I despise grocery shopping. Just thinking about entering the grocery store makes me want to scream and drop into the fetal position. Seriously, this is no joking matter. I am sure there is some sort of diagnosis for this condition, and if not there should be one. Heck, I don’t care if the syndrome is named after me. Here are some really cool ideas for just in case: ‘opheliadoesn’twanttoshopitis’  or  ‘opafoodashopaphobia.’  I have nightmares of peanut butter jars dancing in the aisles with saltine crackers and sardine can keys slowly rolling the lids open and sardines performing the Can-Can while donning tiny Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader uniforms. I am positive this happens when the store closes, all time sheets have been punched,  and all the employees head home. You HAVE seen the movie A Night at the Museumhaven’t you?

A small trip to the commissary, for me,  is comparable to the yearly visit to the gynecologist.  A ‘real shopping excursion’ to purchase groceries for the fickle bottomless pits that reside in my house ranks up there with going to the dentist for a root canal…and if you know me and my history with dentist—THAT’s pretty high. I am sure Lady Clairol makes bank on people like me who pop a few grey hairs fighting that dreaded horror flick anxiety as we turn the corner of each aisle expecting a giant pickle wielding a spatula from aisle seven to attack us. Hey, it COULD happen, after all, those cookies and candies DO eagerly jump into my cart with the hopes of finding a new home only to be gobbled up by Shrek, The Hulk, Axl M, and Mr. T almost immediately upon introduction into the house.

This particular shopping excursion was different. Yes, the spaghetti noodles still wickedly came alive and wrapped around me, pulling me toward the shelves……..on the cookie and cracker aisle forcing me to listen to the taunts of tempting treats, but I ran into the worst grocery cart driver ever…actually, she ran into me….hard…as if I weren’t there….and it hurt. Perhaps there is a correlation between talking on the cell phone and the ability (or lack thereof) to steer a grocery cart…but upon the abrupt stop of this woman’s cart she gaped at me as if I were the offender…….excuse me while I rub the eighteen layers of skin the front of your cart just scraped off my ankle while I was busy fighting these spaghetti noodles that just so happened to release me when you rounded the corner of this pathway, Miss Talk and Walk.

Fighting back the urge to punch this woman in the face because ‘violence is never the answer,’  as I tell my own children (but in this case I MAY make an exception), I make eye contact with Miss Talk and Walk and she offers a feeble ‘’sorry.’’ Like an idiot and VERY out of character for me, I hear myself offer an amiable, ‘’It’s okay.” Anyone who knows me, knows that normally I would, in a polite but sarcastic way, make this woman feel really embarrassed because she is incapable of driving a grocery cart AND talking on the phone…I mean, what do you have to be to do that–a rocket scientist or something? I have seen little kids strolling through the store chatting on what I am hoping are play phones or at least phones with no service to imaginary friends successfully maneuvering the grocery store obstacle course.

Anyway, back to me:  appalled at my own lack of gusto-ishness (I know not a real word-but really should be) of a response toward Miss Talk and Walk and being once again taunted by the cans of dancing Vienna sausages that I have now stopped in front of,  I’m really thinking,  “Lady, I have run you over ten times with my grocery cart and you have dirty zig-zag tracks all over that pretty little beige shirt you’re wearing…and that phone you seem to can’t part with…well, I ran that sucker over and its guts are strewn all over the produce area.’’  Why do I think this good stuff AFTER someone walks off? It’s like my brain explosion of wonderful creativity is wasted on the rear-side view of a lady with too much lipstick on and a loud and raspy voice that loudly inquires to the voice on the other end if he/she needs any dandruff shampoo.

After what seems to be an hour, okay, fifteen minutes, well…another gross exaggeration—it was really about a minute, I gathered my faculties and start stalking this woman with my own grocery cart.  But see, I’m smarter and much more wittier than she is, while I was applying first aid to my ankle that almost needed to be amputated I found an awesome set of bifocals that REALLY skewed my vision and I ‘borrowed’ them, I wasn’t talking on the phone,  AND I filled my cart full of bags of charcoal briquettes. (I’m not going to mention that I ran down the aisle full speed laughing like a lunatic when I accidentally-on-purpose bumped Miss Talk and Walk and sent that woman flying into the air like a ragdoll substitute in a low-budget movie.)  “Sorry.” 

(Okay, that part happened in my head too…but a girl can dream a little–even if it is of revenge for a fleeting moment–right??)

The aisle the spaghetti noodles typically strap me to the shelves until I promise to take home something yummy....Really, that's what happens....(Photo courtesy of wikipedia)

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