I don't like grocery shopping. Nope, no I don't. I have to plan, I have to go, I have to spend, I have to put away in a half organized fashion. However there are a great many things in life that are much worse and it's not doctor appointment sort of misery or anything like that. Our grocery day is currently on Friday which also happens to be produce day.
Here's a glimpse of grocery day. Hopefully I've checked the sales at Winn Dixie and Publix on the internet on Thursday and finished my list mostly if not totally. Often, however, I haven't and I have to do that Friday morning. Then we load up in the car and set off for the three stores we visit. We go to the one furthest away first JUST in case I feel the desire to quit after the first and closest store. Last week I wanted to quit before we GOT there. Yeah.
Publix is usually the first store. I usually spend the least there because we ONLY hit the sales there. Even buy one, get one sales are often more expensive than the generic brand at Wal-Mart and unless it's something that we just can't have substitutes for, we don't get it. But you know, I enjoy Publix. The people are nice and even the customers are nice! You really feel like you've been to your neighborhood grocery store. Of course, NO trip to the store would ever be complete without a comment or two about our crowd. This is normal...the comments started when there were only two but obviously there's a few more exclaimation points on the end of people's comments now. Today we had three people say something about the number of kids in our family from the start to finish of Publix. When we got in the car (the last guy poked his head in my car as I was loading everything/one up) my kids commented on the number of people who said something today. It's so precious their point of view. As they are wondering why so many people say things to us, one suggested it's just because they like our family. When I pointed out that most people only have 2 kids (give or take) and they just don't see families with more very often, one of my kids said "It must be hard to have two kids." That one definitely made me smile.
Next is usually Winn Dixie. They generally have great meat sales but today there weren't too many things we were needing from there so it was a quick run. I will take this time to say, one of the reasons I don't really like doing grocery shopping is the getting in and out of the car. Not a huge deal, of course, but slightly bigger when you have to buckle people into carseats and deal with people discussing the pros and cons of sitting in the front seat and how just it is that one should sit all the way here from home, while another only sits from one store to the next and so on. And yes, if I only went to one store, it would indeed cost me more to shop.
Now, the Winn Dixie part reminds me that I really have to share that another reason I don't like grocery shopping is that it's not as calm and orderly as people perceive. On a number of occasions I've had someone from church say that they saw us at the store and the kids were so well behaved and I looked so calm and when someone else came down the isle the kids just moved to the side without a word from me and so on. I try not to look TOO shocked when people say this to me. That they would have that impression is miraculous to me. I won't go into great detail but suffice it to say, sometimes I feel like I have a small tornado whirling about me as I walk up and down those isles. A lovely, joyful tornado, but still a tornado.
Today, standing in line and following a little tug-of-war with Abby over the blasted, strategically placed candy during which she shrieked her piercing, glass breaking sort of shriek followed by a whine (only quieted by the threat of calling Dad, *sigh* at the lack of influence on my part), two of my kids crowded into the little area where the cashier would stand for the line next to us and they turned on the conveyor belt. Folks, I've never worked at a grocery store and I have no idea where they turn those off and on. For a brief moment I thought "Maybe I can ignore that and we can check out and leave and be long gone before anyone realized this conveyor belt is running." But no, I wouldn't want to do that AND of course, my kids would spend the next five minutes trying to turn it off and in the process they would turn on the light, turn on the speaker (price check on isle 4 please), and who knows what else. Luckily, I am not altogether lacking in intelligence and mostly good at undoing things that shouldn't have been done in the first place and I was able to turn it off without too much delay but it's just one of those things. After you've walked through two stores with little boys bouncing off of each other and a little girl having a fit when her shoe falls off and trying to stay out of people's way, that's just not something you've got a lot of patience to spend on.
Finally there is Wal-Mart. There are always too many people in the isles and I always wonder how I spent as much as I did and by that point I'm really ready to be done. When I go to Wal-Mart, I walk FAST. It's a huge store and I always need something at both ends so, to make up for the fact that I have to cover the whole thing and that I'm ready to be done, I walk fast. Apparently I'm the only person in this store to do this because I'm always getting behind those who stroll. Argh, matey!! Me thinks they should stroll the plank!! Today one of my little guys asked why we were running. I pointed out that I was walking (see my legs...they're longer than yours and THIS is a walk) and that HE was hopping (which is what he does anyway) and so his question wasn't a valid one. So, got our goods, loaded in the car, realized we forgot cereal, went back to get it. Took it home, loaded the fridge, got back in the car to go get the produce (got 3 avacados which we've never gotten before and guess what I bought at the store today? yep), dropped by a friend's and visited for a bit, went home, threw people in bed and went to work on the horrid mess that this day creates in my home.
And that, my friends, is a more-than-you-wanted-to-know post on grocery days.
I am not spell checking because I've got company coming and still have a mess to finish working on.