Shopping Without a List

Sometimes, in the grocery store, I feel almost like I am having some sort of creepy, out-of-body experience, watching myself move through the aisles.  I have decided that this phenomenon must be directly linked to the florescent lighting.  Either that, or I have powerful supernatural abilities that I can only access in Publix.

Other than the wacky lighting issue, I love the grocery store.  There is just so much to be learned by watching people choose their food.

Some people are very particular, reading every label, picking up another similar product and reading that label.  They consciously weigh the nutritional value of everything they buy. They are deliberate, but not overly neurotic.  They smile at you when you walk by.  Serene, yet focused.

Then there are folks who tear through like whirlwinds, tossing things in their cart, never breaking their stride.  Often, this type seems to be comprised of young, single men or mothers with older children.  They either don’t have to consider anyone else’s tastes and opinions, or they are so entrenched in their routine that they could grocery shop in their sleep.  These people will run over you, if you get in their way.  They seem anxious to get to the next place on their agenda.  A bit self-absorbed.

The mothers with small children are the easiest to spot.  Other shoppers try to keep a protective buffer between themselves and young children in the grocery store, which is easy to do.  Simply walk away from the screaming.  Even well-behaved children seem to meltdown in the grocery store.  I think it is the lighting.  Really.  Mothers with young kids are often too harried to be focused on anything besides peeling the box of unsanctioned Rice Krispy treats out of the clammy hands of their screaming toddler.  They will, however, look at you appreciatively, if you can make their child laugh.  I am not above doing a jig to achieve the desired response.

And then there are those who are clearly trying to please someone else with their shopping.  They will stand in front of the row of canned tomatoes, picking up one, looking blankly at the label.  Then they will pick up another, look around for a minute, as if they want to use a Lifeline to ask a question, and then stare blankly at the label again.  Sometimes they will have multiple, almost identical items in their hands, looking hopeless.  They are very apologetic, about everything.  I feel for these folks.  It will take them over an hour to get their list of ten items.

I take my time, weaving through the people, looking at the food.  I wonder what people think of me, as I mosey along.  Probably not much.  They are probably just contemplating whether or not they should get their free cookie from the bakery.

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One Comment on “Shopping Without a List”

  1. Miss Kris Says:

    I have one of those kids that doesn’t mind grocery shopping. He never screams or grabs at things. He says, “Hi” to everyone we pass. Yes, I have the alien child.


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