Monday, November 7, 2011

People can really be amazing...

Today I went to the grocery store with my girls.  It was one of those days that reminds you that people can just be amazing...and not in the good sense.  No worries, I'm still a believer in the goodness of humankind.  But it's one of those days that leaves you shaking your head and thinking, "Just how fast can I get home?..."

I went to the Publix by my house.  It's our "home" grocery store.  Everyone in there knows us (and if you read my "plumber" article, you know they may know more of me than I wish...).  The produce manager regularly comes out with sliced produce for the girls.  The sample lady always gives me a little plate to feed the girls.  The pharmacist and her assistants are always so excited to see us - unless we're picking up antibiotics or something, and then they are always very kind and sympathetic.  It's our favorite store. 

I'm sure it will come as a great shock to learn I'm a creature of habit (please, I'll wait until you can breathe again...)  I always pull into the same row and then back down the next row to park in pretty much the same area.  Today, as I'm pulling into the first row, this lady just suddenly shoots backwards with no warning.  It's not her fault, she can't see me.  However, today I've got this jerk on my tail who simply has to get... SOMETHING from the store RIGHT NOW!!!  So I nearly get rear-ended.  The lovely person behind me starts blowing on his horn.  The lady in front of me (who's got a couple decades on me) freezes.  She doesn't pull into her space.  She doesn't continue backing up.  Her hands alternate between flying up to her face and back to her wheel.  Jerk continues honking.  Lady in front starts CRYING.  My girls start CRYING.  Oh crap, this shopping trip has dissolved before it began...then the lady looks at me.  RIGHT AT ME.  She flips me off.  Seriously?  I'm trying to be patient with two crying girls in the car, and you are going to flip ME off?  Then she finishes backing out and leaves.  You can already tell what a good trip this is going to be, huh? 

I pull around to my usual spot.  The guy takes her spot.  Of course, HIS tag doesn't have a handicapped sticker on it, but why should HE be held to the rules the rest of us must follow?  After all, we are but sheep, and he's...OK, moving on.  So we walk into the store.  Just as we walk into the first set of double doors, a lady and her child walk through the store double doors, so we're facing each other.  The woman has one child, probably around three, and I have the twins.  There's one double shopping care know, the kinds that's designed like a race car with the little steering wheels.  As any mom with two kids of same or similar age knows, you take the double cart when you have more than one child because it's the ONLY cart that fits MORE THAN ONE CHILD.  And how many does she have?  (No peeking, you should have been paying attention!  Bad reader!).  So I say, "Do you mind if I grab the double there?  I can't fit both twins and my groceries into a regular cart."  She looks me up and down and says, "Yeah, I do, I've got stuff to do, and I don't need her fussing."  She grabs the cart and walks off.  Uh...OK, yeah, see, this is a physics problem, and two objects of mass cannot occupy the same space at the same time...

So we head back out so I can scour the parking lot for a potential cart.  I know there's a lot of people there, but I've never come when there wasn't at least ONE cart I could use.  There!  In the back left...WA-A-A-AY in the back left...Eureeka!  I heft one girl on each arm and bust my butt to get out there.  Gasping and wheezing, I shovel each girl into her seat.  Good lord, are they using this parking lot for a football field in their spare time?  I swear it got longer with every step!  What am I feeding these girls?  I digress...

We rumble back into the grocery store.  At least the noise and vibration of the cart going over the asphalt never fails to make them smile!  Now we're in a better mood (I need a shower) and ready to shop.  We head over to the pharmacy to get our prescriptions (and ego boosts).  "All better," as the girls would say!  The shopping goes about like normal.  About 2/3 of the way through, the girls are alternating saying, "All done, Mommy?  All done?  ALL DONE?!?"  Finally, I can say, "YES!  We're all done.  Let's go pay." 

So I get into a ridiculously long line behind these two moms.  Each mom has a child...why, yes, one looks just like...oh, say hello to my lovely friend from the cart incident!  We'll call her Cart-Grabber for short.  So she and the mom in front of her are having a "mompetition."  You know - one of those "conversations" that's really a one-upsmanshp for "My mommy-ing if far superior to your mommy-ing."  So I'm listening (and snickering).  Here's a summary of the transcript:

Unknown mommy (using "I'm being so kind to explain this to a total simpleton voice"): First you need to wash the fruit, then you cut it in half.  But you don't want to transfer the pesticides all throughout the fruit, so you discard THAT knife and get another one to finish cutting the fruit into pieces.  (My thought: I'm sorry, exactly how did you NOT transfer pesticides in the first cut?....)
Cart-Grabber (using her "You are a total moron but I'll suffer through this to show that I can bestow charity on the less fortunate" voice): Oh, well, I suppose that's well and good, but if you use a fruit wash to take the pesticides off in the first place, you've solved the problem.  (My thought: With a mom like you, I think pesticides are the least of the problem...)
Unknown: Yes, but only if you aren't worried about the fats and sugars the wash transfers to the fruit.  I wouldn't want my little sweetie gaining weight!  (My thought: ?!?!?!?  Have you ever read the label?!?)
Cart-Grabber (Sensing blood): My child won't be gaining weight, because I monitor her fat intake VERY carefully.  (No wonder that woman is such a ______ - give her a chocolate bar, stat!  The kid, too.  The kid is what, three?  And a certain amount of fat is needed for normal bodily functions!)
Unknown (triumphantly, as she's about to trounce the mompetition): Well, since we're vegetarians, we don't have to worry about anything like that!  ('Cause there's no meat-eater in the world who could be healthy!  You know, like all of those meat-eating Olympians...clearly riddled with unhealth!) 

(Side note: I'm not making fun of vegetarians at all, just this charmer.  You all have the right to decide what you eat, just like me.  Now pass me a cheeseburger and no one gets hurt!)

At this point, both children begin to whine.  Unknown and Cart-Grabber reach into their diaper bags and pull out drinks and snacks.  I'd like to say before we go any further I am NOT making this up!!  Unknown gives her kid a water.  Child throws water on floor.  Unknown says, "What do you want, sweetie?"  Sweetie wails.  Unknown reaches back into bag and pulls out one of those little blue drinks in a barrel.  You know, the ones FULL of SUGAR?!?  She puts it into a sippy cup and Sweetie begins sipping happily.  Meanwhile, Cart-Grabber pulls out (again, I SWEAR this is the truth) a half-full diet coke, pours some into a sippy, and hands it to Little Darling.  She also gives her a package of those 100 calorie cookies?!?  Let me get this straight, you monitor fat, but NOT sugar?!?  And I'm not vegetarian, so I don't know if those little barrel drinks would fit in that type of regimen, but again...IT'S ALL SUGAR!!!!  There's NOTHING redeeming about those.  You give them to your child at a birthday party, or a special occasion, not in PUBLIX because you're stuck in LINE!  You do understand what happens to sugar in your body when you eat too much, right? 

Unknown begins checking out.  Cart-Grabber turns around and sees me.  She gives me a superior smile and says, "Can you believe that woman?  As if vegetarians don't have to worry about fat!"  Then she looks my girls up and down and says, "You might want to consider monitoring your children's food intake."  I just shook my head and began scolding the twins who were a little too close to the flowers at this point and wanted to "pick some for mommy"...(admirable thought, ladies, but not in the budget).  Yes, I'm so glad you are monitoring their pesticide intake, ladies.  That way they can live a very long life treating their TYPE-II DIABETES or other sugar-related illness!!!

Oh yes, people can really be amazing!

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