Supermarket Saturday

Being self-employed, I have a lot more flexibility in my schedule than most people. There are ups and downs but the balance, thus far, has been favorable. I don't think I fully realized how favorable until this past Saturday, when I happened to swing by the grocery store around 8:30 am.Supermarket Saturday Shopping

A typical trip to the grocery store for me happens around 9:30 or 10 on a weekday morning with A, because that is when we have time. We grab a cart – which A generally refuses to ride in somewhere between root vegetables and protein bars – and wander up and down the aisles. We stop for the complimentary cookie in the bakery, we give a shout-out to the lobsters (poor guys) in seafood, and we usually throw down over candy or stuffed animals at the "seasonal items" endcap (see photo). A often makes friends with our elderly coshoppers or loudly asks me why the baby behind us in the checkout line is screaming so loud. (Yeah, like we've never been there. HA.)  It takes an hour, minimum, but most days we don't mind.

I had totally forgotten how the other half lives, so I thought I'd make a quick trip to the store before I started work on Saturday. Ha. HAHAHAHAHA. I walked in expecting a 20 minute "supermarket sweep"-esque experience; I walked out wondering where my freaking medal was for surviving that fiasco. Those people – those Saturday shoppers – are intense. You have to watch out for: 

  • Exercise Girl: It is Saturday before 9am, but she has already been to the gym. (She has the stretchy pants and gym hair to prove it.) Maybe she's tired, maybe she's hungry, but she looks like she will bite your hand if you get in front of her in the organic produce and smoothie section. Play through, exercise girl, play through. We both know my yoga pants haven't been to the gym in awhile and you could totally kick my ass. As an aside, though – wouldn't you be more comfortable in Whole Paycheck Foods? They have an entire organic smoothie bar. 
  • Couples: Ry and I haven't grocery coshopped since…um…EVER. So these people are completely foreign to me. I mean, on the one hand it's cute and I'm happy for them. On the other hand I feel the way about this that Harry feels about bringing someone to the airport – clearly the beginning of the relationship. (Please, please, puh-leeze tell me you are familiar with Harry.) And they are kind of a hazard. They only have eyes for each other – not for the people who are trying to get around them in the aisle. 
  • Ms. Efficient: This lady is all business, from the mom jeans to the sensible flats. She has scheduled this visit down to the minute, her grocery list is organized by section with corresponding coupons and she has those super handy grocery totes in the back of her car. You know, the ones that keep the stuff organized and prevent it from sliding all over the place. After this she has to go to the post office, the library, and the dry cleaners before she spends the rest of the day shuttling small people around to extracurricular activities. Stay out of her way. She will run your foot over and not look back – not because she's mean, just because she's on a schedule here.
  • The Mom With Kids: Ah, a fellow mama, who for whatever reason has to shop on the weekend with her tiny (or not so tiny) humans. I sympathize with her, and I am betting that she is here first thing on a Saturday morning for three reasons: 1) She has been up for many hours already so it's not "first thing" to her, 2) She has these people to herself – possibly by herself – all weekend and needs to get this part over with because 3) She will be harrassed all weekend because "they're hungry." Again. If she's behind me at the checkout, I'm paying for my box of wine and leaving it for her. 
  • Teenagers: Of course, the only teenagers who are up this early on a Saturday morning are the ones who work at the supermarket. And they. Are. EVERYWHERE. At every register. They giggle. They flirt. You know what they don't do? Pay attention to their customers or do anything particularly efficiently. (Yes, I know how old this makes me sound. But I was very nice and I did not complain to a manager or anything, because I realized that would officially make me old.) But it could have been worse. They could have called me "ma'am." 

When I finally emerged, I was grateful. One, that I had survived and managed to get everything on the list. And two, that I hopefully won't have to shop on a Saturday again for another six years. But if I do, I am pretty sure that whatever they charge for Pea Pod delivery is well worth it.