March 15, 2021

when "Are you using that empty cart?" is hysterical

Ah, welcome to my blog:  the grocery edition. (I almost spelled that 'addition' - just so you know before we get started . . . I'm struggling with the time change and I'm not on my A game.) 

So long as we are talking about my goofs . . . I did realize today that I spelled International Women's Day  in the singular in my last post. I imagine all of you shaking your heads tsk-ing:  SILLY GIRL, THINKING IT'S ALL ABOUT HER, THAT SHE'S THE 'WOMAN' AND THE REST OF US ARE CHOP LIVER. Not the case, I was still intoxicated by fresh zoo air, well it smells more like animal shits, but you get the idea . . . and I wasn't being detail oriented. Back to the grocery theme . . .   

Why on earth, I wondered a month or so ago, would my local grocery store decide to REMODEL THE STORE DURING A PANDEMIC? The floor was torn up, and the shelves were moved around and the bread was NO WHERE NEAR where they usually stock loaves of bread. Nothing was where it belonged and I was completely discombobulated. 

Isn't this the time when we're trying to spend as little time as possible in a grocery store? But, alas, I'm held captive wandering  aimlessly trying to GUESS where everything is. Seeing as no one in this town spends more on food, they should've called me first. 

This is where I felt
like Chicken Little.
I did notice just before the reno that the building was suffering - but the work did nothing to enhance the structure. I mean no one showed me the plans or anything, but I don't think a new roof was part of it. While I was shopping in December, a sizeable chunk of the ceiling fell and almost hit a fellow shopper. I managed not to lose my focus and accidentally switch carts with anyone and send them home with my frozen hashbrowns. I spent a good deal of time feeling alarmed and wondering if we should all evacuate. 

Meanwhile a manager
is thinking of the
 flow of traffic and the aesthesis
and deciding to redo the interior.

On one of my where-the-hell-is-everything grocery trips, I stopped and asked a man stocking shelves where I could find black beans. He needed me to repeat it. Again. And again. I moved my mask down so he could read my lips - from a distance. He motioned into the aisle we were standing in. "Oh, they're right down there." . . . how handy?

Um, they weren't. He must've thought I said green beans. It was so awkward because I was searching high and low and he was still stocking shelves a few feet from me. I thought maybe NOW is when he'll turn around and help me find the cans I was looking for or redirect me. Never.happened. 

I so badly wanted to holler:  HEARING AID FOR THE KIND EMPLOYEE IN AISLE 4, PLEASE. 

My kids have fallen hard for the lime flavored Greek yogurt made by Dannon Light and Fit. It's a new flavor. My store isn't great at stocking any flavors consistently, new flavors - forget it. On the way home from basketball practice with Curly last month, she told me that she thought we had no frosting. She had baked a cake before practice and wanted to frost it. I told her I'd stop and she could run in and get some. Then I was like:  OH, HELL. I'LL PARK AND WE CAN SEE IF THEY HAVE LIME YOGURT IN YET. Then she told me that we were out of feminine products. Well, now we were on a mission. There were purchases that needed to be made and I wanted to get home. 

We memorized the 4 things on the list, because by now I'd added chicken. Pads, lime yogurt, frosting, chicken. Say it ten times fast. Better yet, try to go into the store and only buy those items. I'm here to tell you that's impossible. 

We bravely waved off the cart, because we're dumb strong, able-bodied people. We first hit the jackpot with lime yogurt. I stacked a butt load of them into Curly's arms and she held on to them with the help of her chin. Then we grabbed pads, more than one package. Why not, only 4 items? Then we got to the chicken. I've been having a hard time finding my individually wrapped chicken breasts. They were in stock. Hooray. Oh, wait. No cart. 

Curly was next to my elbow balancing lime treats. I wanted to grab as many chicken bags as possible. That's when I saw the hard of hearing stocker. He was talking to another employee and he was leaning on an empty cart. They were maybe 30 feet away from me. All of a sudden Curly whispers in my ear.


