Tis The Season

I am a planner. It is my nature to lay out a plan of attack when venturing out to run errands. On Saturday, the first and only stop on my agenda was Trader Joe’s. I have stopped shopping at Kroger for various reasons. The main one is that most of the employees at that establishment look and act as if they are on death row. I am still wondering if a criteria of being hired is having a bad attitude. And, if I am being completely honest, I might be addicted to a variety of items sold at Trader Joe’s. Plus, the location of it being across the street from my neighborhood is a huge attraction.

They open at 8 A.M., and I had the mindset of being there a little after eight as I didn’t want appear THAT eager. Imagine my surprise when I pulled up and the parking lot is full. Like middle of the afternoon full. Sigh. I put on my game face. After all, since I will be battling other humans in order to obtain my items, I need to be ready. I know what you are thinking. You think that I should have expected the crowd. It is the Saturday before Christmas, but honestly, I figured those people would still be asleep or perhaps at Target. Color me wrong.

The vibe in this store is so happy. People smile at you. The workers engage in conversation. Even with the frenzy of the season, there isn’t that animosity that you might experience elsewhere. However, people were in my way. That was the real issue. Those that block the aisle as they look longingly at the items displayed on the shelves. Are they contemplating their life choices? Is there going to be a broken home if she chooses the wrong pasta? I wait patiently. Pretending that I am looking at the variety of olives that are offered. I had no idea that there were so many. I guess I can thank this lady for providing me with the opportunity to learn that. She finally moves. I hope she made the right choice.

As I navigate the store, I smile at people, say “excuse me”, but I am silently saying, “Get the f*** out of my way”. See I can be kind. It is just my thought pattern that can get sketchy. As I put my final item in the cart, I roll towards the finish line finding an available cashier in the sea of people. We exchange pleasantries and I remark on the insane amount of people. He responds, “Our manager has never seen so many people waiting for the doors to open”. Apparently, there are others who enjoy trying to escape crowds of humans as well.

I leave. Grateful I survived and hoping I can make it out of the parking lot without being hit. I travel the short distance to my home and vow to not return until the beginning of the new year. Then I remember I forgot two things on my list. Christ. On. A. Cracker. I rationalize that they really weren’t important and I try to figure out a way to change my whole menu so I don’t have to venture out again. That is completely unrealistic. Sure, I could have gone back at that moment, but procrastination seemed like my best plan. I will return. Eventually. Probably today. I have to give myself a pep talk and will most likely be one of those people waiting, with my face pressed against the glass, for them to open. It is almost like I am the butt of the universe’s jokes. That lady blocking the aisle will probably be back too. Maybe we will just order pizza.

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