How I Almost Went All Ninja On Some Old Folks

If you’re curious about what kind of day I had today, just consider this: our workday officially starts at 8:30. Somewhere around 8:38, I called my supervisor and told her I was about to start slamming my head in my desk drawer. It was that kind of day.

I totally got a triple word score tonight, though, because a) I worked out anyway, FUCKYEAH, and b) I followed the workout with a jumbo margarita and a quesadilla texana with friends, and c) I followed the workout and the 3,000 calorie dinner with American Idol. Which was kind of boring, but whatever.

Before my triple word score, though, I had to endure the 5:30 crowd at Kroger. Tonight, the 5:30 crowd at Kroger nearly drove me to the kind of extreme depths that make the evening news.

Tonight, for the first time in I think my entire life, I yelled at an elderly man in the middle of the grocery store. I mean it – I YELLED. I almost punched him in the ‘nads, too.

I should preface this by telling you, in case you don’t already know, that I get serious social anxiety in store crowds. I’ve had something akin to panic attacks in Wal*Mart on more than one occasion, mainly because Wal*Mart is consistently the most crowded store in the whole world. In crowded stores, I get really stressed out and anxious and spazzy, and sometimes I have meltdowns. My sisters are really good at calming me down in these situations, but if they can’t be there, I have a tiny arsenal of coping methods that tend to get me through.

The store was insanely crowded and I’d already had to find an empty aisle and go down it and take some calming breaths, and try to stop my obsessive hand-twitching thing, which is a sure sign that I’m about to lose it. It’s a completely involuntary response and if I catch myself doing it, I know I’m in trouble. I was totally there.

I calmed down a bit and headed down the last aisle of the store, which was the dairy/cheese/biscuit/beer aisle, and then I needed to hang a left to cut through the deli/bakery to get back to the front and to the registers.

Due to the layout of bakery/deli, there are two lanes you can take to get through and to the front, and neither lane is big enough for more than one cart at a time. Blocking the far lane was an woman in a motorized cart and, directly behind her, her elderly husband with a regular cart, and they’d been driving around the store like they were literally attached, like a fucked-up choo-choo train, for my whole visit so I already hated them. Blocking the near lane, which is the one I was going for, was another elderly man – let’s call him Asshole – who had stopped dead in the middle of the lane to have a little chat with Choo-Choo Husband.

I stopped behind Asshole. I waited. I inched up a bit. I waited. A line piled up behind me and the woman directly behind me started to go, “BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP” which was kind of funny, but apparently the old dude didn’t hear or didn’t care.

In my very best I’m Just A Cute And Super Friendly Young Lady, I Swear voice, I said, perkily, “Excuse me, please!”

Nothing.

I counted to five and said it again, just a touch louder in case the elderly man was hard-of-hearing. Nothing.

I said it one more time, a little less politely and a little more loudly. And that old-ass bastard glanced back at me and KEPT TALKING.

Instead of ramming him with the cart, which was my fervent fantasy, I said at pretty much the top of my lungs, “EXCUSE ME, COULD I POSSIBLY PLEASE GET THROUGH HERE?”

And he huffed and grumbled and moved his cart about six inches to the left. At this point I was beyond furious. I was on the verge of creating one hell of a scene when I kicked an old man’s ass in the middle of Kroger, and believe me, I normally go well out of my way to avoid beating the shit out of the elderly. As it was, I slammed my cart through the six-inch gap, nearly taking down a bakery display and the Choo-Choo Couple in the process, and I hung a sharp left and hauled ass out of the bakery/deli, also nearly taking out a completely innocent bystander.

I got to the registers and they were packed. I went to Lane 5, which had a short line. Lane 5’s cashier turned off her light as I pulled into her lane and told me she was closed.

I added her to my shit list and went to the next lane, which only had one man in it. This man, also elderly, took his sweet-ass time loading his items one at a time onto the belt and chatting up the cashier like he was the only customer in the store. She kept telling him he needed to go to the front desk to sign up for something or other, and finished his transaction, and he started to walk away and I sighed in relief – until he turned back and said, “Oh, I forgot – I need to buy trash tags.”

