nesting * geeking * critiquing

Adult Themes

Some people just aren’t fit to be grown-ups…aaaaaaannd I’m pretty sure I’m one of those people.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of “adult” things that I have down pat. For instance, I pay my bills on time and hold down a steady job. On occasion, I muster the wherewithal to cook and will myself to eat vegetables. When called upon to do so, I am capable of making serious decisions. I can fill up my own gas tank if I really have to. Heck, I can even stomach cleaning up dog puke if I really really have to. And I had to last night. So gross. (When it comes to cleaning up cat puke, I delegate to the dog, who’s happy to oblige.)

But it’s become apparent that I am in no way suited to go grocery shopping alone. I’m fine if I’ve got a companion (an external regulator, if you will)…flying solo is an altogether different story.

It seems such a simple task, grocery shopping. Be ye not deceived—it’s treacherous business and not for the faint of heart. Especially if you go at, say, 6pm when roughly everyone else in the world has decided to stop as well.

I Give Up

(I don’t really wear dresses to the grocery store)

At this point you’re probably thinking that I simply can’t control junk-food impulses when I’m by myself. Surprisingly, I practice considerable constraint in that regard.
My problem is anxiety sparked by my own indecision; there’s a lot of stuff at the grocery store!

And the flames are further fueled by fellow shoppers. There’s the elderly gentleman stabilizing himself with cane in one hand and overloaded basket in the other. The harried girl who’s younger than me and has three screaming kids with grabby little hands reaching in all directions out of the shopping cart. The middle-aged woman riding around in the scooter who inevitably stops too far away from the desired loaf of bread and must beep beep beep all the way back down the aisle. Then there’s the guy who apparently just finished his shift laying asphalt and can’t decide which can of soup he wants, so he paces back and forth in front of the entire display.

I’m not without compassion. In all likelihood, every person around me has more life drama going on than do I. Still, it puts me on edge. I get distracted by everything going on around me and end up discombobulated, overwhelmed and frustrated.

And we’re being completely transparent here, so I’ll admit I’m also a pushover. If somebody wants to be standing where I am, I make haste to get out of the way and apologize fervently. You’d think I was single-handedly responsible for killing the dinosaurs.
If somebody’s standing where I want to be, I avoid it altogether and hope I remember to come back when there’s less congestion in the area. I’ve got a hard enough time deciding what to buy without also feeling like I’m in everyone’s way.

So what’s an anxiety-riddled girl to do when she needs groceries?

1. Utilize the buddy system. Take your significant other, take your mom, just take somebody who can help buffer the craziness around you.

2. For the love of poultry, don’t go on a Sunday or the day of/before a holiday!

3. Regardless of the day, go after 8pm. In all likelihood, you’ll have missed the ‘after work’ crowd and most people with small, grabby children.

4. Be sure to wait until the very end of your trip to pick up any refrigerated/frozen items. This is common sense for some people, but for me it means that I don’t have to worry about stuff thawing while I’m being indecisive about everything else.

5. If it all becomes too much for you to handle and you need to break down, go to the bakery and ask to nurse one of their giant tubs of frosting. Or buy a cupcake with lots of frosting. Or a dozen.

There you have it, friends: 5 easy steps to supermarket success. Internalize these learnings then go forth and shop for groceries!

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