I think I’ve mentioned that I’m a retail widow this time of year. My poor husband is currently in the throes of holiday madness and has been for weeks. While the end is in sight, he’s pretty worn out at this point. So, as spouses are sometimes wont to do, I figured I’d do something nice for him today. I bundled Stella up in the car and we went off to our local neighborhood store to grab some treats for dinner – namely steak and beverage for Daddy. I know I’ve mentioned at least 8 dozen times that Stella refuses to ride in a grocery cart such that shopping with her is exhausting. Doing so at 31 weeks pregnant is even more exhausting. I figured that this would be a quick in and out with 10 items or less so it was doable.
I was almost immediately reminded why I usually hibernate this time of year. Not because of the weather, but because of the crazed troglodytes that seem to become overwrought at the realization that Xmas is on December 25 (again). The nerve of that holiday falling at such an inconvenient time! In their procrastination-fueled panic, common decency and common sense –such as it is – is out the window. I did not let this deter my philanthropic mission, however, and Stella and I pressed on and out to acquire meat and beer.
The first part of the shopping trip was ok. Stella dropped a dollar in the Salvation Army bucket with a little help and got to comment on the nice bell the lady was ringing by singing Dingle Balls about 8 times. After determining that the cart was still an unacceptable mode of transport, we made our way into the store. She allowed me to carry her for a bit (gee thanks) and then opted to walk. This is acceptable as long as she stays with me and holds my hand. That lasted about 2 aisles. At this point, she bolted when I was crouched down selecting a Kid’s Cuisine TV dinner for her. She knows, I think, that I am a lumbering behemoth and can’t leap to my feet and sprint after her. It’s like the National Geographic videos of the lions and the wounded wildebeest; I am clearly the weak member of the herd. She careened to the end of the aisle and kept on going. Kids don’t think about rules of intersections. A little old lady was just at that moment going to cross with her cart. It missed my kid’s head by about 6.” That old bat had some serious reflexes!! After apologizing profusely for nearly killing her off with shock, I picked my kid up to grab the last 4 items on the list. One of which was a 12 pack of Shiner.
I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that the liquor department was humming with activity. This is when courtesy falls to the wayside, however. You’d think that no matter where you are, if you see a pregnant lady carrying a struggling giant toddler in one arm and pushing a grocery cart in the other, you might yield and let her get her beer and go. Nope. Not here. Not this time of year. I had to push my way through at least 5 people staring at the vodka and gin (oh gin, how I miss thee) who pretended not to see me (HA!).
At that very moment in time, Stella learned a new skill: how to pick her nose. I had just recently thought that it was pretty cool that my kid wasn’t one of those tots who dig up into their sinus cavities with grubby little fingers. I obviously jinxed myself. So here I am, visibly knocked up, trying to simultaneously keep my kid’s fingers out of her nostril, and wrestling a 12 pack of beer into the shopping cart while mean-mugging anyone I think may be looking twice at my purse. I clearly deserved any dirty looks I was getting at that point. Indeed, I belonged on the People of Wal Mart website, even though that’s not where we were. Will better enjoy that damn steak and beer.