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!”
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.