Other people are the reason why I hate grocery shopping
I don’t know a whole lot of people who actually enjoy grocery shopping. Some people do enjoy recreational shopping – you know, that shopping you do for fun because you’ve got some extra money and you saw a cute pair of shoes that sent your heart all aflutter – but it’s a rare thing that people actually enjoy grocery shopping. I’m sure we’ve all got our reasons for hating it, and that at times everyone’s reasoning is very similar. And before anyone decides to get on their high horse and tell me to suck it up and stop complaining, let me be up front when I tell you that you can eat a bag of dicks. No, really, you can. Because you’re probably one of the assholes that makes grocery shopping such a pain in the dick.
I shop at Aldi a lot because I have to feed a family of 6 and it’s the cheapest place to buy groceries. Unfortunately, a lot of people find themselves at Aldi. I don’t care if you’ve got millions and you’re shopping at my favorite cheap store, that’s cool. What’s not cool is when you’ve blocked off most of the aisle so you can stare at these brand names you don’t know and bitch because they don’t carry the same high end foods that Whole Foods or Publix does. I hear you bitching about not knowing the brand names and degrading the people who shop there while you pick items up as if they were coated in anthrax to inspect them while rocking the I want to speak to your manager haircut and your children shriek and run around like they’ve never been told to shut the fuck up and sit down before. You make my shopping experience awful. I literally find myself actively hating your very existence in these moments. I don’t know you, but I can tell from your attitude while shopping that you’re a complete asshole.
I also get incredibly annoyed at kids running around without supervision. The other day I was pulling down a lane in front of the Dollar Tree in the Walmart shopping center and had to slam on my breaks because a woman’s child ran right out in front of me and stopped. The little boy was laughing, like almost getting run over was the funniest shit ever, and his mom would have never known because she wasn’t paying him any attention. Now, I’m usually pretty lenient on people because I know how much of a handful kids can be. But this lady was three cars away from her child, on her phone giggling, just standing there with her back to her child. I wouldn’t have even known that this woman was the child’s parent if he hadn’t run over to her while I sat there stressing over the fact that I could have hit this kid and his mom would have never known until I started losing my shit about it.
It’s not just annoying when parents aren’t paying attention to their kids while in parking lots, but also while shopping. When I have to take any of the kids with me to the store I am hyper vigilant. I understand that it’s exhausting, tough, rough, and hard to do quality grocery shopping when you have a child present – I too have completely forgotten everything you need to make tacos because I was too busy telling my youngest minion to stop telling everyone they saw their life story – but you still have to pay attention to what your kids are doing. If your kid is knocking shit over then you have a moral obligation to pick up, or make them pick up, what they’ve knocked over. The store shouldn’t be trashed because you can’t get a handle on your spawn. Hell, I’ll even help pick stuff up if you need some help. But damn, at least try.
I hate it when people strike up a conversation with me because I happen to have a minion with me. My life, and the life of the child in my care, is actually none of your concern. We’re not friends, we’re not related, you’re not my spiritual guide or whatever. You’re a random person standing between me and the sour cream, and you want me to tell you about my minion? Go away. I don’t want to talk to you about why I’m giving in and picking up three bags of cheese puffs because my kid asked for them. That’s none of your damn business, just like it’s none of your damn business if the kid and I are going to go sit in the living room and eat an entire bag of cheese puffs while watching cartoons. I absolutely cannot stand it when people throw their two cents into my life because they don’t approve of the items in my shopping cart.
And remember that thing about not knowing me, about how you’re some random? Yeah, don’t try and correct my minion because you heard her calling me by my first name. I am not her mommy – she has a mommy that she loves very much, despite the fact that I am pretty much her primary care giver at any given moment – and she is not forced to call me mommy. She’s actually not allowed to call me mommy, the same way she’s not allowed to call men who aren’t her daddy by that sacred name. And when she forgets her manners, it’s not your job to comment on it. I’m the responsible adult in her life, not you. I get to decide if forgetting to say please or thank you is actually worth commenting on at any given moment. You are just some random person whose opinion I don’t care a flying fuck about, so keep your mouth shut. You know how I hate when people don’t control their kids better in public? That’s my opinion. I don’t walk up to the moms and tell them what a shit job I think they’re doing. When their kids don’t listen to them, I keep in my nose in my business because it’s not my job to police other parents. So stop trying to police me when I guarantee that my minion is better behaved than any child you’ve reared.
I also hate it when people yell across the store to the person they’re shopping with. You have a cellphone, I’ve seen you checking Facebook on it while you’re blocking the organic bananas I’m trying to get to for my minions. Text them, or call them, if you need to speak to someone in the store with you that isn’t in the same area as you. That’s a hell of a lot more polite and practical than yelling about if the bell peppers you’re looking at are peppers or green onions – also, why are you yelling about not knowing what green onions look like it tells you right there on the packaging what you’re looking at.
