Tag Archives: awkward

Causing a Scene Up on Aisle 3

Ah, the grocery store.  There once was a time it was my happy place.  I remember starting out as a newlywed, getting all decked out in my makeup and pearls for a trip into town to buy all the chips & dip, pop and cookies we would require for the next week.  Then seven years later, I was the one with no mascara, and the carseat in the cart, stacking groceries all around the kid, making more responsible purchases like Similac and Arrowroots.  Then I became the one with the unbrushed hair and big dark circles under my eyes, pushing two kids in one cart and dragging another cart behind me loaded with stuff like organic apples, diapers, Cheerios and Clamato Juice (hey, a mom’s gotta live).  Then before long, we were up to three kids, and I was the yummy mummy scraggy frump pushing just one cart again, with one kid sitting in the top part (that was always fun – trying to hold a squirming kid up high enough to get the legs in the cart holes –akin to putting a worm back down the hole), and two kids hanging off the side. Or sometimes one of them would be scrunched up where the cases of pop should go, and the other one would be racing around a few aisles over, annoying other shoppers.

We have lots of fond memories from shopping with the kids.  Like the time our youngest was sitting up in the cart, when she was about two years old.  Another lady pushed her cart up close to us, and she had a little baby about three months old.  The cute little baby was staring at our little Laura, and the mother and I exchanged smiles and nods, sharing the glow of motherhood.  As we both examined the bacon, I saw my daughter lean closer to speak to the baby.  I thought to myself, “Aww,  precious”….  then she said, in a growly, Clint Eastwoodish voice:

What are YOU gawking at?”  I scurried away

Kids or no kids, grocery shopping is a lot harder than it looks.  You are expected to make a lot of decisions, plus perform some fairly complicated math calculations.  At the front door is the first major decision – push cart or hand basket?  Let’s be serious – they should completely get rid of those hand baskets.  On the rare occasions that I have convinced myself to use one, I can be found moments later, one aisle over, staggering under its weight.  It’s like they conspire to put all the heavy things on sale the day I use a hand basket.  I’m the queen of the heavy impulse buy. Potatoes , juice, beans.  I then have to alternate carrying it with two hands between my legs like a toddler learning to bowl, or casually dangle it off my forearm like a purse – ignoring the excruciating pain and increasingly deep dent in my flesh.   I ran into a friend shopping recently and she had a hand basket that she had stacked so high that she couldn’t even lift it, and had resorted to leaving it sitting in the aisle and bringing purchases back to it, stacking it higher and higher.  Thank heavens I arrived with my push cart – I did my good deed for the day by giving her 200lb hand basket a ride to the checkout, while she walked alongside with her hand atop the highest items so it wouldn’t topple.

And speaking of running into friends – is there anything worse when you’re just trying to get your groceries and get out, than getting to a section where you need something and two other shoppers — apparently long-lost old friends– are blocking the aisle and have pushed their carts together and are playing catch up with all the news in each other’s lives, and all you want is to find the spice that you need and be gone?  They make half-hearted attempts to move their carts closer to the shelves, but inevitably you need something that they are blocking entirely.  Those inconsiderate people piss me off.

Yes – come to think of it there is something worse.  Occasionally when I see somebody at the grocery store that I haven’t seen for a while, and we’re trying to have a conversation – maybe she’s showing me some  pictures on her cell phone or something – and other shoppers look all aggravated and make “tsk” sounds and try to ram their carts by, or reach past us to get stuff.  Those ignorant people piss me off.

One sure-fire way I know to make sure I see everyone I know in town is to go to the store without any makeup on, dressed like a slob.  Guaranteed all my friends, enemies, and the ageless cheerleader from high school will be all up in my business.  Those are the days that I’m forced to shop without my glasses on, and operate like Mr. Magoo and can’t see anyone, least of all that slim, well dressed do-gooder lady with the cute haircut whose kid used to hang out with my kid.  Sometimes might have to skip a few aisles to avoid an encounter, and go home without a few items I really need, but hey – priorities.

However, should I have just come from the hairdresser and be wearing one of my business suits that is from this decade, in full makeup complete with lip gloss, I guarantee that I will not see a single soul I know.  If I should see someone familiar – I won’t be able to catch their eye, despite whistling, waving and full on jumping jacks.

Plus, regardless of how much time I spend shopping.  Once I’m officially trapped in the checkout line, I always see something in someone else’s cart that I meant to get.  And I want it.  Bad. I weigh my options … create a distraction and just grab it?  Offer to buy it at a premium?  None seem feasible, so I say “back in a minute” and then walk-run through the store trying desperately to get back before the checkout person has finished running all my stuff through.  Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don’t.   Sometimes I get distracted, and keep shopping and have to be paged.  So what, who cares.

A recent grocery shopping trip was a little hair-raising.  I completed my purchases, paid and then was on my way out with my cart loaded with bags, when I was stopped dead in my tracks by a huge candy display that I had missed on the way in.  How is that possible?  Candy is just about my favorite thing! There were a couple of other people browsing, which added to the sense of urgency.  Could this be the candy sale to beat all candy sales??? However, good sense prevailed (I am after all, in the words of my daughter, a grown-ass woman) so I decided not to buy any candy and instead I pushed the cart in a most dignified manner, out to my truck in the parking lot.  Once I got out there and opened the back of the truck to begin loading my bags of groceries in, I made the unfortunate discovery that I had actually pushed someone else’s cart out to the parking lot, full of unpaid for groceries.  I raced back inside,  and mine was still stalled beside the enticing Fuzzy Peaches and Licorice display.  Nearby there was a bewildered looking man with his arms full of fruit and vegetables who appeared to have lost something.  His wife looked irritated.  I dropped their cart off close to them, then grabbed mine and headed back out the door as they stared.  I quietly muttered the only thing I could think of …

What are YOU gawking at?”

