Frankenshopping – October 29

So, like everybody else on the East Coast, I went grocery shopping yesterday. I could see that the very first challenge would be finding a cart, so I set myself up by the cashiers to snag one when someone finished checking out (not so easy as you might think).

The next piece of business was simply navigating the aisles. Immediately I came head to head (or, I guess, cart to cart) with a guy who tried to stonewall me by blocking me – double-parked, as it were, as he waited to check out – so that I couldn’t continue down the aisle. We glared at each other. For me, there was nowhere to go. For him, all he had to do was get in line properly behind the person in front of him.

“You want to move so people can get through?” I snarled.

“No, I don’t want to.”

“Well, why don’t you,” I suggested, “so the rest of the people in the store can shop.”

He finally moved, grudgingly. This excursion wasn’t starting out so well.

It improved quickly, though. Lines were very long, but the cashiers remained friendly – I don’t know how – and I found everything I wanted. Water, potato chips, candles, big plastic bags so I could make ice, milk for the meat loaf, bread – it was all there.

So now I go to stand in the same line Mr. Crabby Appleton had been in — leaving plenty of room for people to pass – and wait patiently. Then I notice the lady in front of me. She had not been able to find a cart, and was balancing a dozen things, several of them heavy.

“Hey, look, let me clear part of my cart and you can put your stuff in here with mine. It’s going to be a long wait.” Here was her response, verbatim:

“Ohmygawd. Thank you so much!”

“Ohmygawd. Thank you so much!”

“Ohmygawd. Thank you so much!”

“My awms were achin’. Oh, my back was really hurtin’. Really, thank you so much.”

“Please, it’s nothing. We’re going to be here a while,” I smiled.

“Ohmygawd. No, really, thank you so much.”

I do not exaggerate when I tell you she thanked me at least five more times before we left the store. It was getting to be pretty funny, but I could tell if I laughed I’d hurt her feelings. I had almost forgotten about Crabby Appleton, except to wonder why, yet again, I was so quick to snap at him and then suddenly so ready to notice someone needed help minutes later.

Human nature? Guilt? Or just that sometimes I’m not so nice?

Theories, readers?

Naughty, but nice.

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15 Responses to Frankenshopping – October 29

  1. Cathy Grier says:

    It’s an interesting subject here you challenge the Crabby Appleton, and you honor the OhMYGawd woman (you did make me smile-okay laugh out loud). I would have done the same, but recently I read a post by Dan Mulhern about this kind of judgement issue and it gave me good food for thought, he writes:

    I believe I need these frustrations. To put this differently, these “problems” are here to give me a chance to learn and to be shaped into a different kind of leader-person. In other words, my irritations and protestations about all the things that aren’t going the way I want reflect a huge childish (or childlike if you prefer) wish that everything be as I would have it be. But isn’t that a kind of crazy self-aggrandizement? A bit like if a bee expressed irritation at every flower that failed to meet the standard of the verb best nectar producing flower he’d encountered in his whole bee career. In the view I am allowing to sink in deeply: the traffic jam, adolescent rebellion, “crazy” boss, challenging spouse, competitive co-worker are gifts disguised.

    As leader, teacher, or dad, each setback or frustration gives me a chance to lead the one person I can best lead: me. And in each such instance, there’s a chance that I can see clearly – not through the wishful lens where I hope to see just what I want to see; but to see who is really there, what is really there, and how I might meet the other(s) where they are. Let me know your thoughts: Is this simple? Crazy? Obvious, or potentially very useful? As you strive both with others and with yourself to

    Lead with your best self, Dan (Mulhern)

  2. Darlene Roudebush says:

    Maybe you are like me,I find I have no patience for people being rude. But you did help that lady and she was oh so grateful! 🙂 And that is all that matters!

  3. Rose Chimera says:

    I think you offering to help the other shopper, making room in your cart for her stuff, proves that you are nice; with a smile no less! That you do respond to those in need shows you still maintain compassion, maybe even chilvary which your Mr. Crabby Appleton has no clue about. Who knows what his deal was? After all he wasn’t special. You were all there under threat of Sandy and all trying to get items to help you see the next day or 2, 3, 4 through.

    Why do people behave the way they do? Especially when faced for pending emergency? Panic? Meaness? Selfish/self centered? I don’t know. In fact I just don’t get it. LIfe is much easier when we all try to get along. Most certainly facing Sandy hitting your home its a LOT easier when you can rely on your fellow man. Mr. Cabby Appleton might be, has to be, a lonely person. Who would befriend a man like that?

    I lived in Japan for a few years; one year we were hit with all kinds of nasty weather…a typhoon wasn’t unusual. I went to the commisary (US military) to buy the essentials like you did. It was mayham. I had items in my cart, which my two young children age 1 and 3 and people were actually taking things out of my cart! I was astounded. Shocked beyond words. I figured hey, they want to take that loaf of bread from my cart–essentially from my babies mouths–God bless ’em and I hope it nourishes them.

    To this day, recounting it here, I shake my head at the foolishness of people. Aren’t we all human? Don’t we all need? Let’s share!

    Stay safe and dry!

    • Thanks, Rose, and yes, I think it’s just human nature for one’s capacity for all kinds of things to fluctuate. I will say that “Ohmygawd” Lady made my day, ad that’s what I remembered. Let’s hope I remember next time, too!

      • Rose Chimera says:

        Oh? Next time? There’s going to be a next time unfortunately. You could–next time–smile at Mr Cabby Appleton and tell him something like I can appreciate you’re having a bad day, but your day is also my day. Let’s not make it worse by being crabby ok?

  4. faith says:

    Erin. I think its not about snapping. I think that like your young friend Ruthie-you are quick to NOTICE. The good and the bad. I am sure you were just as quick to be kind as you were to nudge the nooj.

  5. I was in a grocery store yesterday and everyone was so orderly and patient and the cashiers were even smiling. I was very impressed!

  6. pam holmes says:

    Ohmygawd…this is a riot! complete with mr crabby appleton’s name! it’s okay to snap. it’s a panic type situation. you rebounded and did not only one good deed, but i think you should get credit for six good deeds…one for each of the five “Ohmygawds” she exclaimed and one for extra credit! be safe!

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