Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jean Goes to the Grocery

I went to the big grocery this week, for the first time in a long, long time. I avoid the big grocery more than I have ever avoided any ex-boyfriend. Ex-boyfriends don’t entail screaming children, sticky floors or stretched-out tattoos. 

Let me be more specific: I went to small-town America Wal-Mart. 
Now, you understand where I'm coming from. 
I gave myself the “You can do this. It is twenty-three minutes out of your life” pep talk and made a list that would suffice for three months. Including staples like bottled water, pepper jack cheese, green beans and batteries should 1) tornado season escalate or 2) Charlie Sheen sober up. 
The last time I gave myself that exact pep talk I didn’t fair well either; It was when I was home one weekend from Purdue and Dad sent me to Greens Fork Alignment to get new tires put on Old Blackie. Turned out to be an all-day deal. Great for them - They had a day’s worth of business. 

I got my cart, pulled out my list and put on my game face. Firstly I found the avocados I was so anxious to buy. Turns out they were mangos, but who is judging - Other than all of you?  I loaded ten of those little guys into my cart and moved on. I salvaged through the vegetables, plumbs and had to arm wrestle some 4 year old for the last package of all-beef brats. Obviously, he’d been raised on the turkey. 
I didn’t even make it to the cereal aisle before I ran across the typical pediatric-melt down. You know, the one where the kid grabs the Fruit Loops off the shelf and Mom goes for the GrapeNuts; and just like that the child thinks Christmas is canceled and the Tooth Fairy lost her wings. Have seen it a thousand times. 

It was just before I picked up the broken eggs, but after I had a semi-nervous break-down trying to find rice cakes, that I realized I wasn’t cut out for Wal-Mart. I’m cut out for small-town Cutshaw's with two kinds of microwave popcorn, a full deli selection and cashiers that still take a personal check - while asking how the calving season is going. 
I had sixteen items on my grocery list and left with twenty-three tacky, white plastic bags that, can I just say, I carried into the house in one trip from the car. Yes, I am proud. I mean, I can’t feel my forearms, but whatever - I made it in one trip.  I’m also wondering how I ended up with an entire bag full of jelly beans and peeps - both of which I hate. 
Truth be told, give me  a calf that needs tagged, or white dress pants, or even three-inch heels and I’m confident I could hold my own. Give me disorganized produce, a shopping-cart collision or a  self check-out that won’t scan the Kleenex box properly, and I’m a mess. But, I made it through another big grocery trip - without faking a handicap to get out of the store sooner - and I know I’m better for it. 
I just unloaded all twenty-three bags; turns out I remembered the whole almonds but forgot the toilet paper. No big surprise there. See ya tomorrow, Cutshaw's.


  1. You are singing my song! I often equate Wal-Mart to my own personal picture of Hell. I try to avoid it like the plague. Doesn't even matter that Marsh and Payless charge twice as much. I'll pay it, so long as you do not make me step foot in Wal-Mart.

  2. Thanks for a good laugh on a Wednesday morning! I am very impressed you can get in and out Wal-Mart in less than an hour. I too prefer to make 1 trip w/ 27 grocery bags from car to house.

  3. I most often have to listen to my iPod to get through that store! And, nine times out of 10 I forget one bag on the spinning thing b/c the help is so complacent that they aren't going to speak to the client. Ugh. Thanks for having some of the same fears! AND, the germs in that place!!! YUCK!

  4. Haha - I'm not a big fan of large grocery stores either and especially not Wal-mart! I too, grew up with a small town grocerer, where we were able to get everything we needed. G-field used to have an IGA - I miss it!!

  5. Enjoyed your column. It was a good chuckle. My husband just detests big box stores and will go into Walmart only because a friend or neighbor asks us to pick up items as it saves everyone 160 miles one way. Maybe Walmart has its place??? Can some one enlighten us?

    In Northwest South Dakota, it is quite a trip to go to Bismark or Rapid City. We very much appreciate the small town businesses. They go the second mile. :)

  6. Boy I am with you on the big stores. Maybe some day we will get back to Mom and Pop stores. They do give service

  7. I used to hate ALL grocery stores until I discovered Wegman's. Do you those in Indiana? It's a beautiful atmosphere and spread throughout the entire store they have a cafe, coffee shop and a pub. So, you can have a bit of lunch, shop some, have a latte, and then stop off and get drunk before you leave. What's not to love?

  8. I guess I am not like everyone else. I grew up with the small town grocery store and maybe thats why I prefer bigger grocery stores Or it could be with 2 boys and a step daughter every other weekend its helps to go to one store and get whatever I need wether it be grocery products, diapers or clothes for the kids I can do all my shopping in one store and be done. I do understand the whole screaming kids thing I cant stand going into a store and being around that. My two boys have thankfully never done that so I dont understand why other kids do.... If I was on my own with no kids or husband I probably would go to the small town grocery store but with 3 kids and a husband it makes my life a "little" simpler going to a bigger store.... Good luck hun!!

  9. that was funny i can just see u in walmart haha classic