Happy weekend, fellow infertility goddesses! It's a snowy Saturday here in Toronto, which means that people are driving like numbskulls and heading to grocery stores in droves since who knows when we'll see fresh food delivery again. I mean, this could be it. Society as we know it could very well be on the verge of breaking down. I kind of almost hope it is, because that's about all I can think of that would explain the behaviour of people at the supermarket this morning. Warning: rant ahead.
One of the things that sucks about having a regular 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday job (apart from the fact that I have to, you know, go to it) is that it means that a lot of my chores and errands, like grocery shopping, get done on the weekends. I'd love to have the luxury of doing it on a Thursday morning like my mom used to, but it's just not going to happen. My preferred time for groceries is Saturday morning. There's lots of selection since the shelves are freshly stocked, and I get it done and out of the way so I can go on about the rest of my weekend. Apparently a lot of people think like this, since the store always seems to be super busy around this time. Which means it's even more important that people observe the basic etiquette rules of grocery shopping, as I shall enumerate below:
1. Dear old people: I understand that grocery shopping has changed a lot since your day. Milk is no longer delivered to your doorstep in glass bottles by nice men in white coats, and you're not on a first name basis with your butcher. I understand that some of these changes might be confusing to you. Why are there so many kinds of mustard? Does yogurt only come in tubes now? Where did they put the foot ointment? What exactly is INSIDE a Hot Pocket? (Answer: No one knows. Don't eat it.) I understand that it might be difficult for you to read all the tiny print on the wall of soup cans, and that it might take you a while to choose which one of the 65 kinds of soup you actually want. No one blames you for this. You're old and it's loud in here. But while you're spending an hour studying the wall of Campbell's, do me a favour and pull your cart over to the side and please get out of my way.
2. Dear grocery store employees: I'm sure it's no fun being paid 11 bucks an hour to put up with idiots who can't figure out that you put the coconut milk in the baking section instead of the Asian section (side note: why do you do this?). And yeah, fuck that guy who decided he didn't want those chicken breasts and put them on the shelf with the cake mix. Last night. That guy's a jerk. You're just trying to do your job. You have to stock shelves. The peanut butter isn't going to walk itself onto the display (and if it does, we have larger problems). But please, instead of parking your stocking cart on a 45-degree angle in the middle of the aisle as you work, be considerate and pull it over to the side and get out of my way.
3. Dear men: I know, you never come here. Your wife always does this. But for some reason she couldn't make it here today so she gave you a list and quite possibly a small child to lug around while getting the items on said list. But just so you know, the list is not a test. Perhaps it's not as specific as you like (she wrote milk! Did she mean 2%? Skim? Almond? What size? OhgodI'mgoingtofail!) but chances are she's relying on you to actually be able to remember what you haul out of the fridge and put on your cereal every day. If you can't, just do your best. If you bring home 2% instead of skim she's probably not going to divorce you. And if she is, your marriage is in worse shape than you thought. But while you're panicking and having your existential crisis about milk/your marriage, be a dear and move your goddamn cart over to the side and get the hell out of my way.
4. Dear moms: I'm sorry that your husband is a complete idiot and brought home 2% milk last time when you always buy skim. I have no idea what got into him. He should know better. I'm sure it's no fun to have to come here week after week, screeching toddler in tow, while your husband sits on the couch playing Xbox. You're just trying to do your best and buy healthy food for your family while simultaneously preventing your child from spilling the box of goldfish crackers you just gave him/her to stop them from crying/running away/climbing the shelves/eating dog treats. Oh, now they want to push the cart! How cute, they want to push the cart just like mom! DO NOT LET THEM PUSH THE CART. They're like tiny drunks on a power trip. Great, now they're crying because you won't let them push the cart. As you try to console them and/or threaten them into silence by telling them that Santa is watching, for the love of all that is good and holy move your cart to the side and get out of my motherfucking way.
As you can see, the rules of supermarket etiquette basically boil down to one thing. Can't figure out what you're doing? Pull over to the side so others can get by while you figure it out. Is that really so hard? Is it? Really?