Monday, November 8, 2010

When Grocery Shopping Takes a Festive Turn

I went to the grocery store on Saturday, which is a feat in of itself as I usually end up putting it off until the last possible second on Sunday evening. I was very proud that I got myself organized and made it there early! Unfortunately, that joy quickly disappeared as I realized it was the worst possible day to go to the grocery store.

It was...I can barely say it...


The grocery store Holiday Open House is a horrible mess disguised as a festive party. It's the day when all the workers break out their Santa hats and man tasting stations all over the store, offering free cookies and drinks, coupons, and samples of all kinds of things that their bakery staff will be sick of making by December 26th.

On this day, they bring out all their wares and attempt to woo us into having them cook or bake our holiday fare. OR, at minimum, get us to shop there to buy what we choose to bake ourselves, surrounded by their holiday cheer.

But in reality, the holiday open house at the grocery store isn't cheerful at all. It's when the already-narrow aisles are clogged with extra tables and displays, and those of us trying to just buy our groceries and get the heck out of there get stuck in long lines of people waiting for a free cookie. While my frozens are melting, I can't get past the lady with her three kids taking up the entire aisle while they wait to sample apple cider in a cup the size of a thimble.

Now I'm no scrooge...I love to cook at the holidays, and I enjoy the early part of the season when people are still happy about it instead of later when they are stressed out about their to-do lists. But when I go grocery shopping, I'm not in the mood to stand around and visit with strangers over pumpkin pie samples. I'm there to get what I need and get out, especially if I have one or both of the kids with me. At the open house, that is impossible. Everyone's in a dawdling kind of mood.

And, aside from that, everyone thinks they can eat and drive. A shopping cart, that is.

Even people who would never dream of eating while driving think they can eat and push a cart. This is not true. I've never seen so many people bumping into displays, other carts, and other people as those who have a bunch of empty Dixie cups sitting in the seat of their cart. I'm starting to wonder if they spike the cider.

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