August 27, 2007

I had to make a trip to the supermarket today and took my 4 year-old with me. He always likes to ride in those huge kid-friendly carts when we go there. You know the carts I’m talking about? They have a slightly smaller than normal shopping cart attached to the rear of a plastic car or truck that is big enough for 2 kids to sit in. They have little seat belts and annoying horns and fake steering wheels. Thank God, they’re fake. These contraptions are so large and difficult to maneuver as it is that the only way to make it worse would be to let pre-school aged kids steer them. If normal grocery carts are regular cars, these things are stretch limos. So, we grab our purple stretch limo and do our shopping.

When we are ready to check out, I get in line behind a Deceptively Normal Looking Young Woman. She stands directly in front of the cashier with her cart behind her. I have to be behind my cart in order to reach the stuff I’m buying because the kid car thing is too huge to reach over. So it lines up like this: her, her cart, my cart and then me. I can’t reach the belt to unload my stuff, so I just wait for the woman to realize that she needs to move her cart, which is already unloaded. She doesn’t. The cashier scans the Deceptively Normal Looking Young Woman’s groceries, the D.N.L.Y.W. MOVES TO THE END OF THE CASHIER STAND TO BAG UP HER STUFF and leaves her cart right in my way.

I feel my annoyance begin to burn inside of me.

I wait until she moves back in front of her cart and then bump it. Just a little.

“Oh, sorry!” I say. “Couldn’t see the end, there. Sorry. Couldn’t see.”

“That’s O.K.” she replies, still not moving her cart or sensing any possible reason why she should. I thought that maybe she was afraid of me hitting her heels with my cart and that was why she kept her cart in between us, sort of as protection, but then she moved back to the end of the stand to bag some more, leaving her cart right in the way.

Now, my annoyance is a full burn. The grocery belt is empty and I still can’t reach to put my stuff up there. I don’t like grocery shopping in the first place and I really hate checking out. I want to leave! My kid isn’t going to be good forever. At some point, he will see the entire rack of chocolate and chewing gum that is easily within his reach. I NEED TO MOVE. What is this woman thinking? Anything at all? That’s it. I mutter under my breath. I place both hands on the handle of my cart, make sure Bud (4 year-old) is sitting safely, look casually to my left and BUMP. I hit her again. Harder this time.

“Oh, sorry again!” I say. “I’m really sorry. Trying to reach … um … can’t see … sorry … really sorry … he he … whoops.”

“That’s O.K.” she said, still not moving her cart or sensing any possible reason why she should.

Unbelievable. How could she be so oblivious? Why wasn’t she run over by a car in the parking lot when she was walking in here? How did she find the door to the store? How on earth does she have any money to buy things with? This person, this D.N.L.Y.W. is either so self-centered that she doesn’t notice anything around her that doesn’t affect her directly, or she is so unaware of her surroundings that she shouldn’t be allowed out or she did it on purpose and she’s just a jerk. No matter what, I don’t need the hassle. Next time, I’m getting in front of her and pulling my cart through backwards, so she’ll have to deal with Bud. Face to face. And he’ll be armed with chocolate.