Writing Can Be Murder

February 9, 2007

Psycho lady at the supermarket

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 10:51 am

So the other day I was at the supermarket. (A dangerous place for me, see why at this post https://jenniferelbaum.wordpress.com/2006/12/22/smack/).

I don’t actually mind food shopping. It’s the checkout line that kills me.

The short line was manned by the guy who drives me nuts if his meds aren’t properly calibrated (which is fairly often) by saying things like “God ordered us to spread our seed. I spread my seed every day.” TMI and just “ICK!”). No doubt his line was the shortest because anybody who shops there regularly doesn’t want to talk to him.

The longest line was manned by the nicest and most efficient cashier and I would have gotten on that line, but there was an old lady with blue hair (literally blue, sometimes it’s more of a violet shade, but this week it definitely had a blue tinge) who I know takes FOREVER.

 So, feeling a bit like Goldilocks, I picked the middle line, hoping that it was “just right”. Just in case I started telling myself. “You’re not in a hurry. There is no rush. You’re not in a hurry.”

I was in the middle of my mantra when this oh-so-perky woman standing behind me  shrieks, “OH! AREN’T THESE JUST THE MOST ADORABLE THINGS YOU’VE EVER SEEN?”

I dutifully turned around to see what she was talking about.


Tiny, little one bite cupcakes, topped with neon pink icing and candy hearts. (It’s almost Valentine’s Day you know.) Gooey and gross looking.

They were not adorable.

My disgust must have been plain to see because she quickly said, “But they’re probably too sweet right? With all that icing.”

“Probably.” I turned back around to watch the tortise in front of me unloading his cart onto the belt.

“I am SO sick of seeing them.”

I rolled my eyes before I turned around to see what she’s talking about this time.

She’s poking at a magazine cover featuring Brad and Angelina. She poking at Angelina’s face as though by doing so she can puncture her overblown lips.

“Uh huh,” is my brilliant response.

Thankfully Tortise Man has finished and I can start unloading my cart.

I start and immediately spill brown sugar everywhere. This is my life.

The bag of sugar has a hole in it. I wipe it up as best I can. I consider not telling psycho woman about it. After all, so what if her food gets sticky? She hasn’t seen the sugar spill because she’s so engrossed in studying the magazine covers. Do I really want to engage her in conversation?

Still, I would want someone to tell me.

“Be careful when you put your stuff down,” I tell her. “I tried to clean it up, but my sugar burst and it got everywhere.”

She stares at me like I’m speaking in an alien tongue. Then it registers, I can almost hear an audible click when she connects what I’m saying.

“What happened?” she asks.

I hold up my leaky bag of sugar.

“I’ll get you another,” she offers.

“Oh you don’t have to do that.”

“It’s no problem,” she tells me snatching the bag out of my hand and hurrying off.

And she did. Brought back the right thing and everything. Wasn’t that nice of her?

Didn’t I feel guilty for thinking she was a psychopath?

Um….not so much.



  1. I think you need to change supermarkets, you don’t have a good track record at this one. 😉

    I consider food shopping one of my most difficult chores for the same reason. I don’t mind picking the food out, but the checkout line is torture. I either race to the end of the line and start bagging my own stuff before the checker can toss the gallon of bottled water in on top of the loaf of bread, or I end up unpacking what they’ve packed and doing it over. Once I struggle everything out to the car, then I have the joy of coming home and putting it all away and usually discovering what on my list I forgot to get. Someday, after several multibook deals, I plan to hire a personal food shopper for myself.

    Comment by Jennifer Colgan — February 10, 2007 @ 10:15 am

  2. Don’t wait til your multibook deal, have your food delivered by the supermarket!
    That sound SO decadent to me.
    I am a cheap date!

    Comment by jenniferelbaum — February 10, 2007 @ 5:58 pm

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