I hate the grocery store. It's dumb, but I do. First of all, I hate the crowds. Putting a bunch of strangers in a building, each with unwieldy carts, each with a list of necessities, most of which they can't seem to find anywhere, is just a recipe for disaster. No matter how good my mood is when I enter, it's an unholy state of foul when I leave.
I do my best to compensate. I try to only go for groceries at odd hours, like really early on a Sunday morning or late on a Friday night. But even with my precautions, I can't seem to get through a grocery trip without turning into a man-eating hobgoblin. The last time I went, it was quiet. There were very few people about, and most of the time they were spaced out enough that they didn't get in my way too much. (Those of you that park your cart directly across from someone else, barring any movement past you: you've been warned). And there weren't too many of those dreaded family carts. I will never understand the need for some families to all go for groceries together. Why does mom and dad and the three children under eight all have to be in the grocery store? Isn't that why there are two of you? So one of you can stay home with the kids?
No, I actually held it together pretty good... that is until it came time to go through the checkout. The checkout is an especially trying time in any shopping experience. At this point, everyone ahead of and behind you are in a bad mood, as is the cashier for obvious reasons. The woman ahead of me was - to put it politely - a moron. She kept questioning prices and forgetting to mention discounts and when it came time to pay she could not figure out the incredibly simple debit machine. The woman behind me was just plain rude. She started loading her groceries onto the conveyor belt before I'd even finished with mine. I resisted the urge to turn around and tear her head off, despite my desire to ask how she thought that would speed things up, and to demand that she wait for her own damn turn. And of course, the cashier did what every cashier does. I don't care when they're cold, or rude, I get it, their life sucks and they're utterly miserable. Who wouldn't be? No, what drives me crazy is when they sling my easily damaged groceries around as though they're boxes of cereal. Stop dropping my oranges. Do not hurl my bread down the conveyor belt like it's a softball, and stop man handling my vegetables! I took great care in picking out the best you had to offer in the picked over selection that results from shopping at the end of the day and now it may as well have been from the bottom of the pile. Stop bruising my produce!
By the time I'd bagged my groceries and loaded them into the car I was in a mood fit to scare serial killers. I had to talk myself down before shifting into drive so I wouldn't bring my rage with me onto the road. And sadly, it's like that every time. So, if you ever come over and notice that the cupboards are particularly bare, just remember, I'm doing it for the safety of others and my own mental health. Because going any more than is absolutely necessary is a very bad idea.