Well, I didn't just laugh - I cackled. The throw-your-head-back-and-let-it-out kind of cackle. Curly begged me to stop, but she was laughing too. 


Yes, I was about to holler to my buddy 'HEY IF YOU'RE DONE WITH THAT CART, WE COULD USE ONE. 

Not that he would've heard me.

We weren't in the clear yet. We still needed frosting. I sent Curly to get a cart with her arms loaded with yogurt and I grabbed as much chicken as I could and told her to meet me in aisle 6 by the frosting. We tossed our pads, lime yogurt, chicken, and frosting in the cart. We were still laughing hysterically. It struck me so funny that my kid knew EXACTLY what I was thinking.

Of course then we stocked up on applesauce. Why not, we had a handy cart now? And a few other things that I was super relieved to have thought of while still in the store. Mini recently shared that one of her friends learned that we eat a ton of applesauce most nights after dinner - hey, it's a crowd pleaser and I legit do offer them a ton to eat but they always want something else. Enter applesauce. Anyway, Mini's friend found it to be the strangest and most entertaining information EVER. 

Do you have a weird item the fam likes to eat EVERY night? Have you juggled a silly amount of groceries after thinking you didn't need a cart? Has your grocery store decided to renovate during a pandemic? 

I have a gut-busting blue tooth story to tell you, unless it was one of those 'guess you had to be there things' and you weren't there, so who knows? Plus I think I should share the Lulu story on Wednesday since it's St. Pat's day and all and she's a wanna-be, over-achiever Irish dancing mom. 


Nicole MacPherson said...

Silly you, thinking you could go into the grocery store without a cart! I have also done that, thinking I'm just getting a couple of things. Maybe once in my life I've actually gone into a store and grabbed one or two things in one of those baskets. Usually the basket is weighing me down by the time I'm done - oh look, they have chickpeas on sale, better get some - or I've given up and gone to get a cart. Impossible, I say!

So weird your store is remodelling - I hate when stores do that, I don't like having to search every aisle for whatever it is I need. Also, scary that the ceiling is falling apart! Eeeek!

Suz said...

I'm pretty famous for NOT GRABBING a cart and then finding all sorts of shit that I need or is on sale.
Applesauce. My grandma used to serve it with dinner a lot. Then as an adult, I used to serve it only with pork chops. Pork Chops and Applesauce is a thing. But, I think we all know that I don't make pork any longer. My MIL stayed at our condo a few times and she always left little cinnamon applesauce cups and I did find it bizarre since I'd forgotten about my grandma serving it too. Perhaps it's an 'older' person thing, but I suppose if it's in your house, it's NOT an older person thing.
Now, I'm just rambling.

We have a thing for pickles.

What the hell with your store falling apart? I see lawsuits happening with 'the sky is falling' there. CRAZY.

Kari said...

Wait, was that a HOLE in the ceiling? Wth.

I am notorious for not wanting a cart. I hate using carts in the store. Especially during busy times because people suck in general but in grocery stores, they always suck.

Lime yogurt doesn't sound appetizing on its own. In a casserole, yes. But man. Gah. But I get buying loads of it if your kids love it. We used to love apple cinnamon was years ago but it had chunks of apple in it. Never found it anywhere and had to buy loads of it whenever we saw it.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Of course the time I race into the store for one thing and stop to get a cart, I only get that one thing. :)

The remodeling of a grocery store is always a hassle. It takes me so much longer to shop. The applesauce used to be near the raisins. Not anymore. The peanut butter and jelly are no longer in the break isle. All manageable, but my brain is frustrated to be rewired RIGHT NOW of all times.

I will have to check out that hole and see if it was patched during the remodel. It was insane - like a big chunk fell into the store and narrowly missed hitting someone. Good grief.

Ernie said...

Suz - On a regular shopping trip, I barely fit my loot in one cart. I pile stuff so high. So me with no cart is freeing, but also clearly not a good idea.

