Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cooking Up Story in the Grocery Aisle

I never understand why people would want to give up  those daily treks to the grocery store.  My husband has been trying to get me to use Peapod for about three years now. I'm just not the Peapod type. I'm a writer. I like to pick everything up, turn it around, squeeze it, smell it, and compare it to every other thing like it. I know, waste of time, right? Wrong. I've always been a little putzy. Used to drive my sisters crazy. They'd send me to the store, and I'd always get distracted. It's not that I love the grocery store. Really. And it's not that I so enjoy picking up and putting down all the things on my grocery list...well, I usually don't have a list. But I love to people watch. Especially in the grocery store. 

Today, I was pushing my cart out of the produce aisle, when a blonde-haired woman in a baggy twill kind of coat came straight out of nowhere in my direction. She looked me straight in the eye in a kind of expressionless way. Not like she didn't see me, but she wasn't processing me I don't think, a little worrisome. I didn't give it too much thought in that moment, though. She was quite pretty with very, very pale white skin, a little bit of leftover lipstick and bright blue eyes. But I kept thinking once she saw me, she'd let me go since I was there first, and it was the right move. I had her typecast as a pretty kind lady, fortyish, a little tired...probably waiting to pick up one of her kids in town. My cart was pretty well into the aisle, so I got ready to keep making my turn. And what did she do? Well...clearly, I am slipping. She came at me even faster. I had to veer to the right at the very last second and let her pass. She went by me with a smirk on her face. She was playing 'chicken' with me! Dared me, and I stepped down. 

Later, I came across her again. She was shaking her head and talking to herself. Now I'm thinking maybe she was late for a date with her therapist, I don't know. So much for my grocery shopping. My dad used to ask me what was going on between those ears of mine. I'm a writer...those wheels just keep on spinning. I love to take it all in, store it in the aisles of my brain. You never know when you might need a shopping cart maniac. Story happens, characters too! 

4 comments:

George Stockwell said...

I've had similar experiences like the one you describe. In fact, I've written blogs of my own regarding my experiences grocery shopping. I go to Stop & Shop and it amazes me how each time I find something different to write about. Just the simple act of grocery shopping! What about when you run into parents of your students??!! That can ruin a nice morning pretty quickly!! Look forward to your next piece.

gael lynch said...

I think I could probably write a whole book about conversations with parents that have happened in the grocery store!! I'd love to be able to count those toward the Nov./Mar. conferences, so I can scratch off a few!!! :)

My favorites were the ones I had with kindergarten parents. It really was a good way to save money though, when I think about all the aisles I used to skip!

Annie said...

Wow, Gael...I had that woman so clearly pictured in my mind with her "leftover lipstick"...that wasn't me you were talking about....was it? I could very easily have been thecrazywomaninthegrocerystore...

gael lynch said...

Come to think of it, Ann, that could've been me back in the day! How quickly we forget what sleep-deprived zombies we were when we were in the trenches of parenthood! :)

There was an error in this gadget