Angry Food Shopping

I practically break down the sliding automatic doors with my shopping cart – they’re too slow, and I’m hungry. I fly past the display at the store entrance, and look at some of the items for sale. Cookies, cereal boxes, random crap – probably all marked up to shit. I glance over at a box of knock-off lucky charms on the edge of the shelf. $6.75? For that?

Pulling the cart hard to the right, I head over to the produce section. I grab two bags of buy-one-get-one-free spinach leaves, and head over to the fruit. I rifle through the boxes of neatly stacked strawberries.

What am I working with here? Squished, gross, crushed, moldy. The fuck are they playing at? Do they expect me to just blindly through all this in my basket like a fucking sheep? Fuck this, I’m getting clementines.

Next stop, meat section. Bacon? Boom. In the cart. Chicken? Done. Ground beef? Of course. I make three violent slash marks through the items on my list, almost breaking my pencil.

I drop a half gallon of milk and a bottle of orange juice in the cart too. I cut left into the coffee aisle and push a whole shit ton of k-cups into my basket. Just in case.

On my way back around to the front of the store I stop in the baked good section to test my willpower. I never buy any of the delicious cookies, donuts, or cakes they have on display, no matter how good they smell. I like to walk past all the temptation and prove to myself that I won’t cave.

You are strong, not some weak shopper who just shovels everything they see into their cart. You cannot tempt me, baked goods aisle. There isn’t – wait, French toast muffins? That can’t be a thing. Well, it’s a breakfast food, right? No harm in trying.

Before I have time to rethink, I begrudgingly put them on top of my cart.

Despite my transgression in the pastry aisle, I’m making excellent time. Five minutes to get home, ten to pre-heat the oven, I could have some delicious fucking chicken-bacon quesadillas in my stomach in like, half an hour tops. The only thing that could stop me now is  – FUCK. A slow lady at the checkout line. And there’s only one lane open. Do they think only two people in the whole fucking city could ever possibly want to get groceries at the same time? IDIOTS.

“No,” The woman in front of me tells the cashier, “I need you to ring up these with my credit card. Then pay for the rest in like, a different order, with cash.” Defiantly, the customer snaps one of the conveyor-belt dividers right in the middle of her own assortment of food. She turns to me and glares, daring me to start taking any of my own items out of the cart.

I feel a burst of adrenaline, and wonder how hard I would have to push the cart to knock her out of the way. Realizing I’m still probably very amped up from my run, I think better of it. After what felt like an hour it was finally my turn.

“Here’s my rewards card, my credit card. Plastic bags are fine. Not debit, no I don’t need my receipt.” I power my way through the last human interaction between me, and dinner.

On my walk back to the parking lot, the endorphin rush starts to fade. When I look down into my car to load up the trunk, I notice I may have purchased a bit more than I intended.

I didn’t remember getting two extra packages of bacon, instant chicken tenders, a two pound bag of sour patch kids, a carton of yogurt covered raisins, brownie mix, and a few crunch bars for good measure. Huh. So much for impulse control.

Never shop hungry.

A.H.W.

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