party of one - grocery hell

Following the long weekend and knowing that we are again headed north this weekend for the BC/NC State game and the Choyfrocca engagement soire we haven't done a real shop at the grocery store this week. It seemed kind of silly to stock up for three measly dinners and who are we kidding, there is always quite a selection in the snack drawer. So with Steve on pick-up duty, I braved the grocery store after work yesterday to pick up a few items for that unbelievable chicken pot pie. (marc, have you tried it yet?? I want a full report!)

I say braved because WHO KNEW it would be a 30-minute excursion? I breezed through the store picking up a premade chicken (love those!), some veggies, bisquits, and made my way to the check out area to find that the self-check express lines were 5 people deep. Seemed a bit odd, so I thought maybe I would try a regular line. I am seriously NOT kidding there were TWO regular check-outs open and heinously long lines for both of them. I had arrived in grocery hell.

Me and my measly 10 items waited long enough to read half of People before self-checking ourselves through without incident. I hate that even on a normal non-grocery hell day my attempts to go through those self-check lines in an effort to save time nearly always include the item that mysteriously won't scan, requiring the "help needed for this item" message and the flashing number "idiot checking out here" signal. How inadequate do you feel when the employee has to come over and log-in, check your items, and assist you in swiping a barcode across the doo hicky? It always seems to happen to me, but thankfully not yesterday. The grocery Gods spared me.

Last week when I was at Shaws for Caroline's veggies an older woman was just standing with her cart near the self-check. As I approached she stated, "I never use those machines, they are just trying to put people out of work." "Ok Lady," I thought and smiled, but then as I searched for organic carrots on the produce look up menu I wondered if that was the case? I contemplated this some more while I waited in my five people deep line yesterday, realizing that there were at least six self-checks open. Is this the way we are headed? In a nearby town, they have a scanning device you put right onto your carriage. When you want to buy something you scan it in and then when you are done you bring you maching with you, the check out person completes the order, you pay, they help you bag and presto, you're all done. Women were using the canvas shopping bags, filling them as they shopped, scanning in their items, and whisking out of the store with ease. The only real benefit to standing in the real check out line is the bagging assistance and perhaps some small talk, but lately I end up tossing my stuff up on the belt as quickly as possible, swiping my card while the order is totalled, bagging the order myself with limited assistance from the checker, all while trying to keep up with the payment portion of the transaction (password, 0 cash back, Enter). I always leave feeling like I have been holding my breath for the whole check-out process. I feel the same when I self-check though, knowing that the person behind me is waiting while I fumble my way through the produce search menus and that blasted "help needed for this item" message.

After that excursion I hurried right on over to the packie and picked up a 6 of pumpkin ale. Lucky for us they didn't sell olives and the thought of returning to the store made my brain hurt or we would have had extra dirty Grey Goose martinis (a la Brendan) after the baby fell asleep last night. When the grocery store provides a reason to drink, clearly this is a sign of trouble right? =) In all honesty, we had been planning to have some wine, but after the day I had, beer just sounded better and what better beer than PUMPKIN beer... I love fall...

As for Caroline, her parents were so excited to see her yesterday afternoon that they played with her until she was almost too tuckered out to get through Green Eggs and Ham. Lately the book brings on instant sleepiness complete with thumb sucking, head turning, and eye rubbing. By the time she is halfway through with her last meal of the day she is practically asleep. Last night was no exception, she was out by 8:30 and slept until 6:30 this morning. The earlier she goes to sleep the later she sleeps in, how this works I do not know, but nor will I queston it because it is pretty darn fantastic. Pumpkin Ales were enjoyed, laundry done, kitchen cleaned... having our nights back makes us feel more human, though I still can't get through an entire Dateline or 48 Hours Mystery.


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