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Food for thought

Grocery list includes hearty helping of human nature

Still shaking my head over the behavior of people in the market tonight.

It was a usual Friday night free-for-all, bumper carts in the produce aisle, kids begging for things their mothers didn’t want them to have, sale items long gone, bored teen cashiers wishing they were anywhere but there.

Well hell, didn’t we all feel that way. After an overlong day at work, all I wanted was my slippers. And yet we must eat. The only thing to do was try to entertain myself as best as possible with a bit of people-watching.

Among the standouts from the night:

  • The toddler who looked long past bedtime already in her PJs and sitting in the little “car” cart they have for kids. Her eyes told me she was exhausted, but her hands — well they were rarin’ to go. She pulled bags of pork rinds off the checkout shelves as fast as her mother could put them back. Mom and I shared a brief smile of recognition while I thanked God I’ve been there and done that. (Yes, Food Emporium shoppers that was me dragging the wailing 2-year-old out of the store 14 years ago because she wanted a pink ball from your display and, well, it wasn’t on the list that day.)
  • The mother and her three daughters — one in a stroller pushed by the eldest, a serious-looking girl of about 8 who oohed and aahed at the baby’s antics. The middle child, wearing a head of tight dark curls and mischievous smile, darted all over the cereal aisle showing her mother the granola bars, the toaster pastries, the sugary cereals. Later at the checkout the same child stood watch over the girl scanning my items. I was glad someone was checking the prices for me.
  • One middle-aged couple spent a great deal of time choosing the healthiest chocolate bar (yes, you read that right). How dark should the chocolate be to have the most possible antioxidants? Having never met a chocolate bar I didn’t like, I couldn’t frankly see the point, but hey, it seemed to work for them.
  • Which was more than I could say for the couple I met in the coffee aisle. YIKES! The husband was none too pleased to have been left behind in some earlier aisle, and let’s just say he wasn’t shy about telling his wife so. She had to find an item for a dish someone had requested and demanded to know why he hadn’t just stayed put until she was done.

They were in the next aisle, too, debating the merits and price of some pickled vegetables. He wanted them. It was clear she didn’t want to buy them, but she huffed away — leaving him alone yet again, I couldn’t help but notice — muttering, “Well, if you like them get them.”

He did.

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About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.

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