Let me start off by saying that I *hate* grocery shopping. Actually, I hate all shopping. I am totally non-girly in that respect. I've never been into it and it's something that I've grown to despise more and more as I get older.
I think the reason that I hate grocery shopping so much is that I can never go alone. I always have a minimum of one kid with me. Generally, if it's just the youngest, I can tolerate it. He's getting to that age where he can have conversations and he's starting to pick up on sight words (*gasp*) and things like that. Plus, he's just really easy going. But add any of the other kids in, and it's just a riot waiting to happen.
I had to go today. I didn't need to get a whole bunch of stuff, but I was getting really tired of washing dishes with hand soap so I bit the bullet after Alex left for preschool, and Daniel and I went. Like I said, with just him, it's pretty easy. But I still don't like it.
I made some observations while we were at the store and mentally added them to my list of pet peeves related to grocery shopping. Actually, some of these have been brewing for a long time, but I figured I'd put them all down now. Enjoy. Or not.
~~ People who walk down the middle of the row in the parking lot. For crying out loud, people, pick a side and stick to it! You wouldn't walk down the middle of the street, would you? Well, guess what?!?!?! You're doing it here, and I'm about to run you down if you don't MOVE!!!
~~ Along the same theme, the people who walk diagonally from the parking lot into the entrance of the store. You know what I'm talking about - rather than moving along the ends of the rows of parking spaces until they are across from the entrance, they take the long diagonal path across, making their trek from one side to the other take as long as possible, again holding up traffic.
~~ Better yet, the ones who walk out of the store and straight into the parking lot without stopping (or even pausing) to look both ways. Yeah, there's a crosswalk there. But guess what? Regardless of whose fault it is when you get run down for walking in front of a car, it's going to hurt. A LOT. Make an attempt to avoid it.
~~ I use the self-service checkouts, because unlike the cashiers who are TRAINED and PAID to work there, I know how to bag groceries. Not to mention that unless you live with me (which you don't) you don't know what I want to have bagged together. So - (a) don't hassle me when I choose to wait in line to ring the stuff up myself (b) if you're the cashier who is monitoring the self-service checkouts, pay attention! Don't walk away from the area to talk to someone! F-O-C-U-S. (c) and don't automatically assume that my kids deserve to get your silly little stickers. Chances are that they didn't earn them, and even if they did, I don't feel like peeling them off of my furniture later tonight.
~~ The kids know the way to the free bakery cookies at an early age.
~~ No matter how carefully the groceries are put into the cart, the wallet and the reusable bags always end up at the bottom of it - so when I get to the checkout, I have to dig the bags out from under everything and find my wallet so that I can scan my shopper's card too.
~~ I want to nominate someone to stand at the entrance wearing a badge that says "CART POLICE". This person will be responsible for making sure that the only people who use the double (or car shaped) carts are those who actually have more than one child who is not able to walk throughout the store. Using a double cart for one kid, or using it for your multiple kids who run around the store instead only leads to undue stress for those of us who are already prepared to choke someone because we have multiple kids and a cart with one seat. Be prepared to get a really dirty look for me if I have 5 kids and a single cart, and you have 1 kid who is walking and the double cart that I need. Common courtesy people - think about it.
~~ Finding a parking spot next to a cart return is so much better than finding one close to the door. Trust me.
~~ Making a grocery list is key to reducing stress. However, after making the list, it helps to (a) take it to the van when leaving the house for the shopping trip (b) get it out of the van and take it into the store with you when you get to the store (c) not allow the aforementioned list to blow away in the Kansas wind before entering the store.
~~ No matter how detailed the list is, I will walk out without at least 2 items on the list. This can happen either because they are out of stock, I already walked past them and don't feel like going back, or I just plain gave up and need to get out of the store. NOW.
I'm quite sure that there's more, but right now this will have to suffice. Maybe in the fall, when ALL OF MY KIDS ARE IN SCHOOL *gasp* I can go shopping alone, and maybe I'll even start to enjoy it.
Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Won't happen.