Humor Columnist Paige Turner: “Problems in Store”

Humorist Paige Turner shares her unusual insights into everyday life.

Paige Turner would like to announce that heretofore I never intend to go to the grocery store again.  I’m not sure what that means for myself or those children I have to feed.  But I’ve decided it’s horrible, and I’m not going anymore.  Send supplements.

I long for the days when a grocery store was simply that… you bought groceries there.  You couldn’t buy a seasonal scarf, no matter how cute and reasonably priced it might be.  There weren’t large displays of scented candles.  You weren’t prematurely inundated by whatever the next holiday promotion might be (Christmas decorations in September?).
And my biggest pet peeve?  A pharmacy, back in the day, was an institution all its own… there were no FLU SHOTS right next to the produce section!  Paige Turner is not lodging a comment about vaccinations, but my stomach is unsettled by the idea of getting a dose of live virus right by where I also buy delicious, Black Forest ham.
Now, I’m all for convenience, and I have to admit that one-stop shopping fits my lazy soul to an absolute tee.  Have you seen now, that at Fred Meyer and other large superstores, you can order your groceries online, and you can just pull up and they’ll put them in your trunk for you?  If they could also somehow follow me home and put the groceries away for me, that would fulfill ALL my sedentary needs.
It might surprise you to know that Paige Turner is not much of a shopper.  I know that seems to counter what you may suspect about me, that I’m the truest definition of a girly-girl and exhibit all the stereotypical charms thereof.  But I seriously hate shopping.  I plan any shopping experience with the same careful calculation as a nuclear missile strike.  I have made my list and studied it, trimmed it down to the absolute necessities, plotted the ideal strike time, and then try to execute the operation with laser, pinpoint focus.
The difficulty of this operation is further ratcheted up by the sheer number of people I know, that I will undoubtedly see at the store.  It goes without seeing that when I see them, it will be on a day upon which I’ve decided that the orange sweatpants I’ve owned since Clinton was in office are acceptable attire, and my hair will look like it may have a feral cat roosting in it.  When I look like this I will see between four and 100 people I know, and they will want to sideline me with nice well wishes but also regale me with stories about their lower intestine issues, their dog who is really naughty, or the backyard lawn that has troubling spots of moss.  This all makes it sound like I don’t enjoy seeing my fellow community members, and that simply isn’t true.  It’s just that I hate the store, and they are preventing me from carrying out my strike mission in record time.
When I finally have my cart full of the items I’ve so carefully chosen, I must then run the final gauntlet of the check-out line.  Now, Paige Turner is all about exchanging some pleasantries.  “Isn’t that a great deal on bunch bananas?”  Why yes, yes it is!  “This unexpected sunshine is just the best, isn’t it?”  You know it, sister!  I will happily facilitate and engage in any of those conversations.  What I don’t care for is when clerks complain about their job (usually in response to me asking, “how are you today?”).  “I haven’t had a break in 56 hours, and I have to stay late to offload freight.  Can you believe that?  Hmph.”  Lady, I am just trying to get out of the store in record time while minimizing the number of people I have to speak to while also getting a pneumonia shot.  Maybe there’s a union you could talk to?
All of this makes Paige Turner sound very disagreeable, and I can assure you, I’m most certainly not.  I just want to go to a store where all they sell is food, there are pickles in a big barrel, and nobody complains to me about how their lawn is coming along.  Is that too much to ask for?
At any rate, if I do happen to bump into you at a local mega-store, you’ll know who I am right away.  I’ll be the one in the orange sweatpants, wheeling my cart through the produce section at a dead run.
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