Please understand that I’m actually sad this needs to be written. These guidelines, if you will, for controlling your shopping cart, and yourself, at the grocery store. Consider the following a Public Service Announcement.
For starters, let’s imagine the supermarket aisle much like the road you presumably drove on to get there. In this country, we drive on the right. Therefore, keep to the right. Obviously people going in the opposite direction (and there will be some – this isn’t your personal aisle) will be on the left. For those of you in Britain, reverse this.
You can stop and shop, this isn’t a marathon. You should be allowed to pause without fear of having some woman dressed in crop yoga pants with a cart full of organic beet juice ram you in your Achilles tendon. Yes, this has happened to me, multiple times, always at the same supermarket. In fact, I avoid the place because clearly the women that shop there are mainlining Botox, which has atrophied their brain muscle. The aisles are not your personal workout. Go outside and run through the parking lot, get it out of your system. Some of us are in there to buy food, real food, to provide sustenance for our families.
If you’ve encountered a friend going in the opposite direction, and you’re both clogging the aisle, please be kind enough to pick one side, thereby allowing traffic to flow freely.
Next, I don’t care what you’re buying. The fact you feel the need to look in my cart or comment on the amount of produce I’m buying makes me think you need a new hobby. Go do another lap in the parking lot.
If you’re a man, don’t do what Chatty Dude did the other day in the dairy section, which was offer to let me pass. This was a wide aisle. Much like the rules of the road, I don’t need permission to pass you. You needn’t pull over next to the Twinkies twenty feet ahead of me, and make a show, telling me I can pass. All I’m thinking is you want to stare at my ass. I lingered by the soymilk, and shooshed him away. I noticed later, in the bread aisle, he was doing the same to another woman. The dirty bird.
Don’t damage the produce. Look, we all cop a feel with the tomatoes, but we don’t squeeze the hell out of them. Someone wants to eat that. If you can’t tell what’s ripe, ask for assistance. There’s no shame.
Don’t load your cart like an utter moron, putting your bananas, eggs and bread on the bottom, then get to the register and express shock that they’ve been mashed to bits under your ten pound bag of Russet potatoes. Don’t even consider asking the bagger to get replacement items for you. If you’ve a child taking up the top portion of your cart, purchase these things last.
Don’t go through the express aisle with more items than they accept because you’re “in a rush.” We’re all in a rush. It’s called old age. It’s bearing down on all of us. Get over it, and follow the guidelines.
Don’t stand behind me huffing and harrumphing because I have a full cart. Pick another aisle.
Don’t ask to go ahead of me because you’re “in a rush” – see the two points above.
Don’t wait until the last item is rung up before you get out your wallet (women, I’m sad to note, do this the most – they’re always surprised they need to pay). In this day and age, most people pay by debit card. Have it ready. If, by some small chance, you’re paying by cash, be aware what coinage in this country looks like. Please, dear God, don’t stand there acting like you’ve never seen a dime before. Have your money ready. This also applies to coupons. Know how many you have, and to which items they apply.
Don’t pull your car up into the red zone to load your groceries. That’s the “FIRE LANE,” not the VIP Zone.
And, lastly, please put your carts away. Don’t be one of the lazy ones that leave it standing in the middle of a sloping parking lot. It’s OK to be considerate and walk the 100 feet to the cart return. You’ll burn another calorie, and you may meet Chatty Dude on the way.