Sometimes I really like you. I do. Now is not one of those times. This letter has been a long time coming, and frankly, there’s something I need to get off my chest. It’s been building for months years, and it’s time for us to have a Come to Jesus, in the hopes that you have simply been ignorant, rather than actually being a total ass.
I’m talking about your grocery store etiquette. Yes, you there in the workout clothes with your tiny butt and your enormous SUV. I am talking to you. See, there are some things you do in this shared public space that make me want to knock your highlighted block off. I can see that you’re shocked. You’re a nice person, right? It’s cool. Just a few little things I’d appreciate your help with. What, you ask? No problem. Let me explain.
HANG UP YOUR DAMN PHONE. Now, I get that sometimes your husband calls and needs Preparation H, or whatever. That’s understandable, and just takes a second. Better yet, that’s what a quickie text is for. And I also understand that sometimes you’re on the phone with your pediatrician because the pharmacy screwed up your kid’s prescription and you’re trying to get things straight so that little Brok or Pskylarr there can get over that nasty ear infection. Been there, girl. But I’ve seen you wandering around the aisles for 45 minutes, painfully slow (you left it all on the treadmill, right?), cackling and OMG-ing, and generally holding everyone around you hostage to your catch-up sesh with your BFF. It’s. Just. Rude. Pull that cart over by the end of the milk and try to stay out of the employees’ way. Better yet, stay in that bad-ass rig you drive and just finish your conversation. I promise you, you’ll have a way better chance of remembering what you came for without someone yakking your ear off.
And by the way, when you’ve got a tike (hopefully strapped in) sitting in the seat looking right at you, it’s way worse. Those are great moments for some QT and one-on-one attention. Again, the quickie call is no big thing, but an hour of ignoring someone small hurts in ways that can add up big. Just sayin’.
Also, PICK A LANE. Driving a grocery cart is like driving a car. You’re on the right side of the road or you’re on the left, but you don’t get to park your junk in the middle of the aisle and then abandon it to stare blankly at the fruit snacks for a half hour. And you especially don’t get to heave out a loud sigh when after waiting for you to feel my friendly-turned-annoyed stare, you get the message and back that shit into an appropriate lane.
In addition, DON’T CONGREGATE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLE. You just saw little BawBy’s best bud’s mom from Lego League and you want to talk about the pizza party? Sounds fun. Again, end of the milk section, lady. The only thing that drives me nuttier than you clogging up the aisle on your own is you doing it with a friend.
Finally, DON’T STALK MY PARKING SPOT. I know I got a good spot. I have good grocery store karma because I keep my business in line. But it is not cool when you see me pushing a jillion pound cart to my car and you follow me in your hulking military-grade vehicle to my spot, step by step, and then sit there for the 5 minutes it takes me to fit the puzzle pieces of bags together in the back of MY vehicle. First of all, it’s creepy, and second, the people behind you hate you. Again, it’s rude. If you see my reverse lights, then honey, it’s all yours. If not, keep driving.
The moral of the story, dear neighbor? It’s the holiday season. That alone is enough to make any sane woman crazy. So don’t make it worse with bad grocery store etiquette. You know, grocery shop with your neighbor as you would have your neighbor grocery shop with you. There are a lot of things we can’t control this time of year… packages that don’t ship on time, traffic during odd hours, the relative that brings up politics after 4 bourbons… but our behavior is not one of those things.
Thanks for listening, neighbor. See you at the end of the milk section next Monday.