I don’t mind it when someone has obviously walked into Aldi for the first time and ask me, someone who is shopping like they’ve been there a million times, if this brand of this item is any good. That’s a fair question, and you just saw me pulling similar items off the shelf like it was no big deal. I get it, you probably shopped at Walmart forever and then heard that Aldi had better prices. That’s cool, man, I feel ya. We can talk about the items in front of us for a moment, but don’t try to become my shopping buddy. We’re not going to walk up and down every aisle while I tell you about every single thing I’ve bought and eaten from the store. I don’t have time for that, and I don’t have the social skills for that. No, really. I might seem friendly and capable of talking to strangers at great length, but my patience is actually wearing thin and I’m becoming exhausted from our conversation and I still have to drive home. Please, please, leave my anxiety ridden ass alone so I can trudge through the rest of the Hell that is grocery shopping.
I also hate when people make comments about the fact that I buy two gallons of milk at a time, or that I grab two cartons of two different types of ice cream in one trip. I have six people at home. Six. Four of them are children. We go through some damn milk, and I do let them have ice cream after dinner sometimes. So of course it’s going to take more milk and ice cream to provide everyone their fair share than it’s going to take for you and your little puppy. You’re not funny when you make your little jokes, and you don’t sound smart when you’re telling me that I should be choosing healthier snacks for the kids in my home. You actually just sound like a judgmental douche with little to no life of your own.
And why is it so hard for people to stay to the right when they’re shopping? It’s something they teach you in kindergarten – you walk on the right. We drive on the right. We stay to the right so that other people can go down on our left in the opposite direction. But, while grocery shopping, people completely ignore all the rules that they learned in life and take up the entire aisle and dare to get annoyed when you politely ask to get by because they’re blocking the way to the frozen foods section. It’s really not that hard to keep your buggy on the right. If you need something on the left, either wait until you’re going in that direction or just quickly grab what you need without positioning your buggy so it’s bisecting the entire walkway and causing twelve people to be huddle up in one area.
I can’t stand it when people get pissy at the cashiers at Aldi, either. Unless they’re being outright rude to you, there’s no reason to be pissy with them. Okay, the line is a little long, but give the stockers a moment and someone will be up there to ring you up lightning fast and get your grumpy ass out the door. The cashiers do everything – everyone stocking is a cashier. So what if it takes you an extra five minutes to get out of the grocery store? Those awesome prices you’re enjoying is because their cashiers are also the stockers. Stop complaining because you had to wait a few extra minutes for cheap food. It’s worth the wait, and you sound like a small child when you complain.
I also get annoyed when you see people with their buggies slam packed with stuff and then there’s a mom with two kids who are tired of shopping holding like three items. I feel for you, tired looking momma, and I have no problem letting you go ahead of me. I once stood there and let five women in that exact situation go ahead of me because I knew that feeling. I have been there, fellow adult in charge of children, and I wish someone had been nice enough to let me go ahead of them in those times. So, please, I insist, go ahead of me and ignore the snide comments and curled upper lips of anyone who is annoyed with me. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass what they’re thinking or saying, so please don’t feel like you’ve got to care for me.
Shopping shouldn’t have to be an annoying maze of unwanted social interaction. I don’t understand why I can’t just get in, but my groceries, pay, and go home. I don’t understand why people feel the need to stop and comment on what I’m purchasing, or block the aisles while they complain about the store they chose to shop at, or anything else. It drives me insane. If I wanted to talk to every single person standing between me and the item that I want then I’d open my mouth and talk to them to say anything other than, “excuse me, I’m trying to reach the peanut butter.” I’m not sure what makes people think it’s okay to give unsolicited advice to women shopping with children the same way I don’t understand why some people let their kids run around in parking lots or in grocery stores and cause havoc.
Grocery shopping shouldn’t make me angry before I even start. I put off shopping for as long as possible because I simply don’t want to deal with the people I know I’m going to have to deal with. It’s sometimes easier to get through shopping in larger stores, like Walmart, but when you’re feeding six people on a budget you tend to find yourself in smaller stores where people are more likely to have things to say to you. I find it baffling how grown ass adults act when they’re at grocery stores, because I couldn’t imagine behaving in that same manner. When I’m getting angry or annoyed at the grocery store I always envision my mother dragging me to the nearest corner and making me stand there for showing my ass at the store, and I reel it in and take a few calming breaths and go back to shopping.
Grocery shopping is such a small portion of my life, and yet I feel as if it is the greatest evil in my life. I’m not expecting it to be a fun occasion, but I shouldn’t be walking out of the store with an ice pick headache because someone decided to be inconsiderate of others. I don’t think it’s that hard to mind your own business, and yet people act like it’s such a burden to not comment on what a stranger is putting in their buggy. People act like they’re entitled to your life story because your shoulders brushed while grabbing for the bruschetta. It’s so easy for people to side eye one another when you see a tired looking parent grabbing the biggest pizza they can find because they’re exhausted and they barely have the energy to be alive, let alone cook for their hoard.
So the next time you’re at the store, try keeping your judgmental opinions about the food items someone is grabbing to yourself. Stop trying to parent every child you come in contact with. Let the woman with three things go ahead of you if you’ve got a cart that’s overflowing. Don’t block the aisles with your buggy. Try and keep an eye on your kids, because it’s actually an awful feeling when you almost hit a strange child with your SUV, and for the love of all that is holy try to be understanding of your chashier’s situation.