Holiday Season = Holiday Donkeys

What is it about the holidays that turns everyone into raging hemorrhoids? Honestly, I believed the holiday season was about celebrating the season, spending time with friends and family, creating memories with the help of spiked eggnog and hot buttered rum beverages. My encounters with John and Mary Q. Public today were enough for me to say, “Forget it! I’m out of here!”

Just because you didn’t finish your gift shopping, party shopping, gift wrapping, gift packing, card mailing or Santa photo taking – does not create an emergency in my world. Let me repeat that:

YOUR LACK OF PLANNING DOES NOT EQUAL AN EMERGENCY FOR ME!

People, if they could, would have driven their Ford pick ups, Subaru Outbacks and Honda Accords up and over my car today! Lucky for me I’ve been driving Tater’s Suburban around town rather than my Toyota Yaris. (If you haven’t met Tater yet, he’s the 180 pound Mastiff we’re watching through January 7th) No, that’s not your imagination. Tailgating my ass does indeed make me go slower. You can gesture all you want back there buddy, but this is a 40mph speed zone and I’m now going to drop to 35mph since you didn’t like my previous speed. And you know what? This Suburban is bigger than your Camry so back the hell off my fender. You hit this car and there’s going to be hell to pay with one very large, very protective, 180 pound Mastiff.

I get to the grocery store today. I’m delighted as I’ve managed to score one of those cute half carts – which are new to our area. (Alaska, in some regards, is behind the times.) Figuring I can get in and out in record time with my zippy half cart…. I did the best I could…considering the circumstances.

Grocery stores are informal community meetings. You always run into people you know. With this in mind, there should be some form of universal grocery store etiquette.

Want to stand and shoot the breeze? Move over to the side and stay out of the way. Standing three abreast in the main aisle, chatting about what Mary told Susan at the last quilting meeting — does not constitute proper etiquette. Excuse me, pardon me. See the chic here with the cute cart? I’m trying to get to the pasta sauce. No eye contact, no movement. Just discussion about Charlie telling Louise to stuff her fruitcake. EXCUSE ME! Oh you didn’t just roll your eyes at me did you? OMG, you three are blocking the entire aisle! Don’t glare at me like I just happened to interrupt the top secret meeting of the world dictators. That’s not you. Now MOVE!

Here’s a novel idea. If you’re using one of those motorized cart/scooters the store provides – you should have to complete some driver training first. It’s called, “look behind you before you flip the damn thing into reverse.” No, let me guess. You thought your peripheral vision was as exceptional as a bird of prey? Newsflash, in order to see what’s behind you – you have to actually turn your head and look. Can’t turn and look then yell out, “HEY! I’M BACKING UP!” In the often occurring chance that you hit me with your motorized cart/scooter it is proper etiquette for you to apologize to me. Please note, it’s not the other way around as I was here first.

If you’re needing to double check your grocery list, here’s a suggestion: rather than parking your cart between the milk fridge and the display table of cookies set up to entice the grab and go impulse buyers — move out of the way where someone can:

A.) Actually get around you.
B.) Not have to ask you to move so they can get a gallon of milk.

The milk fridge is a popular stop on everyone’s shopping list. Whole milk, 2% milk, non-fat milk, rice milk, almond milk, half and half, heavy cream, flavored coffee creamer and the ever fat packed eggnog….milk is popular! Why not stop near the sardine shelf? Or you rarely see people picking up tuna fish for that matter. How about double checking in the baby aisle – that’s low use. Better yet, the charcoal and lighter fluid aisle is also very low use – especially in the winter.

Just as much as I enjoy the cute little half carts, I like using the self check out. Although the computer will randomly say “attendant has been notified to assist you” and freezes until said attendant clears it – I feel like I’m being productive and moving things along quicker than a normal check out. Why is it people think standing within your personal space is going to make you go quicker? It’s tailgating with a grocery cart. Or tailgating with ginormous belly gut. Having to ask you to step back so I can go around my cart to get something out from the other side is not very polite. There are times when I want to cancel my entire order and insist they go in front of me. I imagine the conversation would go like this:

I cancel my order and leave everything where it’s at, turn to the idiot behind me and say, “You know what, why don’t you go ahead of me.”

Of course, they’d say “But you aren’t finished.”

My reply would be, “Actually, I’m finished with having you breath down my neck. So why don’t you just go ahead because apparently I can’t do this fast enough for you and apparently you think you’re really important so I insist you go. Really. I’ll wait.” Then I’d wave my hand at the machine like it’s a prize on The Price Is Right.

Today I had a young couple moving up on me first. Really? My solution? A hip check into my cart – causing it to shoot backwards into them. “Oh, I’m so sorry.” (quietly to myself: back the !@#$ up!)

As I pull out my wallet and start to tap the self check out machine to select my payment option a guy comes up and decides to put his stuff down at my machine. He’s now standing at my elbow. I look at him, smile and with teeth grinding kindness advise him, “I’ll be out of your way in a moment.” (silently addressing him as: jackass.) As I put my purse into the cute little cart and prepare to push out….I whip around and pretend I left something on the counter. Oh, so sorry, did I step on your foot?

Lastly. If you see me walking to my car – don’t follow me in yours. Health experts suggest you park far away so you can get in some exercise on the way to/from the shops. I like to park far away so people, who think I may be giving up a prime parking spot within 20 feet of the front door, follow me 200 feet away from the door. If you continue to creep along behind me I will pretend I’ve forgotten where my car is and turn around and go the other way. Yes, I am the person who will walk right past their own car if you continue to nudge me with your front fender in Row A3.

Last, but not least, smile and be nice. Nice matters. Did your mother used to tell you, “I hope your face doesn’t freeze that way!” Well if you could see the faces you’re making, you would be shocked. Third eyes are bulging out of foreheads, jaws are grinding teeth down to rice nubs, frowns are hanging down to knees and eyes are shooting daggers left and right. Don’t you think all that anger and annoyance is exhausting? Try being nice and see what happens, maybe then you’ll stop trying to run me down.

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