I went to the battlefield tonight. All for the sake of Thanksgiving pies.
Hoards of impatient procrastinators filled the aisles, frustrated with their self-inflicted misery. Was it safer to grab a basket and have the ability to bob and weave through the masses or arm yourself with a cart to leverage as a shield against incoming traffic?
We opted for the cart. Our strategy: Divide and conquer. Don’t stop moving. If you forget something, leave it. The crew waits for no man.
No time to compare prices. Each shopper had approximately five seconds to grab an item from the shelf. Once the allotted time had expired, your personal bubble became irrelevant and you were unceremoniously elbowed out of the way. You’d have thought the cans of pumpkin were in fact make of gold.
As you moved closer to the front of the store, the aisles became increasingly clogged due to the lines of carts growing by the minute as the checkout attendees struggled to keep up.
There were 10 checkout lanes. We chose lane 9 and joined the line about seven carts deep in the multi-cultural aisle next to the couscous and Kikoman instant soup mix. We watched as numerous shoppers attempting to cut in line were reprimanded by their peers. Whether intentional or accidentally, cutting is cutting. Everyone learned that in First grade. And each culprit was to endure the walk of shame to the back of the line. I also spotted several individuals with more than 12 items in the Express lane. Lord, have mercy on their souls.
We found ourselves standing in line in front of a mother and her young daughter. Like many people in line, this mother decided to make a phone call while she waited. I, of course, couldn’t help but eavesdrop on her conversation. Turns out she had been waiting so long in the store that she had to get her daughter a donut from the bakery to avoid a hunger-induced meltdown. I’m not sure which is worse; the potential meltdown or your child turning into a little monkey on a sugar high using the cart as their personal jungle gym. She chose the latter.
Our slow march to the register took a solid 30 minutes. Upon reaching the front of the line, we quickly encountered the final obstacle. The credit card/debit card system at the store was consistently crashing with each new batch of groceries. The manager could be seen sprinting from register to register with her override key on her pink spiral wrist coil keychain, rebooting as she went. It was a classic chicken or the egg. Did the insane amount of people cause the system to slow? Or did the slow system cause the backup and mass of people? We may never know.
I planned on making the pie crusts this evening. However, after the mental, emotional and physical drain from the Thanksgiving Eve grocery shopping experience, the crust can wait. Right now, I am thankful for my couch, frozen thin mints and bulldog cuddles.
And yes, you read correctly. I am responsible for two pies tomorrow.
I said I wasn’t a great cook. I never said I couldn’t bake.