We used to have applesauce with pork chops when I was a kid. My mom used to make shake 'n bake pork chops. I haven't found a good way to prepare pork chops - they always come out tough. But, bring on the applesauce. I guess it is a kind of dessert for us. Not that I deny my people a real dessert in addition. Coach is always like WHY THE DESSERT AT EVERY MEAL. I'm like: life is short. Let them eat cake. I grew up with dessert at every meal. Coach not so much. Applesauce is our dessert appetizer.

That chunk falling while I happened to be there to see it was pretty surprising. I was looking around at other shoppers who didn't see it and thought - PEOPLE DID YOU NOT SEE, CEILING FALLING IN ISLE 8?

Ernie said...

Kari - How about the ceiling falling at my local Jewel? I think at the very least they should've offered those of us who witnessed it a $10 off coupon. Call it hush money.

I should've specified that the yogurt is technically key lime. It is divine. I like my cherry yogurt, so I am sticking with it. But I'd eat the key lime. I know all about loading up on stuff that looks like they are not going to make anymore.

I don't like pushing a cart either - mostly because it slows me down once it weighs like 500 lbs. But then I ditch the cart and dart up and down the isles to toss stuff in my cart and then I realize I grabbed the wrong cart. As I age, I'm losing my attention to detail. ;)

Beth Cotell said...

I've learned the hard way to always grab a cart. And my kids love to eat a big bowl of cereal immediately following dinner. Cereal is apparently the dessert of choice in my house.

Ernie said...

Beth - You read this post just as I was making a spelling correction. Thanks to Delilah, I now know that I spelled shopping aisle is 'isle' - wrong. At least I prefaced the post with 'not on my A game.'

Yes, cereal is another snack. I've been having cereal as a snack before bed which I think is a bad habit for my waistline, but I hate going to bed hungry.

Kara said...

My "Oh I just need a few things" inevitably turns into a $100 trip to the store. Because we always need more than a few things.

I am ashamed to admit, but we go though a metric ton of Froot Loops, potato chips, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and eggs. The eggs aren't so bad. The rest are just junk.

Ernie said...

Kara - I used to joke with the checker that this was just supposed to be a few things as I spend $200, but I've decided that is old news.

I JUST told Mini that as kids I ate Cheerios almost every day. We occasionally had sugar cereal like Frosted Flakes or Fruit Loops as a special treat. We always had Peanut Butter Captain Crunch and my sister Marie was the only one allowed to eat it. She wouldn't eat anything else. Can you imagine? The rest of us eating Raisin Bran and Cheerios? No wonder I'm in therapy.

Pat Birnie said...

With 8 people living in your house, how did you imagine you'd get out of the store with 4 or 5 items? Obviously you'd see many items on sale, or that you remembered you were low on. Can't say that I get the applesauce thing. My kids ate it when they were little (I used to make my own - a big batch every fall) but not as they got older. I was raised eating dessert at lunch & dinner, and did the same with my kids. I have to say I regret it; I am always fighting the sweet tooth, and I know they are all the same! I did bake every single week though and it was homemade cookies, cake etc all the time! ahhhh the good old days:)

Ernie said...

Pat - I definitely should never enter a store without a cart. Poor Curly couldn't handle the fact that I had balanced so many yogurts in her hands.

Oh how I love me some applesauce. I, too, never had a lunch or dinner without dessert. My sweet tooth is constantly begging me for more sweets. If I didn't have celiac, I'd be much bigger than I am.

Ally Bean said...

I believe we always need a cart, but my husband often thinks we won't need a cart so won't grab one. He never learns, then about halfway through the store one of us, usually me, ends up going back to the beginning of the maze to get one.

I haven't had applesauce in a while, so I'm adding it to the list. You eat it every night? I like it but couldn't do that with any food. I'm all about variety-- hence the need for a cart every time we go to the grocery, I guess.

Ernie said...

Ally - It had been a while since I dared to go cart-less. I guess some lessons need to be re-learned occasionally. Oh, how I love to finish a meal with applesauce. Must be my sweet tooth. With celiac disease, I mostly eat the same things every day. Dinner gets rotated, but the rest is repetitive.