Being a peace loving sort of person, I don't have that many altercations but 99.9 per cent of the ones I do have, happen at the grocery store. Is it because I spend more time there than anywhere else, excepting home? No. I put in plenty of time at bookstores, restaurants, church, movie theaters, coffee shops, and discount stores of the upscale variety. I don't have much trouble at those places.
So—it's not me; it's you and I think I know the reason. It's because people do not follow the rules. Today, in anticipation of the impending snow, I had to join the masses on the required run for milk and bread—and in my case, cheese, vegetables, eggs, and a big fat chicken that I intend to roast with garlic and herbs. Anyway, I am happy to report that I did not have an altercation but I came close, so so close, and on more than on occasion.
Then it hit me. Maybe the reason these people are not following the rules is because they don't know the Grocery Store Rules, According to Jean. As a gift to humanity, I will now supply them.
2. Hang up your cell phone and stop steering with your forearm. You are NOT calling your husband to ask if he needs beer and, if so, what kind. You are talking to your BFF about how somebody did you wrong at work. Save it.
3. Do not let your kid sit on your hip while you talk on your cell phone and steer with your elbow. I know it's hard to shop with a toddler. Precious Angel was once a toddler and I kept him quite a bit—partly because his mother was finishing her degree and partly because I wanted him with me. We did some shopping. We also had some Come to Jesus Meetings in the dead space between dairy and meat cases where he learned what our jobs were: mine was to push and his was to sit. I'm not saying there weren't days it didn't cost me an Oreo but I am saying he sat in the kid seat.
4. Do not let your kids spread out across the aisle like participants in a mini Hands Across America.
5. You have the right to have that giant notebook of coupons. I even respect you for it a little. But due to laziness and bad character, I don't have one. I don't mind how long you study the individual boxes of Craisins, or whatever other thing you are about to buy for half of nothing and not eat. Just please let me by.
6. Don't shop on the buddy system. Please. Just don't, unless your buddy is recovering from surgery and you need to lift her milk and flour. Even then, don't shop side by side.
7. Don't have reunions—class, family, church, or any other type—in the aisle. There a big old parking lot right outside.
8. Do I even have to go into what's appropriate for the Express Lane?
9. Do not sit in your car and wait for me to get my groceries loaded and leave. If you glare at me, I will move slower. I will take my cart all the way back in the store. I might even stop to pass the time of day with all the drivers of the cars that are lined up behind you because you are trying to score my parking spot.
I could go on. And on. And on. I'm known for it. You got a dead horse you want beaten? Bring it to me. But I'll stop. Besides, if I put another rule, it will be number ten and then my margins won't line up right and I'll have to fix them to keep Stephanie and Kathy from having a bad day. Cheryl wouldn't care.
Would you like to make a rule for the world at large? Here's your chance. Share.