It’s probably a mark of my visible fury at this point that the cashier actually looked at me before she told the guy it was okay if he could be quick about it. He bought his stupid trash tags and left, slowly, robbing me of the opportunity to kick his elderly ass.

The cashier asked how I was, and I was all, “I’m FINE THANKYOU,” like the cashier was my husband and we were having a fight and I was trying to be a passive-aggressive bitch by saying things were fine but making it clear that they were NOT FINE and HOW DARE HE LEAVE HIS SOCKS ON THE FLOOR. To her eternal credit, she barely said a word to me for the rest of the sale and managed to still be friendly and polite. I should write a nice note to her manager.

I went through all of this for the following: a 12-pack of Diet Coke, a box of Frosted Mini-Wheats, two Lean Cuisine meals, and a box of corn dog nuggets (impulse anger purchase). As I walked out of the store, I noticed the sign on the door reminding everyone that Tuesday was Senior Day, and seniors got double coupons or some shit on Senior Day.

Note to self: NEVER VISIT KROGER ON A TUESDAY EVER AGAIN.

Comments 16

  • My sister has the same grocery store anxiety, only instead of wanting to kick the elderly’s ass, she wants to kick small children’s asses. Or, more accurately, the asses of the parents who bring the screaming, running around like mad children to the store with them.

    I personally think there should be, like, one day a week when old people and people with little kids could go shopping and then they aren’t allowed in there the rest of the week. :)

  • You imagining yourself beating the shit out of the old man reminds me of that scene in High Fidelity when Ray comes into Championship Vinyl and Rob fantasizes about kicking his ass.

    “Get yr stink, outta my store, move it lard ass!”

    Or Dick throwing the air conditioner on him.

  • hehe… I love that you NORMALLY “go well out of [your] way to avoid beating the shit out of the elderly” like it happens sometimes… but you DID try to avoid it… :)

  • and also… that’s what you get for going to your creepy Food Lion in Kroger clothing

  • Fucking old people, man. I’ve been close to ramming people’s cars in parking lots and whatnot when they pull up and let their old people counterparts out EVEN IF there’s a space RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE BUILDING. Cripes.

  • i get anxious about stores too. but then, certain kinds of crowds always get me. i almost lost my shit on new years at the citrus bowl.

    hye, no one has scolded you for walmart shopping yet! yay internet!

  • Lorie, your anecdotes on this blog are getting better, funnier, and more compulsively readable. Loving it!

  • For reasons similar to this, I am strongly considering purchasing groceries online and having them delivered.

  • Heck yeah, Albertson’s over here charges like a $15 delivery fee. They don’t cut your meat or pick your fruits until you’ve ordered it! :)

    I get in the same panicky, spazz-mode when I’m in overcrowded places too, which is why I usually go grocery shopping late at night. Not very good for my body clock and all that, but I’d rather deal with a virtually empty grocery store and their stockers, than you know, the stupid elderly or screaming children…. :)

  • You remember how it was in target at christmas time and i almost ran over a child with my cart because I was flipping out. And I never flip out.

  • i don’t have social anxiety. sorry. and i love grocery shopping. i have the occasional freak out. but mostly i try to go to the store when i’ve got plenty of time. cause then i just stroll it and have a great old time. sometimes, i put the iPod in and just have my own private movie.

  • I almost had an incident in Target around Christmas time, but that’ll learn me. As for old folks: SOMEONE needs to go all ninja on them, because dude? I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE THE GREATEST GENERATION, STEP ON THE FUCKING GAS, GRANDMA!

  • Hope I die before I get old.

    (Sing along.)

  • The worst is when parents let their little kids put everything up on the belt like it’s some super awesome fun activity and the kids take FOREVER to do it. Then the parents don’t even seem to care that there is a person waiting behind them, and to top it off, they let their kids spend 20 minutes picking out what flavor of tic tacs they want today. Grrrr

  • I’m the same way in places like Wal Mart. The worst was ToysRUs the week before Christmas. I was about to start knocking little kids over and yelling at parents, but then Dave gave me this panicky look that said Please Calm Down.

  • This is so funny.

    I use to work at Kroger. First job ever.

    I once picked an old guys lotto numbers…..he wont crap loads of money. Didnt even say thank you. Talking about wanting to kick someone in the nads.

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