I have never, at any point in my life, “enjoyed” shopping.
All I’ve ever wanted to do is walk into a store, find what I need, buy it, and leave.
Today, however – after 57 years on the planet – I have reached a level of hatred for the ritual that I can’t put into words (although I’m gonna try).
Now, before I continue, I should probably clarify something.
Shopping online is fine. I have no issues with that method of commerce whatsoever. As long as I can find a mankini at a reasonable price, purchase it via PayPal and then have it delivered to my home in three to five business days, I’m cool with it.
But it’s the kind of shopping that involves interacting with other carbon-based life forms that I cannot abide.
Recently, I was tasked with buying sweatpants and vitamins, and the only place I’ve been able to find these particular vitamins is at the big box store near my house.
I won’t name it here, but you can probably figure it out.
(Here’s a hint: It’s not Target).
Every time I go into this particular store – for the purposes of this column, I’ll call it “Hellmart” – it’s jam-packed with people, many whom are barefoot and bereft of teeth.
I’m not trying to be a smart ass – there but by the grace of socks and a dental rider go I – but it just seems like “my” local Hellmart draws all the people who weren’t quite classy enough to join the cast of “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo.”
And they tend to run in packs of three.
Just as I was entering the store, there were three mountain folk entering and three more exiting – and nary a one had been deprived of food.
Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with being plus-size. I’ve been playing tug-of-war with girth for years. However, when you’re plus-size and walking side-by-side with other plus-size people – and moving at the pace of a sloth dosed on Nyquil – that’s a problem for everyone of all shapes and sizes.
I call these people Meanderthals, because they are all over the damn aisle and completely unaware that maybe, just maybe, they’re impeding the progress of people like me who want to get the hell out of Hellmart as quickly as possible.
Fortunately, I had a game plan once I got there. I knew where the sweatpants were, found a pair in my size, then zipped over to the pharmacy and grabbed my vitamins.
In a perfect world, I could’ve gone to self-checkout and escaped with a minimum of emotional damage.
But the self-checkout line looked like a Duck Dynasty convention, and there was no way I was going to wait them out.
So … I scoped out all the checkout lines and found one that had only two customers besides me in it. Checking out first was a young woman who looked to be around 17, wearing blue jeans and a tee shirt that read, “Keep Calm and Fish.”
While she was being rung up she was talking on her cellphone and, while I don’t know who was on the other end of the call, I do know the person was “full of shit.”
Next in line was a 20-something barefoot woman with a toddler, who had a buggy with six to eight toddler-type items inside.
These items easily could’ve been scooped up and placed on the conveyer belt all at once.
Instead, Betty Barefoot was carefully picking up each one, gingerly removing it from the basket, and slowly placing it on the belt.
I was getting close to cursing out loud but I didn’t want her child to hear me because one, I love children and don’t want them to experience distress and two, this kid had gigantic ears and would’ve most certainly heard me even if I had uttered obscenities under my breath.
Finally, after eight hours or so Barefoot Betty and her elephant-eared kid were done so I was able to make my purchase and run screaming to the car.
Of course I couldn’t run unimpeded — there was a new pack of Meanderthals blocking my exit.