Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Grocery Store Blues

With all the warm fuzziness included in the last post, I feel I am entitled to a rant. Luckily I just happen to have something to rant about. I would just like to reiterate this plain and simple fact - I HATE grocery shopping. I must hate it even more than I realized because this is my third post about it. You see, I'm thinking of starting a petition. No, not a petition that states, "Jen will never again be expected to endure the torturous task of grocery shopping", although that would be a pretty darn fantastic petition. You'd sign it for me, right? No, this would be a petition to get rid of those annoying self check out lanes. I am seriously asking here - do any of you use them? At the Giant Eagle I go to, there are probably fourteen of them, or more. Then, there are four regular lanes with actual human beings, and two "this many items or less" lanes.

I never have ten items or less. Sometimes, I cheat. I casually push my cart over and get in line, pushing some items on top of others to hide them, so it looks like less. Then I assume one of two faces. One, the dazed face that suggests I only have half a brain and I cannot count. Two, the mean face that suggests if you question the number of items I have I just might bite your head off.

Most of the time, though, cheating isn't possible. Even though I shop once a week (ridiculous!), my stupid cart is overflowing. There are 3 of us! How much food can we eat?! Oh, and did I mention that my stupid cart has a bum wheel? You know, the one wheel that starts squeaking when you are too far away for it to make sense to get a new cart? Or, the one wheel that pulls the whole darn cart to the left? I get it every.single.time. So, there I am in the ridiculously crowded store, with my squeaky wheel, clutching my coupons and my list, and muttering to myself like a nutcase.

They have those lovely women stationed throughout the store passing out ridiculous things, like pickles and mini chimichangas. If I owned a grocery store, mine would have wine and chocolate stations. That would at least make the trip bearable. I also think that lights should flash and balloons should fall out of the ceiling every 100 customers or so and they should get free groceries.

There are so many types of people at the grocery store who annoy me. There are the shufflers. Those are the ones who seem lost, like they somehow accidentally stumbled into the store, but they have no idea why, and they will just shuffle through the aisles at a snails pace in front of you until they remember.

There are the serenaders. Those are the people who sing along loudly to the tune playing on the store radio. My singing voice sucks, so I hum. What? What are you looking at?

Then there are the socializers. Those are the ones who bump into their sister's neighbor's cousin who "they haven't seen in ages"! They will hug, chat, laugh, and catch up on a years worth of gossip, all while obliviously blocking the aisle.

I go prepared. I have my list. I have my handful of coupons. I know the layout of the store, and still it takes me an hour to get everything. If I have to also pick up something at the pharmacy, and deal with the sea of incompetency? My head just might explode.

After an hour of shopping, there is the 30 minute wait in line. Yes, I've timed it. What else do I have to do, besides read the trash they call magazines these days? I almost always end up in a conversation with another shopper because I need to complain to someone about the garbage on the covers! For instance, People magazine's 2008 Yearbook cover - teeny, tiny photo of President Obama, huge photo of smiling Brad and a very pregnant Angelina. Seriously?! What is wrong with our society?

Then, there are the women's magazines that scream out in bold type "HOW TO...HOW TO...HOW TO..." How to be better, is basically what they are saying. Women have enough insecurities. Why do we need to shell out $5 to feel worse? I haven't bought a women's magazine since 2002. In 2002, I bought one and was amazed by all the ads in it. I decided to do a little experiment. I ripped out every page with an ad. I was left with 13 pages! Thirteen pages telling me how to be better. Never again.

I'm sorry. Let me get back to my point - the petition to get rid of the self check out aisles. I tried using them a handful of times. Each time something went wrong, and I found myself listening to the repeated echo of my "Hello? Some help here?" cries. I realize that they are trying to cut costs, but WHY do they need to? In this economy, people aren't eating out as much. They are staying in, and consequently, buying more groceries. I asked a cashier when the best time to come is to avoid the crowd. After thinking a while, she answered, "Weeknights at dinner time". That's all she could come up with, because it's busy all the time.

When I'm in the grocery store, I start computing in my head, how much time in my life I will actually spend waiting in those lines. It is a depressing thought! If Jim really loved me, he would take over the grocery shopping task, knowing how much I hate it. We'd dine on Spam and Steak um's every night, but I probably wouldn't care.


The Girls' Mommy said...

I sincerely hope a PeaPod opens up near you VERY soon. You order your groceries online and designate a time. Then the very next day a nice mans brings them in and sets them on your kitchen table for you. Its heaven. Lets petition for that, you need it.

But wait, if you got one, what would I read about and laugh so loudly about that I almost wake my sleeping kids up? Never mind, no grocery deliveries for you. I like your blog too much :)

Jonny's Mommy said...

I know about the cart being overflowing and there only being three in the family! What is with that?! I also always get that cart...the squeeky wheel or the bumpy one. Drives me completely insane.

We live in the boonies, as I may have mentioned like 5,000 times before so we don't have the self-checkout lines. They tried it for awhile but someone must have complained because they are gone now.

I'm also the woman mumbling to herself and sighing and standing there looking blank. So I would totally drive you crazy! :-) Hee-hee!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I do self checkout at Costco--and in the summer when everyone is home that can mean a $300 trip. I love not having to wait and I feel all efficient by doing it myself.

JCK said...

You do the best Rants in the blogosphere! This was a good one.

That is CRAZY about the disproportionate number of check-out lines!

And the magazines...never buy them, but I do look at them if there is a line. Just to reassure myself that yes, indeed, the world is going mad....

Janet said...

We have the shufflers and the socializers, but no ladies handing out free samples of any kind of food. I have used the self-checkout lanes twice, both successfully. The problem with them is that they don't take checks. I rarely have cash and I don't like to use a credit card at the grocery store. (There's just something wrong with paying interest on food that I ate before the charge appeared on the card.) Last night I was in the 10 items or less line behind 2 people. The first old old man paid for a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread with a hundred dollar bill. The cashier had to go get more change. The second woman had 12 items. I didn't complain because there was only one other lane open and 8 people were in that line. I had 2 bottles of apple juice for two kids that I left screaming in the car with their father. Sometimes it's better to do the shopping.
And I always get that cart too.
I agree with you about the magazines. I did the same experiment with the ads. Nuts.