I had five items on my grocery list this morning and had to go to SEVEN different stores to find everything. Can you sense the seethe coming off what I type below?
1. No matter how many times I write it down, I never remember to pick up those special boxes of baking soda for removing odors in the refrigerator.
2. Why is there more than one kind of toilet paper? There are only two things that we do involving a toilet (which, and not by coincidence, are named “Number One” and “Number Two”) – so *maybe* you could talk me into two kinds of toilet paper, but that’s it.
3. Why are the various locations of one grocery store chain laid out differently?
When I pop into a Hannaford’s — ANY Hannaford’s — I want to know exactly where to find limes, diet tonic water and gin. My time is precious; it’s hot outside and I want to get home as quickly as possible to cool off on the deck with a refreshing G&T at my side. As I walk into the store limes should be prominently displayed in a produce section located immediately to my right — not to the left, not toward the back, not in a bin located fifty feet away from the other citrus fruits. Get it together, Hannaford’s.
4. Did you know the supermarket chain named in #3 above is actually called “Hannaford”? Everyone around here calls it “Hannaford’s”, so they should change their name already. The other predominant chain around here is “Shaw’s”, not “Shaw.” Learn from your competition, Hannaford.
5. I’ve lost count of how many different sizes of shopping carts there are. Let’s see: there’s the traditional “buggy;” then there’s a compact, more square version of said buggy; there’s a buggy with built-in rear-facing double child seats so your kids can fling Cheetos at me while you’re bent over to grab a tub of private-label mayonnaise from the bottom shelf; there’s the hand-held plastic basket and then there’s another plastic one with an extendable handle and wheels built into the bottom so you can drag your groceries around mere millimeters off of the Cheetos-dust-encrusted tile floor, and then there’s the mobility-impaired electric cart with the buggy up front that is entirely too long for users to drive around the end of each aisle without either crashing into a display of canned goods or clipping me right on my Achilles tendon. Some stores now offer a service where you order your groceries online and they’ll bring them out to your waiting car; no navigation required. That sounds promising in theory but they still make me come inside the store for the gin, so what’s the point?
6. Why is there both “salted” and “unsalted” butter? The next ingredient in any recipe that calls for unsalted butter is… salt.
7. And don’t get me started on milk. Skim, 1/2%, 1%, 2%, whole, ultra, organic, lactose-free, soy, rice, almond, non-GHO and those UHT packages that aren’t in the dairy section and have a shelf-life only slightly less than that of canned soup.
8. And SOUP! Oh my GOD! I want a can… of… tomato… soup. Not “light,” not “Tuscan,” not “reduced sodium,” not “bisque,” not “hearty,” not with “basil” or “coconut.” I want the soup my mother used to serve me along with a grilled cheese (made with white bread, charred on one side, and the slices of yellow American processed cheese food that come individually wrapped) that she cut on the bias so I had points to daintily dip into the bowl.
9. Dear checkout person: just because I’ve come through your line does NOT mean I am interested in having you examine each of my items as you scan them and asking, “Oh, this looks interesting — what do you make with THAT?” “What’s in the bakery bag?” — None of your damn business. And the next time you ask me if it’s parsley or cilantro, I’m going to tell you whichever one is cheaper, OK?
10. Why are the free cookies on the bakery counter limited to just children? They can’t even reach the jar without adult assistance.
11. To whoever is parked behind me in the lot: when my backup lights come on, that means I am going to be backing up my car, imminently. Do not then start your car, throw your tranny into reverse and try to beat me into the neutral zone between our rows. Today, so very fortunately for you, I was driving my brand-new SUV and stomped on my brakes to prevent a collision. But the next time this happens it’s just as likely I’ll be driving my wife’s thirteen-year-old junk heap and will not hesitate to exercise my right of way since I was already established coming out of my spot. I would welcome the chance to slam into your rear end, since the impact might actually flatten out some of the dents her car already has. I will leave you to pick up your rear bumper and shattered tail light assembly, as I roll down my window while driving away so you can hear me cackle at your misfortune.
Alright — I’ve ranted enough. Time to calm down with that G&T. Oh, bloody hell — I’m out of diet tonic.