Yes, I realized I have come full circle. Once again I shop alone. And I may be a grown ass woman, but I can annoy other shoppers even better than my kids ever did.  And there’s still so much to look forward to in my shopping career.  Next milestone at the grocery store – the driving carts, and bad parallel parking in the Polident aisle.



Filed under Family, Humor, Kids, Memories

The Dentist – “Slight Discomfort” My Butt

Had another classic “would only happen to me” experience recently.  I had to go to the dentist, and months ago when they asked what time worked for me, and offered up the coveted 8:00 a.m. spot on a July Friday morning, I said enthusiastically, “Yes, that works!”  Yes, that probably does work – for every other grown-up in the world but me.  I aspire to be the kind of person who already has completed something significant (like a dentist appointment) by 9:00 a.m., but the truth is, I have very rarely ever been anywhere by 8:00 a.m. – including places that I’m really excited to be going.  What were the chances that I was really going to be in their office chomping at the bit (cheap pun intended) to have them drill and fill a couple of my remaining teeth.  Some might say I was setting myself up for failure, taking that appointment time.

The receptionist however, was quite gullible and took me at my word and apparently passed on my verbal contract to the dentist.  I know this because when I showed up at 8:15, he was visibly PISSED.  In my defense though, I was only going to be 5 minutes late, but then I panicked and forgot what street to turn at so I drove around for another 10 minutes feeling like I was in the Twilight Zone and somebody had moved the office.  (Okay, not the greatest defense since I have been going to this dental office for about 10 years — but it was only my second time having an appointment with this guy, and it was eight o’clock in the morning for Pete’s sake, so I was just generally and completely out of sorts.)

So now I’m there, late, and he’s annoyed.  He’s fairly young – which to me now means early 40’s.  He pointedly tells me that he can’t do everything that he had planned today (okay, I get it – I wasted 15 minutes) and that I have to make a new appt. for part of the work.  Then the hygienist comes in and hands me the TV remote and says, “Do you want to watch anything?” They have a firm policy in place that the patient gets to select what’s on TV while the dental work is underway. I say okay, and I start clicking around looking for Canada AM (which I’m usually watching from the comfort of my home in pjs), but then Dr. No-Nonsense comes back in and wants to get right down to business so I stop channel surfing.

As he begins to work, I notice that the station it landed on was the Comedy Network, and that it’s on the John Stewart Daily Show rerun from the previous night.  Well, that was fine with me.  Maybe my choice in programming will loosen things up – demonstrate my cool factor, as well as my contemporary grasp on the U.S. political scene.  I’m thinking this will definitely thaw the icy elephant that is in the room.

But then, things take a terrible turn for the worse.  My mouth is frozen, and he’s in it up to both elbows.  Dental hygienist girl is on the other side, madly sucking up all kinds of spit and debris, and mopping his brow.  (I may have made that part up.)  Suddenly it’s silent, except for the quiet hum of the spit sucker.  Both dental professionals are holding something in my mouth waiting for it to harden.  We’re all avoiding eye contact with each other.  Then – it’s not Daily Show anymore, but it’s the Colbert Report.  On any other night, that would have been fine, and would have only gone further to illustrate just how hip I am.  But on this unfortunate program during sweeps week, Mr. Colbert punked me real bad.

He opted to do a lengthy rant, berating NBC for having a “Boob Week”.  At the mere mention of boobs, I made a futile attempt to find the remote on my lap in a desperate effort to find the comfort of Seamus O’Regan, but the dental tray was in the way. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. We all had no choice but to listen as Stephen ranted, saying things like:

 “What about butts?  I’m a butt man – there are millions of us.  So tell me where’s butt week?” He talked about butts that are “So tight you could bounce a quarter off and get back two dimes and a nickel”.  He talked about “I hereby call on the Colbert nation to demand equal time for the bootie.  Boob week is a huge ratings grope – like Shark Week. What about Shark Boob Week?”

My thoughts were running wild.  Would it be offside to cover the dentist’s ears and yell LALALALA until the segment was over?  But that still leaves the poor hygienist.  Also by now I’ve convinced myself that he’s probably also a part-time minister, and he’s even more disgusted than I can possibly know.  They are probably going to have to have a meeting after my appointment to set a new policy for what to do when patients choose off-colour comedy or maybe even porn as their dental appointment program of choice. They are probably going to name this policy after me.

Finally the segment ended and they went to commercial.  Now the work in my mouth has ended.  I mutter something sheepishly like, “Oh, what the heck was that?”  They now have pasted on fake smiles, and exchange the kind of eyebrow glances that mean they are going to talk about me when I leave.

Feel free to re-enact.  Pretend you’re in my exact situation with the po’ed dentist and his assistant 6 inches away from your face, and you got to choose the programming, and you subjected everyone to this tirade, blaring loudly throughout the office:

Stephen Colbert's Butt Rant




From now on I think I have to adopt the Rodney Dangerfield approach to dental care:

“I told my dentist my teeth were going yellow.  He told me to wear  a brown tie.”

Obviously I can never go back there.  And as part of my ongoing job hunt, I’m now seriously considering UPS.




Filed under Humor