Posts Tagged With: Grocery store

Why My Cupboards Are Haunted

Not long ago I trekked to my favorite grocery store, this time without a curler in my hair. (That’s another story.) I had put it off for a while, because I don’t really like the task.  I do like to eat, however, and my family seems determined to have food on a regular basis, so it’s unavoidable.

I went the first thing in the morning, so I could avoid crowds, get the groceries put away and get to work on time.

Because I had put off going shopping, my list was long.  You know those odd items you run out of, the condiments, spices, a certain kind of bottled pepper for that one recipe?  This list was full of stuff like that.  Up one aisle and down the next I went, slowly filling the cart with my procrastinated needs.  I stuck to the list too, none of those impulse purchases.  Pencil in hand, I crossed off all those items.  Focused and determined to get done and get back home, I didn’t dawdle.

Finally I crossed off the last item.  I chose the self-checkout line. I’d gotten hooked on these a few years back.  I know, it’s slower if you have more than ten items, but I like the sense of independence, of being able to fill the grocery bags the way I want.  I like that I have some of the produce codes memorized. Pretty sure I secretly dreamed of  cashiering when I was a kid.

I scanned all my items, efficiently and quickly.  I was a shopper in the zone.  No coupons. I put in my frequent buyer number to get the store discounts.  Swiped my payment card.

Credit Card



Hmmm.  I reswiped the card.  Entered my pin number.  Not approved.

I looked at the card to make sure I’m using the correct pin number with the correct card.  Yes.  I swiped the card again, selecting the credit option.  Still rejected.

I reached for my other debit card, the one from the bank, not the credit union.  Not there.  Must have given it to one of the kids to put gas in the car.  I have a twenty.  The machine asks for a cartload of money.  Dang.

Now what?

MSH was asleep after working late, so a call to his turned off cell phone wouldn’t have helped. By the time I could drive home and drive back I’d have eaten into my small window of time before work. I wouldn’t  have time to put things away. I’d be late for everything the rest of the day.

The clerk who oversees the self-checkout menagerie came over to help.  I explained my dilemma, apologized, stood there feeling stupid.  She says, no worries, they have people who can put it all back.


I walk out of the store empty-handed.  Not a single bag of groceries. What an odd feeling.

Resisting the temptation to give into tears in the car, I tried to think through the day ahead, put the embarrassment and frustration behind me.

I never made it back to the grocery store that week.  Sent hubby on a milk run.  Had my son pick up a couple of items once or twice.

It’d be nice to carry enough “just in case” cash, but that kind of money doesn’t float around my house too much.  And I’d be tempted to spend it somewhere else, here and there.  Does anyone even take checks anymore?  I just want efficient and easy. And reliable.

Turns out a bank error occurred while processing a direct deposit.  Who’d have known?  I guess I would have if I checked my account online before heading out to spend money.  Lesson learned, sort of.

Technology is great, except when it isn’t.

Here’s the weirdest outcome.  All those crossed off items from my failed grocery acquisition got crossed off in my head too.  I’d go to the pantry to pull out the spice I had put in my cart and it wouldn’t be there.  Oh yeah, I’d remember, not paid for.  I’d reach into the fridge for cilantro I’d just almost bought, and nothing.  That balsamic vinegar I had planned to use later in the week?  Missing, no wait, never purchased.  Salt to refill the shaker?  Nada.  Oh yeah, debit card downer.

For weeks afterwards my cupboards and pantry and fridge felt haunted.

Even to this day, months afterwards, I still find myself reaching for an item my head tells me I bought.  It went in the cart, it went through the scanner, it went into the grocery bag, and it went into my brain.  It just never went into my cupboards.

Wish I could tap into that “rememberability” with things that are really important.

Categories: Food, Humor | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Why the People at the Grocery Store Were So Friendly, and Other Answers

Following the wise saying that says, “When you can’t sleep, write,” (which I just made up three minutes ago) I am now writing at 1:15 a.m.  If you’ve read my “Night Owl, Early Bird” post you’d remember that I’m definitely a morning person.  My brain engages and starts humming just before the last stars wink out.  That’s about five hours from now.  Fair warning, with middle of the night posts, no telling what will happen. (Three posts in one, perhaps?)


