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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Diving Back Into My Hole in the Sand

Yesterday was a bad day. Buddha and I were at odds - to say the least - and that always puts me in a foul temper. In an attempt to leave the stress at home, I wrangled the kids into their car seats and steam-rolled my way to Trader Joe's for a few much-needed groceries. I parked fairly close and counted myself lucky to find an abandoned shopping cart sitting at the head of my space. I relocated the ruffians to their metal transport, locked the car and proceeded to wrestle my cart toward the store front. Real, breath-taking, muscle-burning wrestling. You see, I wasn't as lucky as I thought because the cart was actually a demon from my past come back to haunt me - a metal beast with an unwieldy nature, forged by Hell. It had a mind of its own and wheels that couldn't come to agreement on which direction to roll. As the intended driver of the beast, I quickly remembered (from my previous encounter with this exact devil-of-a-cart) that I was obsolete. Though I felt the futility of the act, I encouraged my foul temper to produce more adrenalin in an attempt to tame the beast, which, mind you, also carried my two children and their 65+ lbs. "Liz," you say, "you could have just switched carts and left the demon to be tamed by another." But, no, I was not to be bested...again. As I swerved and shoved my way through the store, huffing and puffing with the exertion, my cart would occasionally get the better of me and crash into another customer's cart. At this, I would chuckle nervously, apologize, and quickly set off in the opposite direction with my cart swinging and swaying wildly, gliding along sideways in a manner similar to a skier putting on the brakes. Taking these indirect routes to my groceries naturally added more time to this shopping trip that was supposed to be stress-free and my arms began to ache from the effort required to control my nemesis. In the end, however, I did manage to get all my groceries and as my cashier rang me up, I did a little dance and felt a burst of satisfaction at having maneuvered my arch-enemy through a crowded store without killing anyone (aside: they should turn this into a video game). My elation was short-lived and my spirit was crushed as soon as I discovered my missing purse, and, putting the pieces together, remembered that I had left it at home on the computer desk.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Once again I found myself apologizing and slinking away, only this time, in my haste, I effected a very graceless exit. I let my concentration slip for a moment and the beast took its revenge by slamming into the automatic door as we left, knocking it off its track right in front of the "cart man" who shot me a withering glance before he banged the door back into its rightful place. I hurried back to my car, thinking evil thoughts toward my cart, and once again wrangled the confused children into their car seats. I parked the demon right back where I found him and bade good luck to any who should be unlucky enough to find him. As I backed away, the "cart man" was heading toward the fiend and a fleeting stab of guilt passed through me for not returning my cart to the front of the store. As he struggled for control of the impish cart, however, I thought to myself, "Take that, you withering glancing man!" As we drove home, Buddha expressed concern for our absent groceries, worried that they would go bad. I told him we weren't going back as I was determined to stick my head in the sand and lick my wounds for a time before I ever went back to Trader Joe's. Next time I'll bring reinforcements in the form of...The Chief.

10 comments:

Erin said...

oh liz, that is very awful, but also very funny.

Lindsey said...

Not funny...HILARIOUS! You had me laughing out loud. You are awesome.

Kari said...

Its is pretty funny, but I totally feel your pain. I went grocery shopping once, my kids cried and fought through the whole store, only to find at the end that I too had forgotten my purse. Only I had left it at the previous store we'd been at. Costco. That was fun. Luckily someone turned it in to the front desk and I found it quickly and was able to go retrieve my groceries. But I don't blame you for not going back. Had I not known the people working at the grocery store (Harmons) I would not have gone back.

The Andrew Family said...

That is so funny, mostly because I think we can all relate in one form or another.

RaeAnn and Family said...

Been there, done that. Well done none the less :)

Jacqui said...

You're hilarious Liz! I love reading about all your "adventures". I took all 3 kids out today to run errands ... Never again! My shopping is now limited to after bedtimes.

La said...

i am literally rolling on the floor in hysterics. i have met that cart. i think trader joe's does it one purpose so the employees have something to giggle about. and whenever i shop there i swear mine are the only children in the entire store. and all the other shoppers are shooting me withering glances. but i still go back. it is, after all, the best.

Greta said...

Sorry you had a bad day. The only good thing about bad days is that it gives the next day a pretty good chance of being better.

ScottnLisa said...

I had an experience of my own shopping for clothes with my 2 year old Crystal and my newborn. They wouldn't let me take the stroller in the dressing room (cause I guess they've had some shoplifting problems) so I had to carry the carseat and my huge pile of clothes to try on and guide my 2 year old with my leg to the dressing room. She was singing at the top of her lungs and dancing in the dressing room while I tried on clothes and Seth started crying so I sat down to breast feed and then Crystal decided to try opening and closing the door. When I told her to stop she laughed cause she knew I can't chase her when I'm breastfeeding. Everybody in the store could hear the chaos and I was so mad. Anyway, I know how days like yours feel. You're nicer than I am though. If that cart man gave me a dirty look while I was going through what you were, I'd have probably yelled "WHAT?!" while staring him back down. You're a better person me. Thanks for your example of rolling with the punches...and thanks for sharing your shopping woes, it makes me feel like I'm in good company.

Alicia said...

Poor thing, as if grocery shopping with kids isn't bad enough!