Saturday, October 13, 2007

Grocery Etiquette?

Got asked, tonight, if I had walked into the grocery store intending to buy all that I did. I stared blankly at the bagger--"I don't understand," I said, with a flat expression & a bit of irritation. Here I have been in this store for three hours, carefully reading labels for eggs, milk, wheat and the rest, my children have patiently helped me find things, have behaved themselves brilliantly, it is 8:30 at night and I am exhausted, and the guy with the orange shirt asks me if I meant to spend this much?

The Strong-Willed-Child in me wanted to sarcastically retort, "Oh no! You've got to be kidding? I'm grocery shopping? I bought what? How much? No....! Somebody get me OUT of here!!" But, I just said, "I don't understand," with a furrowed brow. He said, "Oh, I'm just saying that because some people say they come in for just a few items and walk out with $300 worth of stuff."

For the record, my bill exceeded that amount. Because I am giving them a boatload of money as their customer, I suppose I don't expect to be asked if I meant to give them that much.

I always buy for at least 2 weeks, but sometimes three. The freshest foods last the first week and a half, then we go to soups & popping things from the freezer. I make big salads with lots of amazing flavors and textures. I have to eat free of twelve toxic foods (toxic, of course, only to me). After the exhausting experience that shopping is, I don't want to do it weekly--examine every label, shop only for produce on sale, check items off the list, make sure I get the couponed items just as they are listed. Once a week? No, Thank You!

But, is any of that my bagger's business (seven years with the grocery store...)? Does he need to know why I'm buying organic eggs? He was joking about everything being organic these days, organic shampoo, organic soups...I said, "Yes. I buy those things."


Listen, living a diet-restricted life is HARD!! Sure, I could truly eat only fresh foods--veggies, fruits, meats--and leave out the wheat-free cereals & chicken-free sausages. But, I have to give myself grace in many areas these days--being solo while dh travels is so taxing. Having extra tasks on the weekly to-do list pushes me over the edge, so I have to buy a lot at once & call it "done" until the refrigerator is, again, as bare as it was today.

So, yes, I did plan to buy all of this, Sir! I planned to feed my family. I intended to stock my pantry. I have severe food sensitivities. And, Pardon My Saying This, even as a fellow American Northern Virginia Citizen, I just don't think it is any of your business.

Oooh. What a bad attitude on my part, huh? Sometimes I am too raw to be kind. Too vulnerable to want to share my intimacies with a stranger. Tampax on the conveyor belt, here, OK?

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