend or very close to the end of the night on a weeknight.

Sarah said...

i am getting hip to that game now! the other weekend i swung by the supermarket on my way home from dunks at like 8AM to pick up a few things and it was EMPTY. i wanted to skip up and down the aisles with glee.

E said...

That's when I try to go. Sad as it might be, I actually LOVE grocery shopping late at night when it's empty. I grab a coffee or a tea on the way, listen to my iPod (on low, so I can hear any "excuse me!" coming my way!), and shop away.

san said...

God, you are SO right... I can't believe I haven't thought of this comparison ;)

Nicky said...

PJ and I always go during a weeknight. We went this Sunday, it was packed, and I started feeling homocidal. Now I remember why I go when I do.

K said...

I totally know what you mean! Grocery shopping makes me so irritated because people always get in my way when I'm trying to get in and out of store as fast as possible. Plus, I ALWAYS get the cart with the wonky wheel. always.

Oh well, i guess we burn extra calories navigating around all the slow pokes and cell phone talkers?

Princess Extraordinaire said...

Grocery shopping is a contact sport these days...I think next we'll need to be weilded in cages for our own protection

Princess Extraordinaire said...

Grocery shopping is a contact sport these days...I think next we'll need to be weilded in cages for our own protection

Where Productivity Goes to Die said...

I can totally relate - I think we have a near-altercation every time we go to the grocery store.