Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Musings: Shopping—Bah Humbug

I do not like shopping. I know that makes me weird but the idea of going into anything but my local grocery store about gives me hives. Shopping at this time of the year brings me about as much *joy* as fingernails on a blackboard. Weird things tend to happen to me when I do venture out to shop. After years of servicing Wal-Mart as a Rep, especially during the holidays, the idea of shopping there makes me break out in a cold sweat.

My son and husband are aware of my lack of enthusiasm for shopping but don’t share my allergy to shopping and crowds. We met in town for something totally different than shopping and we finished that task at just before five. I’m more than ready to go home when my husband utters the dreaded phrase, ‘need a few things at the store’. My heart sinks because the things we need can’t be found at Penny’s or any of the other stores, which are relatively quiet. Nooooo, he means Wal-Mart. At five o clock. During one of the biggest holiday shopping times of the year. Since I know I’m not going to get out of this I merely sigh and acquiesce.

First clue that is will be a less than fun time is seeing acres of cars parked. You would think, looking at all these cars, we were pulling into a big shopping mall. Nope. Just one store and one of the bigger supercenters. The nearest mall is over two hours away in two directions. Truthfully, I don’t even want to visit either of them—especially at this time of the year.

It’s insane inside. It felt like rush hour traffic with no stoplights. All that was missing was horns blaring (cursing and irritable people were present, however). Carts weaving in and around other carts in the center aisle and none of the other larger aisles were any better. See, I know this store. One of the ways I deal with it is to have a list in hand and get from point A to point B in the quickest amount of time possible. Not this day. Why is it people must stop and talk with on another adding congestion to an otherwise highly congested area? Had to go down two aisles and come up the other just to get to the aisle I wanted. These aisles are not tiny but when you have people stopping in the middle chatting it gets crowed. Fast.

One aisle I needed to get to have traffic jams at either in so you couldn’t get in or out of them. Four carts smack dab in the middle of the aisle opening spilling into the center aisle like a river delta area. Four carts, eight women, and at least that many children standing around and chatting with one another. “Oh Mable, honey, it’s so GOOD to see you …yada yada yada yada yada.”

I’ve already passed this aisle three times trying to get in and no luck.

I’m standing there patiently trying to maneuver so I can get into the aisle, I can’t move forward and I can’t move backwards because I have carts and impatient people behind me also wanting to get in this aisle. Meanwhile these ladies are oblivious and start exchanging recipes for god sake and more family and friends are joining them. Sheesh people, what ARE you going to have left to talk about over your family dinner for God sake? Haven’t you ever heard of exchanging emails or here’s a novel thought, pick up the phone and invite them over for coffee. No, they pick up the phone and call family and friends and tell them to meet them at Wal-Mart. Finally, I’m able to get past the clutch of gossiping women with only a look or two of impatience for my interrupting them.

Did I mention the two kids with built in roller wheels in their shoes? Hell bent for leather racing. Two steps from my cart and I'm reaching for grated coconut. Kid comes zooming down the aisle, grabs my cart to stop, which slams into me, which shot me right into commercial styled crash against the shelf facing and most of it coming down around me. Marshmallows flying everywhere, bags of assorted baking nuts, case of eagle brand condensed milk barely missing my toes.

Kid goes wide eyed, Oops, and takes off in other direction, leaving me stand in the middle of a disaster consisting of toll house chips, and all sorts of baking goodies and dried fruit all around me on the floor.

Yeah, it made a thunderous crashing noise, and then you add the screech from another poor shopper standing near me, it was really earsplitting. I'm afraid she had her back to me when a bag of coconut flew out of my hand smacked her in the back of the head and knocked her glasses askew with one earpiece hanging from her ear and the other on her nose. Well, maybe a few bags of marshmallow and dried fruit flew in her direction too. Clerk comes running up and stops dead at the sight and of course is looking at ME.

“If you needed help ma'am, someone would have been glad to help you reach the top shelf.”

“Somebody? Somebody? If I had to wait for assistance, I'd be a skeleton with spider webs hanging off me. Where was somebody when we had kid roller derby in here and the little terrors ran into me? And raced away, thank you very much.”

Screecher assured them that it wasn't my fault but kids. I'm still mumbling under my breath and brushing assorted fruit pieces and nuts out my hair and off my clothes. THEN the clerk is all worried about if I'm injured and calling for back up. Gads what a mess!

My husband walks up about two minutes later, his mouth drops open at the sight. “What happened? You okay?”

By now the whole aisle looking like a bomb went off and FEMA is on site. Needless to say the aisle is closed. I think most of the spare clerks were in the aisle and a manager or three. God help anyone else in the store that needed help. Me? I just wanted out of there.

No, I don't need to sit down, no I don't need an ambulance, I don't want to go to the doctor, I'm fine, yes I'll take your card and let you know if I have any further problems.

My husband’s mouth is twitching. I glared at him.

At last, I'm allowed to leave the baking aisle. I never want to see it again, just saying. My wretched husband is chuckling and pulling pieces of butterscotch chips out my hair. He reaches over and pick up something stuck half way under the v-neck of my sweater. “I always said you were a real peach and holds up a dried peach half.”

My son joins us a few minutes later. “Hey Mom, did you see what happened over here? Everyone came running in this direction. Uh Mom, you have raisins and chocolate chips in your hair...are you okay?”

“Oh I’m just peachy, son, just peachy.”


Jenyfer Matthews said...

LOL - I worked at Kmart while I was in college so I know what you mean: I'd rather go just about anywhere else than Kmart / Walmart / Target at the holidays. Online shopping is the best invention ever!

Tonya Kappes said...

I'm with you Sia! I hate shopping too. I can't stand going to the mall, walmart (which I DON"T go to), grocery, you name it! and on-line shopping has become my best friend! I make my DH go grocery shopping with me and we do it very early on the weekend so no one has ventured out yet.

Jo said...

Thank God for being retired, we can choose to go shopping whenever we want and when we know the stores will be less crowded. Apart from grocery shopping (which we do at 7 a.m.) I am with you about shopping Sia, I hate it.

Kat Sheridan said...

Laughing loud and long! Oh Sia! I'm a long time hater of shopping of any kind. Thank goodness for hubs, who loves grocery shopping! Thank goodness for internet shopping!

Marilyn Brant said...

LOL, Sia!! Ohhhh, no! I hate shopping, too -- and I don't even have your good reasons for despising it... Just the crowds and the general chaos -- ugh! Your story made me laugh on this snowy Monday, though, so thank you :).

Olivia Cunning said...

Walmart should come with a warning label. As for people chatting in aisle, I *gasp* politely say, "excuse me, can I get by" and they usually move. "Oh, I'm sorry," they say as if they had no idea they weren't the only person on the planet and then move over enough for me to squeeze by if I'm willing to bash their cart with mine. Oh yes, I'm willing. I treat walmart shopping like a demolition derby and I will be the last cart standing.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I love online shopping. Even for clothes and they have these nifty zoom window so you can see the fabrics and details up close and personal.

I really don't mind grocery shopping. I just hate crowds and wading through them at this time of the year. If I have to go, I pick a time when most people are at work. I won't be going into any of the stores like Wal-Mart on the weekends until after the first week of January is come and gone.

Olivia, I've done the bumping of the carts with a smile, and Oh, I'm sorry. I've also been known to move a cart out of the middle of the aisle opening while the owner is busy looking half way down the aisle looking at whatever. :-)