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Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Things We Do For Cheese...

Why would an agoraphobic woman attempt a grocery shopping excursion during the middle of the "Pick Up Some Milk/Diapers On Your Way Home Shopping Rush Hour"? On a FRIDAY???? I know, I know... it seems foolhardy, daredevil even. But there was something inexplicably drawing me, causing me to forget the memories and past traumas of long lines and crowds, racing heart and sweaty palms. Under normal circumstances I never would have attempted such a feat. But circumstances were not normal. Not in the least.

You see, I was out of CHEESE.

I love cheese. No, that's not quite right. I adore cheese. Worship cheese. Parmesan, Monterrey Jack, American, Swiss, Blue, Asiago, Cheddar, Feta, Fontina. Oh, precious manna from Heaven. Yummmm........

Tonight I was after a simple block of Colby-Jack to add to my potato soup, already simmering on the stove, which I planned on eating with my freshly baked Country White Bread while I watched my One Dollar Red Box movie, New In Town.

My husband drove me over to Save-Mart (he's a Saint!) and waited in the car while I went inside the building. I entered in the door near the produce section, thinking I could grab a bunch of bananas and a sprig of parsley (simple!) and then hit the cheese row (easy!) and be out in a jiffy. But nothing on this shopping trip was to be simple or easy.

A little man had parked his cart right in front of the bananas and was staring down at a plastic produce baggy, trying to get the darned thing to open. I waited for him to finish. Patiently waited. And waited. He just kept staring down at that bag, wiggling his finely manicured fingernails together, trying to get that baggy to open. It didn't. That song from Jeopardy (you know, the one they play while waiting for the contestants to write out their answers for the Daily Double) played in my mind. I cleared my throat. The stupid little man in the button-up sweater did not notice. He was in some sort of trance. I waited. And waited. Finally, I just said, "is this your cart? I'm gonna move it just a little...." I grabbed a bunch of bananas and dashed away, leaving little Mr. Serial Killer Man with his Beady Little Eyes staring after me.

I started feeling anxious and I was nowhere near the cheese row yet. I tried to make my way through the maze of shoppers: a woman on her cell phone, standing on the right of the aisle, her cart on the left, and her little 3 year old junior shopper running circles with his miniature shopping cart down the center of the aisle. An elderly couple comparing bean prices. A lady with a teacup poodle wearing some pink Tu-Tu (the dog, not the lady). I was halfway to the end of the aisle, ready to turn toward the cheese row, when a coughing, sneezing man (probably sick with The Swine Flu!) thwarted my attempts and made me turn my cart around mid-aisle and find another route. Finally, after a few more false starts, I made it down to the end of the long row where my prize awaited. Cheese!!! I grabbed a loaf of Tillamok, and high-tailed it to the checkout stand.

Apparently, I was high-tailing it too fast. I felt a pain in my ankle and then my foot turned to the left and my sandal flew off my foot. Damn it! How freakin' embarrassing is that? I looked around to see if anybody was looking. A woman with gray hair, glasses and Birkenstocks grinned at me, then quickly turned away. I replaced my sandal and quickly limped to the checkout stand where there was a long line. I began scanning the tabloids to try to distract myself from what was building into a full blown panic attack. Miracle Healing Performed By A Turtle. Hubby Sues Ex: "Give Me Back My Kidney!". Lovesick Emu Traps Man In House. Presdient Obama Is Gay.

I'm moving my way up and there is now just one customer standing between me and the front of the line. A woman with a little baby in her cart and (of course!) an envelope full of food stamps. Rats!!! Separate WIC coupons for milk. And Diapers. And then Peanut Butter. Then came the food stamps. Approval Needed. Light Goes On. Waiting For The Manager. I don't really remember much after this point, it's all a blur. But somehow I came out of the store with a blue plastic grocery bag of bananas, batteries, a small vial of extra strength Tylenol, a variety of candy bars and mints, an issue of Betty Crocker Recipe Magazine on CrockPot Recipes, and CHEESE!

Did I tell you how much I love CHEESE?

I sat down on the couch later that evening, feet up on the coffee table, soup in hand, and watched my movie. Life is good.


Chinaren said...

haha! You should try shopping in China when it's busy then!

Here you soon learn to push carts out of the way, and people too! lol

Glynis said...

LOL That made me smile :)

nipsy said...

Shopping has become a thing to do late at night when no one else is around. Otherwise my children say I get too rude..Go figure.

Jennifer Robin said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this. I don't think I could have restrained myself as well as you did though!

√ėyvind said...

lol I got sweathy hands while reading it. I prefer shopping at our local little store, my heart and body doesn't last long in the larger shops. When I visit them though I prefer to have music in my ears so I can close my eyes and pretend I'm somewhere else when I need a break.

FishHawk said...

Your husband wouldn't happen to be named Wallace and you-all have a dog named Gromit--would you?

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