As a professional housewife (amongst other things), I am going to provide a public service here today. We have just a little over a week before Thanksgiving, which means amateur hour at the grocery stores is about to begin in earnest. Any minute now. So I'm gonna drop some survival tips on your ass. If I know my way around anything better than a corkscrew, it's a shopping cart. Allow me to enlighten you. Before I begin let me make a seasonal blanket statement: if you go anywhere near a grocery store or Costco/Sam's Club this weekend, you are out of your fucking mind. I don't care if you need to take a day off of work to facilitate this. Do not do it. You can thank me later. And if you do take the day off to do your shopping, please notify me so that I can stay away. No offense but it's for your safety as well as my sanity. Anyway, here are my helpful hints:
1. The Parking Lot. See those arrows? They mean "go this way". It's not opposite day. So don't look at me like I'm crazy when I'm the one going in the correct direction.
2. Carts. Just get one. It's not a life or death decision. Pick a cart and move out of the way. This is the grocery store, not Target where they tend to stick together in a rather troublesome fashion. Everybody looks at you sympathetically at Target. We've all been there. The grocery store? Not so much. They don't stick. Move along. And those wipey disinfectant things? Don't bother. There are diseased children running amuck everywhere at these places. Touching everything. With snotty little fingers. Can you say bubbling cesspool of germs? Using those wipes is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. And speaking of children and carts.....
3. DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN PUSH THE CART. Just don't. It's annoying as hell. And even worse, those dumb-ass things with the car in front so your children can "drive"? First of all, they are next to impossible to push and cause nothing but trouble. And I've gotta say, both you AND your offspring look like idiots. Come to think of it, children should be banned from grocery stores as a rule. For the record, I'm not a child-hater. I've got one. Banned.
4. Traffic. Navigating the grocery store aisles works much like traffic. Drive on the right side. We're not in Europe. And if you become confused and disoriented by the multitude of choices and shiny colors on any given aisle, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CART IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLE. PULL THE HELL OVER. Would you just leave your car in the middle of a busy road? Maybe you would. I would not. Also, if you see a friend that you must absolutely chit-chat with, again, pull the hell over. There are those of us that are there to procure food, not catch up on the latest. We normal people do that over cocktails rather than in the frozen food section at King Soopers. Oh, and when you get to the end of the aisle, don't go charging out. It's an implied stop sign situation. If you don't stop, prepare to be t-boned.
5. Checking Out. See those signs above the checkout stands? 15 Items or Less? That's what it means. And if you're writing a check (who the hell still writes checks anyway??) please, please balance your checkbook in the car. We're back here! Waiting!!!! Actually, they should put horns on shopping carts. This just occurred to me and it's brilliant! Turn signals, too. Maybe I really should be in charge of the world.
6. Departure. Do NOT leave your car doors open. People are trying to get in and out of parking spots. Rude. Do NOT leave your shopping cart in the middle of a parking space. Again, rude. Put 'em in those cart corrals, even if it's not convenient. Just do it. And again, follow those arrows. It's actually pretty simple but people seem to be quite baffled by this concept.
So, hopefully this will help in the coming week. And if you see me or one of my sisters in arms, do yourself a favor and step aside. We mean business. Grocery shopping is a commando operation. We take no prisoners and despite outward appearances, we are not afraid to hurt people. It's nothing personal, it's just that this is our profession and we take it seriously. Plus, we might be late for Pilates or even worse, our hair appointments. You don't want to get between a housewife and her hair. Ugly.