You know, I’ve never been much of a shopper. I would pretty much rather do anything else but shop. Of course there is some shopping that I just can’t avoid…those things you need like groceries and the bare necessities of life. I’ve tried all kinds of incantations to convince myself of the joys of shopping. It’s kind of like house cleaning. So many people have tried to convince me that it’s therapeutic. Therapeutic my ass! But I’ve honestly tried to see the “therapeutic” benefits of cleaning my toilet bowl and things. Still, I’d rather go for a massage if I want therapeutic effects on my self. I’ll leave the toilet cleaning therapy to those of you who are convinced of the beneficial effects.
But, I have to admit that I am starting to look forward to my weekly grocery shopping which usually turns out to be more than once a week because I always forget the one thing I really needed. I’m going to tell you right now, I shop mostly at Loblaws and if you want some good amusement, I suggest you give that place a go. It’s just getting too good to pass up. Lately, every time I go there, something happens that I really wouldn’t have expected.
So, there I was yesterday and I was most excited because it was mostly empty. I got a great parking spot near the door and I figured I’d be in and out in no time. That’s always my plan. It’s my strategy/bribe to get myself there in the first place. It’s like a race and I time myself. If I can be there and back with all my groceries in 30 minutes or less, I’m thrilled. It’s like I won! Yesterday though, I was thoroughly exhausted and on my way home when I decided to make a very quick stop to pick up a couple of things. I’d decided that I’d be in and out in less than five minutes so that I could continue on home and finally stop for the week. I’d been going pretty much non-stop for almost two weeks and now I was done. The mind was no longer connected and I was ready to just drop. I’d have rather just continued straight on home but I really needed Q-tips.
I’ve learned over the years to always take a basket even if I’m going in for two things because I end up picking up seven other things along the way and then juggling them all the way through the checkout line. So there I was looking for Q-tips and since I usually get the biggest box, something like 1000 Q-tips, it’s not like I remember where they are when I need them again a year later. So I’m crossing the aisles and looking down each aisle. I stop at this one aisle and this woman is standing near the top of the aisle looking at stuff. Just as I stop my cart she flings something into my cart without even looking. “Wow, good shot!!” is what I thought but didn’t say out loud. I found it mildly amusing that she didn’t even turn to look but I said nothing. I just stood there for a few seconds more and she didn’t flinch or look over. Normally, in a more alert and social state of mind, I’d have taken the extra minute to give the product back to the woman and let her know that she had the wrong cart. But yesterday, I was in my own world and just not wanting to stop. There didn’t seem to be any Q-tips in that aisle so I moved on, with that woman’s thing in my cart. I stop at the next aisle to look down the aisle then move on to the next. Aha, this aisle looks like it might be the one. I go down that aisle and I find a strange looking thing, they were Q-tips with very painful looking pointy tips. Hmm, I’m inspecting them and looking around to see if there are any of the less painful looking ones with rounded tips. The kind for those of us who would rather not puncture our eardrums. I don’t find them so I get back to my cart and continue on down the aisle. And there’s that woman again looking at something else. As I walk by her, she turns around partially and again without looking up at me, drops another thing in my cart. She sort of swung around a bit but was looking down, as if to see where the cart was so she could get her product in the cart. This time, since I had a little momentum going, I just continued. I’m fully aware that I’m taking off with two of her products but instead of saying something to her, my mind goes the route of being perplexed about what she’s doing. That’s probably as much as I was capable of in terms of mental gymnastics. Being a good and considerate citizen didn’t seem to really cross my mind.
I’ve now given up on my Q-tips because I realize that I’m not going to make my five minute time limit. Suddenly I’m awake again and it’s time to get this shopping adventure over with. I fly down a few aisles to go look for bleach and maybe I’ll pick up some chocolate along the way if I happen upon it. Then that’s it, I’ll be done and off to the cash. So now I’m in the bleach aisle and I get my bottle. I head straight for the end of the aisle and just as I get to the end of the aisle, my cart obviously preceding me, bam, another item lands in my cart. Surprised, now this thought pops in my mind, “Is she kidding me? How is this possible? Maybe the jokes on me!!”. I’m convinced that it must be this same woman again because what’s the probability that multiple people are this out to lunch. Or, maybe I should look around for hidden cameras. Then, this same woman comes around the corner and into the aisle. This time she’s looking up and sees me. At long last, this time she realized that she just plopped something in the wrong cart and starts apologizing profusely as she takes it back out of my cart. “Oh my god, I’m sooooo sorry! I’m so sorry! Oh my god, I can’t believe I did that. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry! I thought you were my boyfriend!”. She has turned three shades of red in the process. At this point I respond and let her know that it’s really okay and that in fact she has been amusing me the whole time I’ve been in the store. She has no idea what I’m talking about so I pull out one of her items and say, “This is yours too!” and then I get the first item she’d flung into my cart and hand that back to her saying, “And so is this.” Now she has this very confused look on her face and she’s gone from red like a tomato to absolutely beet red. Then I tell her, “I have no idea where your boyfriend is but I bet you there’s nothing in his cart yet”. Now I can no longer contain myself and as I start replaying the whole scene in my mind, I start laughing. She’s still totally embarrassed and I’m trying to tell her that it really was well worth it. She’s not seeing the humour in it that I am. She’s just standing there with her three products and starts looking around, presumably for this elusive boyfriend of hers who’s clearly missing in action somewhere in the Loblaws. There are maybe a total of five people in there at the time but the only cart that kept passing by this woman was mine.
So, I didn’t make my five minute time limit but by the time I got to the checkout line, I had tears rolling down my face and I was in stitches. The woman at the cash couldn’t figure out what was going on with me but I bet she was wishing she could have some of whatever I was on. She gets to be there all day long every day, she should’ve known something had happened in her store of endless amusement. God bless Loblaws, it always makes my day!