Shopping Carts

Shopping Carts (Photo credit: Universal Pops)

Despising grocery shopping, I try to get the task done when the fewest number of people will be clogging the aisles and slowing down the process. That would be, you guessed it, early in the morning.  I try to show up presentable, not in PJ’s, not in sweaty gym clothes, not in my dirt encrusted grass stained gardening garb.  I clean up, I put on some lip gloss, I brush my hair.  I even bring a list. In, out, done. No debating over the produce. no loitering near the dairy.

Most people pretend extreme interest in some label, and avoid eye contact, especially in the morning.(Probably because they are wearing PJ’s or sweaty gym clothes or haven’t combed their hair.) Just sayin’.

One morning in particular I noticed that the few people I did see in the nearly deserted grocery store appeared very cheery. They smiled at me. Smiles all around.  A store full of morning people?!? What are the odds, I thought.  Maybe I had a glow about me.  Maybe the stars aligned just right.  Maybe the music playing over the intercom struck a happy chord in the lot of them.

Even the usually surly cashier, whose line I tried to avoid, was friendly and smiled at me. Weird and weirder.  I was going to get on the internet and figure out what cosmic occurrence might be in play to explain such unexpected pleasantness.

Putting my bags into the back seat of the car I bumped my head on the top of the door opening.  Not my head exactly.  The blow felt cushioned by something.

Hair rollers

Hair rollers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I reached up to console my noggin.  What did I find but a hair roller still tucked in on top of my head.  The very same velcro hair roller my own hands had rolled in to poof up the flat spot in my otherwise nicely coiffed hair. I had told myself not to forget to take it out before I left, then went off to find my keys.  And forgot about it.

All those friendly smiles?  Restrained laughter.

Glad I could bring some cheer into someone’s day.  In this case, many someones.


My cousin reintroduced me to bicycling in Denver a couple of years back.  It was my first time on a road bike in a few years. She taught me some basic ideas, like how to shift, how to brake, basic biking etiquette.  We even discussed ahead of time who takes the lead and which of us drops behind  into single file when other bikers are on the path coming towards us or passing us from behind.  I learned the term “on the left” meant that another biker was coming up from behind and was going to pass on the left.  On hearing “on the left” the correct thing to do is to move to the right so they have room pass on the left.

We had a great ride that day. (I think I just found another blog post topic for the near future.) But I digress.

The point I meant to make was that I learned a bit of biking jargon and etiquette and gained some confidence in the sport of bicycling. On returning home I started riding my clunky mountain bike on our flat desert trails. I started using the term “on the left” and felt like a real biker.  When I didn’t ride, but went walking instead, I quickly moved over when a biker chirped, “on your left!”  I felt I had learned to share the trail, or the sidewalk, quite amicably.  I hardly had to hear more than the word “on” from behind and I’d start moving to the right to make room.


Not the actual biker…

Imagine my surprise (is that a cliché? note to self, find out!)  Sorry.  Imagine my surprise when, this very morning, I mean yesterday morning, since it’s now almost 2 a.m. the day after. Sorry again.

Imagine my surprise, as I’m out for my morning walk, when I hear a biker holler, “on your right” and I automatically move to the right but then, mid step, realize that I just moved into the biker’s path.  I was certain I’d be mowed over, or at the very least see a biker go flying past as he rocketed over the front of his handlebars.   I actually started to curl up and brace myself for impact.  Luckily the biker swerved or braked or had guardian angels, or all three.  No one was worse for the experience.

I’m sure the bicyclist swore under his breath as he rode off down the path.  Maybe his life had flashed before his eyes.  I hope it was a happy one if it did.  His adrenaline was probably ramped up a bit, don’t you think?  Mine was.

Anyway, if you talk to anyone who tells you about this dumb woman out for a walk who jumped into his path when he gave fair warning, you’ve now heard my side of the story.


Spicy Zingers (or Fireworks)


Dinner out with friends tonight  (last night? whatever) at a new place was mind-blowing.  Confusion ruled my taste buds but what happy taste buds!

Who thinks of these things?  A quesadilla with a ginger-sauced chicken and real cheese?  Oh my sweet Susanna!!  Dip it in the salsa/hoisin, or was it plum sauce/mole, and the neural pathways don’t know what to make of it all.  Refried black beans? A work and a wonder of magnificence!!  Finished off the meal with a crispy-edged, soft-middled, cinnamon snicker doodle cookie and the evening was taste bud nirvana.

That might explain the tiny taste of insomnia going on here.  Too many competing spicy sensations zinging around in my head.  Oh, but it was worth it.

I hope you’re smiling!  I am.

Categories: Exercise, Food, Humor | Tags: , , , | 14 Comments

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