Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Grocery Shopping Dilemma

What is it about grocery shopping two days before a holiday that brings out the absolute worst in people? We were headed to Costco today to pick up a few necessary items, and I guess I didn't think to anticipate the absolute disaster that would await us there.

On our trips to Costco, I like to leisurely take Addison from sample to sample seeing what she'll eat (and what she'll throw in disgust), and then we celebrate a successful shopping trip by splitting an all beef hot dog.

Today we were lucky to get out alive.

I guess I should have known what was coming when the roads were completely empty...

...and the parking lot was overflowing (so we had to park WAY far away..shuttle service, anyone?)

...and when I started walking towards an empty cart next to my parked car and an old lady came out of nowhere, sprouted wings and snatched it from my extended arm.

...and when I went to the main cart dispenser-THEY WERE ALL GONE.

...and when the line to checkout stretched the ENTIRE length of the store (each cart was overflowing with items).

...and when we had to literally dodge the mad crowd of people who were obviously running by us to grab all of those pre-made pumpkin pies, 50 pound bags of chocolate chips and gallons of Vermont apple cider.

I did what any self respecting woman with two volatile babies in the cart would do.

I asked my sister Andria to stand in line while I shopped. Such love, such such love. (she gladly did it)

After grabbing all of our items, I switched places with her in line so that she could go grab some samples (loudly explaining to all those around us in line that we were tag teaming it so they wouldn't think that I was just skipping the line.)

It was when we were FINALLY up to get in an actual checkout line, I became aware of a horrible, horrible thing that was happening (and totally explained the long line)

Since a picture is worth 1,000 words, I drew a sketch that at least has to be worth a couple hundred...(and oh yes, multiply the long line by 4 and that's much closer to the actual length...I ran out of space on my "paper")

Notice the people creeping in from the side? I caught one woman's expression, and her face was overcome by PURE GUILT. The rest of them would not look me in the eye as they carefully crept forward, completely SKIPPING the line. They knew exactly what they were doing...and yet they did it anyway (line of shame)

If they had just let the long line feed to the side cash registers, we all would have had a shorter wait, but because they felt that they were too good to wait in the line with the rest of us, we all had to wait twice as long while they cut up the side.

tsk. tsk. tsk.

For some reason that really got on my nerves, making the hot dog split with Addison completely unenjoyable...even when she signed "more" "food" "thank you" I had a hard time not being annoyed watching this gross injustice playing out in front of me.

Why do normally sweet, wonderful people (giving the benefit of the doubt here) turn into monsters in the grocery store right before a holiday?

I think I'm going to start carrying around an orange traffic vest. If I see this happen again, I'll whip it out and start directing traffic....blowing my whistle (yeah, I'm going to need to get a whistle) and waving frantically when I see those naughty line cutters...

This may be a little thing, but it's those small common courtesies that go right before holidays in the grocery store. Why oh why?


  1. Good reminder of my better judgement to have Walt pick up the ham we're bringing to dinner right here at Hannaford! After I had MOMENTARILY thought of maybe "stopping by there" tomorrow. Something told me that would not be my best decision ever! Still LOVE that place, as long as it's an hour before closing!!

  2. I often wonder why a place like Costco doesn't have a line director.....making sure the next person in line gets to the open register....especially on days when they know they're going to be swamped. Also.....having the line snake down the main aisle doesn't seem very efficient, either. I've stood in that line, too, but most of the time the people around me make sure nobody cuts. My sympathies!!!!

  3. Haha, I despise Costco! But having six kids I HAVE to shop there...It's just easier and makes more sense to buy in balk.

    But going there is a nightmare EVERY time!!! The kids run wild grabbing as much food as they can from each tasters stand (Some of them have gotten in trouble for going more than once *sigh*)

    Brad and I ALWAYS end up losing each other at some point in time and then spend an hour circling around trying to find one another...

    And I swear to God when I go IN to the store the check out lines are always empty...When I go to leave I have to stand behind a thousand people because the entire store seems to check out all at once...I hate Costco! lol

  4. I have never found anything even remotely *leisurely* about Costco... Ugh, what a nightmare that place is! Sorry. :-(

  5. I was considering going to Costco this afternoon. What was I thinking! No way I am going now. I think I would have been very tempted to call out the line cutters. Come on people.

  6. I just went to Costco for the first time the other day. I asked my friend if it was always that crowded. She said yes, always!! I have a feeling I won't make it back for another couple of years. Plus I hate cutters!

  7. I am thankful that I have money to buy groceries and that I can share Thanksgiving with a friend.
    Start your Christmas grocery shopping early!
    I used to go with my brother-in-law who is now up in heaven when he did the last round of grocery shopping at Cub on Christmas eve. We each ran — no kids along— to displays to get things that were gone like hot cakes and thought we should bring candy to pass out to the less-than-gracious cart pushers.
    But I know it's tough to take children shopping. I can't imagine I ever could have been difficult to manage in a store. My Mom left me home!!! Ina kept me while Mom shopped. I still think of how sweet she was.

  8. Oh I strongly dislike when people cut in line also!!! It seems as though people these days have an overwhelming sense of ENTITLEMENT! and its ANNOYING...ugh. Im with ya, I think an orange vest & whistle would be awesome! lol...


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