Thursday, August 25, 2011

Making Friends at the Grocery Store

Dear Lady at the Grocery Store,

The following is what I SHOULD have said to you, but I was too gracious to do so in public.  So I’ll do it on the World Wide Internets instead.

I realize this is the line for 10 items or less (which should be 10 items or fewer, but that’s a whole ‘nother subject) which is why I got in this particular line.  It was not, as you may assume, to piss you off.  I have 7 items.  I have just as much a right to be here as you do.  I’m in a hurry too, because, you see, I have a screaming child.

The reason I only have ONE screaming child is because I left my other two screaming children with a neighbor in the hopes that I could run in and run out of the grocery store to get my 7 items.  Small, however, has recently started walking, which means he does NOT want to be confined to a grocery cart, no matter how short the trip may be.

Yes, I can hear him screaming.  No, I can’t make him stop.  One would think this is obvious.  Why yes, I CAN make him stop, but I like listening to him yell at the top of his lungs simply because he likes the sound of his own extremely loud voice.  I choose not to.  Come on.

God makes them cute so you won't
accidentally leave them somewhere.
The first time you gave me the stink-eye, I thought maybe I was letting my own mild embarrassment cloud my judgement and perhaps I was only imagining your eyes boring into my very soul.

The second time you gave me the stink-eye, I was a tad annoyed.  Staring is rude.  Perhaps I should have a conversation with YOUR mother about your lack of manners.

The third time you gave me the stink-eye, I was pissed.  You’re lucky I didn’t ram my cart into the back of your ankles.  I'm starting to feel a little anxious and persweaty.  You wouldn't like me when I'm anxious and persweaty.

I know if I let Small out of the cart he will stop screaming, but at what price?  The knowledge that in the future he can scream and automatically get his way?  The assumption that it's perfectly acceptable to scream when he's unhappy and that this behavior will be rewarded?  The feeling that we never have to do things we don't particularly want to do, like run errands?  Or worse, lying Hershey Bars and ripped People Magazines, which would all be at his eye level should I release him from the cart?  Seriously, who wants to buy torn-up Kardashians?

But, dear lady in front of me, my favorite part of this entire annoying eye exchange was when you switched to the ear plugging and dramatically held your finger to one ear because the noise emanating from my child was SO loud you couldn’t hear the cashier.  She said “cash or charge” just like every other cashier in the ever-lovin’ universe, but thanks for having her repeat it.  The “what did you say?” along with the ear-plugging and the feigned confusion – truly the highlight of your acting career.  Bravo, lady. 

I know this will be difficult for you to believe, but taking a cranky toddler to the grocery store is among my least favorite things to do.  I needed to pick up prescriptions for my other two children, however, and that necessitated the trip.  Guess what, Lady Who Was Totally Unencumbered by Little Ones, sh*t happens.  If you are a mother, (perhaps to older children,) I would hope you’d cut me some slack – you know your children were difficult at times.  Mothers, especially, should not make other mothers feel bad.  A kind smile or a knowing glance would have been much better received.

I hope you had a lovely afternoon.  That is all.



  1. running errands with a screaming child is the worst. especially when you're trying to hold the kid in your arms, like at the vet's office for example.... worst experience ever.

  2. Obviously, that woman was never a toddler.

  3. are much, much nicer than I am.


Be nice, kids.