Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Walking The Aisles of a Grocery Store

I had just arrived at the grocery store last night when I came across an old high school friend who I had not seen in probably close to a year. She and her twin sister and I used to run on the same high school cross country team for four years and during that time, I was one of the few who could tell them apart. It wasn’t until last night however, that I was informed that I had been calling them by the wrong names for the past number of years. It seems that my ability to tell them apart had disappeared over time. Yah I know… memory and time does some crazy things to you!

Anyways, back on track!

It was great running across her last night as we spent at least twenty minutes reminiscing. We then waved our goodbyes and headed onto our own trails around the grocery store. By the time I made it to the checkout line, I ran across her at least three times after that and each time we waved and said “hi.” It got pretty funny and it got to the point that I would look for her each time while turning into different aisles. By the time it was over, we probably spent an additional seven or eight minutes more in conversation and laughter.

Now, that was okay since we enjoyed each other’s company… but what about that person who you don’t really have anything in common with and would have been happy enough to simply smile and share no more than a two minute conversation with by asking how the kids, spouse and job was?

Have you ever been in that situation before? You enter the grocery store and run head on into a casual acquaintance who you know just enough to nod and ask how the family is and then you see them every aisle you turn into? You don’t really want to converse with them beyond the first time and yet you don’t want to be ignorant and simply ignore them.

It never fails… It seems like every time I go to the grocery store, I run across someone who fits that category of the “casual acquaintance.” I speak to them and ask the socially acceptable questions, move on my way and them run into them in the produce aisle. What do you say? “Hey, look, prunes are on sale!” Then again in the juice aisle with a bottle of prune juice in your hands... “Yep, I’ve been pretty irregular lately!” A few minutes later in the Cereal aisle… “Yah, 100% Bran is my favorite cereal!”

It gets to the point that you feel that you have to scope out every aisle before making your turn. Now I have gotten to be pretty good at mastering the skill of avoidance but what about when you are trying to avoid two people? You might as well give up and go home!

Now, there was a time when I ran across my sister but that was no big deal right? Well for her it was! By the time I had passed her in about every aisle, I had snuck enough extra food into her cart to feed another family. She later discovered it all in the busy checkout line. She has yet to forgive and forget!

Being the Christmas season however, I plan to mend my ways and become more of a conversationalist in the aisles because it is the season of merriment. I will become a new man… at least until the end of the month.

Who knows… maybe it will be me over the holidays that everyone else will be avoiding!


Portia said...

What a riot, and so true! This happens to me all the time. Generally speaking, it's nice to catch up, but at times I have gone to some lengths to avoid the grocery store small talk. Good luck with the conversational ism this month:) Little bits of warmth like that can really affect someone's day, or holidays.

Janice Thomson said...

How funny Dave! When that happens to me I just smile and quickly move on even if I have to come back in a few minutes to get something from that particular aisle. I don't feel that is rude - I am there to get groceries not chitchat for long periods of time and am believing others feel the same. Uh...so where do you shop? ;)

Cheryl said...

Good story. I never run into anyone I know at the grocery store, but make sure to say a hello to the clerks I know.

Dave said...

Hi Portia! I agree when you say that it is nice to catch up but then I never get all my groceries done in time! LOL

Hi Janice! I know what you mean but I still feel guilty. I shop at the largest grocery place in town... Maybe that's my problem! :-)

Hi Cheryl! Well there is this one clerk that talks to me as if we go way back and I think that maybe she is right but I am too afraid to ask her especially since it has been a couple of years since we started chatting there.

Jazz said...

I just pretend I don't see them. I'm evil that way.

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abbagirl74 said...

LOL... I always take a list. That way I have something to look at and cross off in cases like those.

Monika said...

I used to live in a small town, where everybody knew everybody, and there was always somebody you knew, and talked to in the grocery store. Some you didn't like too much, you just said hello and moved on. Others you went to have a coffee after grocery shopping. That was nice. Now I live here, and I hardy see anybody I know. I'm quite annonymous around here. I like that too.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Hehe... great post... I see someone, we chat and after that I shop. It's usually just a smile or a nod if we cross paths after that or I pretend I don't see them by reading ingredients on a product. I hate grocery shopping in the first place and if I stop to chat again and again, I'll never get out of there.
But you know, being in a small city, I don't seem to meet many in the grocery store. Maybe everyone orders take out or something. Haha...

Dave said...

Hi Jazz! I sometimes wish I was like that.. LOL I just peer down the aisles first and avoid the "sociable ailes" when I am trying to avoid someone. :-)

Hi Lille Meg! Thanks for stopping by. "yes" it is a good testimony!

Hi Abbagirl! I take lists as well but I can't read and drive (the cart that is!) :-)

Hi Monika!Annonymous... Now that I like to be! :-)

Hi Michelle! Thanks for visiting! I think we all have our tactics but for some reason, mine don't seem to work very well! :-)

HeiressChild said...

this was funny Dave, so the next time i see you in the grocery store (see, i'm good at avoidance too, lol), i'll make sure i speak to you.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

What a funny and charming post!

You are very lucky that your sister still speaks to you at all, in or out of the grocery store.

David Kim said...

Very funny post!

Somehow, whenever I meet someone at the market, I didn't bump into them at every aisle.

I love the prank you pulled on your sister! Hilarious!