Thursday, August 16, 2007

Aisle Ten: Rugrats, Ankle Biters, Vibrating Panties?

I'm not gonna lie, the grocery store where I often shop borders on pretentious. If it didn't have a good healthy dose of actual earthy crunchy, as in "I make my own yogurt and hummus," and not the fake, "I buy organic and bring my own bags," earthy crunchy, it would bypass that border and enter magniloquent and vainglorious (aren't those great words? I had to use AND to find them.) It's a co-op, but as they say so magnanimously themselves, "anyone can shop there." I've been going for years because it's convenient - i.e. on the way home. The other "normal" big box grocery stores are 5-10 miles away in directions I don't go and in generally trafficky, Walmart-laden, locales. It's not worth the hassle unless I'm also making a run out for other stuff - like "the border" (Yo quiero Taco Bell! Or at least Panera.)

This store is the kind of place where you aren't sure they accept coupons. In the 7 years I've been going there, no one in line in front of me has used any so I still don't know if they take them. It's also a place to shop with grown-ups. It isn't often that you see a child wandering the aisles. The store does provide mini carts for kids because, instead of the screaming beasties you need to tie up, they assume children will be well behaved. Or that at least the parents will rein them in if not.

Yesterday, however, as soon as I entered the store I knew something was off. The first sound I heard was a child caterwauling (another great word!) at the top of his lungs and instead of the usual, "Now, [insert upper middle class name here- Madison, Blake, whatever], you know that is not the way we behave in public, blah, blah, manners, blah, blah, Abercrombie and Fitch, blah blah" that is the norm in this store, the mother, with an infant propped on her hip as well as the screaming 4 years old, was shouting just as loudly back.

I'll readily admit that if I was grocery shopping with one or both of those kids, even on their best behavior, I would totally lose my shit sooner than you can say "Clean up on aisle 4." I am not a patient person when it comes to chaos, hence I have not procreated and don't intend to. So, I'm not faulting the mother. At least I wasn't until I saw what the child proceded to do once his fit ended in him getting his way and driving the mini grocery cart.
I found myself in an aisle with the family and an older man, probably in his 70s. I was heading away from the ruckus and he, with obvious trepidation, was heading toward them. When we were at opposite ends of the aisle, I heard the child running with the mini cart behind me and looked back in time to see him pull a U-turn, run back toward his mom, and run the cart right into the man's calves yelling "Gotcha!" with obvious glee. His mom didn't see it and the man never said anything. Except for being super vigilant against sneak attacks for the rest of my shopping excursion, I did nothing either. And so it goes. Hyperpoliteness is also a trait of this co-op. You never know who you might run into and discover they are your boss/neighbor/doctor whatever.

I don't know what I would have done if I'd seen the following happen either (hope you can read it - you may have to click on it and open it larger.)

Now those are some sassy pants. Have a great weekend!


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Npapaya said...

Good lord woman! This is a cautionary tale for all: note to self: test all self-pleasuring items at home before embarking on public excursions. Do moms now need to warn to not only to make sure your undies are clean, but unable to produce a climax - or incite humiliation beyond reason?

MiChal said...

They just haven't learned the power of facial expression --- my mom and my aunt have a raised-eyebrow-you-BETTER-do-what-I-say look that absolutely rattled me as a kid. I haven't acquired the eyebrow-raise (much to my disappointment) but I've got my own scary face -- worked on my daughter and now on her two boys. Kids aren't afraid of adults anymore and that's a problem. No fear and no respect.

Bethany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bethany said...

If I had behaved liked that, I would have gotten The Look and my mother would have made me apologize profusely to the man. I don't understand why parents aren't paying enough attention to their kids anymore. As for the underwear, that is a cautionary tale that inspires all desperate housewives to keep any vibrating toy except Tickle-Me-Elmo at home.