Beware! If you go to the grocery store after today, be prepared to take your life in your hands! Yes people, it has arrived: the Thanksgiving food shopping frenzy.
This afternoon I am giving thanks that I am pretty much finished.
I went to my regular market, the giant Giant on Boot Road in West Chester. The parking lot was not so delightful. There were a lot of people not looking driving every which way. But that’s normal for that lot.
At first when I got inside, the store was relatively sane and only moderately crowded. I had a random conversation in the frozen foods with a very cute older lady who had recently celebrated her 88th birthday. God bless her, I hope I look that fabulous when I’m that age. We were talking about how nobody really does homemade much of anything anymore when it comes to sauces. We were standing in front of some bad Progresso sauces that had been reduced and stuffed in a last chance bin. We had both the stopped to look to see what was in the reduced bin.
Then I wandered up and down the aisles, artfully dodging the carts of other people. There were a lot of cart gliders who would wander at an aimless snail’s pace. Then they would simply stop and block the entire aisle, completely oblivious to anyone else around them.
I almost had a few near ankle experiences – as in people on their cell phones going up and down the grocery store aisles who nearly ran me over. I am always amused when this happens, because inevitably they give you a dirty look like you have some nerve to actually be shopping while they are trying to have their crucially important personal cell phone conversations quite loudly in the grocery store. Some of these conversations people have on their cell phones in public are simply astounding. I use my phone in the grocery store only because I put a memo on my phone with my grocery list. I can talk to my friends and family when I get home.
I had one of those totally funny crack yourself up conversations with one of the butchers while I was choosing a turkey in the meat aisle. The butchers at the store are very nice.
Basically, I was looking for a smaller turkey, and this butcher kept trying to sell me the turkey that needed its own apartment on Thanksgiving. Which just struck me as very funny. Had a vision of myself needing a truss to get in and out of the oven.
When I got to the produce section, is when I found the store somewhat irritating. A lot of things were not as fresh as they could be. For example is it THAT hard to take the rotten apples out of the apple bins and they were misting all the vegetables so much that they were all kind of soggy. But I was able to pick through and get some of the things that I needed that I did not already have. You know like celery hearts and onions and yams.
I ended up with a red yams because they didn’t have any sweet potatoes that weren’t overpriced and individually wrapped in shrink wrap plastic to go into the microwave.
There was this older crabby skinny man doing produce I have never seen before in this grocery store. He was sort of like the Soup Nazi of the produce aisle. Some nice woman asked him for sweet onions. He mumbled “something something I don’t know. ”
So I piped up and said you have two choices: the soft ones that are available individually in the bin against the wall or the mesh bags of them stacked below.
Oh boy if looks could kill.
So I said to Mr. produce aisle/soup Nazi “go check those onions yourself. They are soft and should be thrown away.”
And that’s the truth. It is something that really bugs me about Giant. They do not throw away vegetables that aren’t supposed to be soft when they get soft. They do the same thing with Daikon radishes and fresh red beets.
Then this woman next to me also picking out red yams turns to me and says “I making these for the first time in years. Someone else always used to make the sweet potatoes or yams. How do you cook them?”
So I stood there for like 20 minutes and told this woman all the different ways that she could cook yams or sweet potatoes before mashing them and basically putting them in a casserole that would warm in the oven. It was a really pleasant conversation, and she was a super nice lady.
But unfortunately for us, we had the produce aisle guy and other people annoyed that we are actually standing there having a conversation. And no, we weren’t blocking the aisles.
I guess I just don’t understand why it is okay for people to have loud cell phone conversations in the middle of aisles of the grocery store, but it’s not okay for two women to stand in the produce department and discuss cooking techniques.
I know all of this is just because Thanksgiving is this week and everyone is in a frenzy. But what does it hurt any of us to try to be nicer or more pleasant to one another in public spaces like this? Especially when we are all preparing for the same holiday.
None of us are so busy that we shouldn’t be able to stop what we’re doing for a couple of minutes and exchange pleasantries. It doesn’t all have to be via Facebook, Twitter, text or cell phone conversation. I’m sorry but there’s something very true and real about being able to have a conversation. An actual conversation.
And since it is the season of giving, something occurred to me: many of us will not use our holiday free turkey coupons at our local grocery stores. So that being said, local food banks are in need. And if you can drop off anything in time for them to deliver to needy families for holidays, please consider it. And that includes the free holiday turkeys we get from the grocery stores as a shopping reward.
Check with your local churches as to where the food banks are located in case you don’t know.
As Thanksgiving draws near, I am grateful for the many blessings in my life. And I am thankful that I have such an amazing readership on this blog. And as I am not sure if I will blog again between now and Thanksgiving day, I wanted to take this time now to wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving!