Friday, April 22, 2011

Shopping Story

Why do we have so many unsettling incidents at the check out line of the grocery store? Is it because when we are there we're usually stressed, hurried and out of sorts? I usually try my best to be on my best behavior at the grocery store. Meaning I'll give up my spot to a person with fewer groceries or a harried parent. I try to make nice uplifting compliments. But sometimes I do get upset when I'm behind a person taking forever or there is a price check delay. One checker actually sneered at the half-price items in my cart and haughtily told me she would never buy "at code" products for her family! I didn't get upset. Just replied that as long as I use or freeze an item by its at code date there is no problem with it. Then I avoid her line whenever I see her at the store.

My sister passed on this story to me some weeks ago. It was late Saturday afternoon and she was at a big local chain tired and irritable. The woman she was behind was taking forever with a cart filled with $200.00 of groceries. "And then she brought out a fist load of coupons!" my sister added. She observed that the woman was about 60 and looked as though she wanted to talk to someone. "As if that weren't enough, after the groceries were run up the woman gave the checker an assortment of cloth bags of her own with detailed and specific instructions to pack all the cold and frozen items together!" By this time my sister was not amused. But she decided to not give into her irritation and instead be more sympathetic.

She overheard the woman explain the need for the specific packing because when she gets home she is too tired to bring all the bags in and just gets the cold things in first. My sister felt an affinity and connection with this woman's admission because face it, we're all pretty tired. She thought the woman's packing idea was a good one and perhaps she should do it too.

I related that it is such a hassle for me to lug in groceries up to a second floor apartment that if the boys aren't home to help me, I too, just bring in the perishable items. Sometimes by the end of the week, my car looks like I'm living in it. It is actually pretty embarrassing. But there are times too, that I'm just too tired to make multiple trips to and fro from the car.

So I guess this rendition is a hope for us to be nicer in grocery stores. My sister said she felt so much better adopting a kind attitude vs. one that was critical. And I feel for all of us out there leaving canned goods in the car longer than necessary simply because we're too drained to bring them in. Just going to the grocery store is tiring enough for me, much less bringing them in and putting them away. Did I tell you that sometimes the groceries just stay in their bags on the floor until they are used...?


  1. I always end up leaving the new box of cat litter in the car until I absolutely have to use it--hate heaving that 25 lbs. of dead weight in from the garage!

  2. Vanessa - This is probably too gross to admit but I will say I've done that too and once I let the litter box go for two weeks!

  3. Vanessa - Just back from the car to bring in MY bag of kitty litter! You inspired me to lug it up.

  4. When it's cold enough I let even the perishable items stay in the car. Your sister sounds like a saint. Her story reminds me that kindness really is central. Thanks for sharing it. Have a good Easter!

  5. Flo - I've done that too - not for meat but fruit and bread. I actually thought about not having that extra storage now that the weather is heating up!

  6. Hi catching up on posts.

    It is always good to approach each person with the idea that they may be carrying a heavy load. I know I am and I keep it pretty well hidden. Why spread gloom. Better to show a positive attitude.

    But I do also try to give other folks the space I sometimes want because you never know if their load is heavier than yours.