Who would do that? Well, maybe it would be someone who waited until the last minute to ask family members what specific kinds of food they want to have during the holidays. And, if someone is going to ask the question, then someone feels a little bit compelled to prepare/provide those foods. Since she asked. If she’d been thinking more clearly, she’d have asked weeks ago and given a deadline for responses, but alas, she did not.
Which is how I found myself grocery shopping on Tuesday. Complicated by needing to run an errand in another part of town, which led to “Oh, I can go to the Wal-Mart over there and then go to the H-E-B, over there.” I go to that Wal-Mart frequently. I go to that H-E-B rarely. And, if one would expect that all H-E-B grocery stores be arranged identically, one has not been shopping at H-E-Bs. (For the non-Texan readers, you don’t say, “heb” or “heeb,” you say “H-E-B.”)
Further complicated by the notion of many stores that they should COMPLETELY REARRANGE THEMSELVES periodically. This is not my imagination. It has happened, RECENTLY, at both local H-E-Bs I go to and also at the Wal-Marts!!! Yes. It’s true. I guess the thinking is that people get in a rut, and if the stores re-arrange things, then shoppers will go down an aisle in which they usually purchase, oh, cereal, for example, and they will find things like vegetables or beans or pasta and sauces or dog food. And the shoppers will say, “Wow. Spaghetti! Right here at the grocery store. Who knew?” And they will buy it. Seriously, three or four weeks ago, at Wal-Mart, every shopper in the grocery area was walking around going, “Where is the —fill in the blank with things you normally find on the grocery shelves–?” As I went down one aisle, I passed a lady staring at the shelves. “I can’t find the chicken and dumplings,” she said. I stood and looked with her. “This is exactly where I would have expected them to be,” I said. We shook our heads. And went off in search of other things we’d not been able to locate.
Which is why I was befuddled, at this store that I only visit occasionally, when I turned down the cracker/cookie aisle and found, of course, charcoal and outdoor grills. I stood there for a moment and finally asked a shopper coming towards me, “Where, oh where, are the crackers?” And she said, “Oh, you have to go over one aisle.” Which I did. Where I found toilet paper and paper towels and disposable plates, etc. Crackers have moved about five aisles over. So, it took me much longer than I thought it would to shop, as most of the groceries I was shopping for were in entirely different places than last time I’d been.
Plus, everyone else on that side of town had also procrastinated about making their holiday shopping list and doing their holiday shopping, and we were all in it together. Someone barreled around a corner and missed my cart by a couple of millimeters. She apologized profusely and I said, “If I had wanted to shop when there weren’t many people around, I’d have come at midnight. We all knew it would be crowded.”
I tried to be polite to everybody, and really, I wasn’t in a hurry, and I don’t move all that sprightly myself, which probably irritates folks. And I also tried to not glare at people who walk away from their carts to get something down the row, when they can JUST AS EASILY TAKE THEIR CARTS WITH THEM (a particular peeve of mine).
One lady stopped me and said could she ask a rather personal question, as she looked down at my booted foot (booted in a medical device sort of way and not in a lovely fashion statement sort of way). I said, of course, and prepared to talk about the collapsing arch on my right foot. But, no, she wanted to talk about my shoe on my left foot and where did I get it. I told her the name of the online place where I’d purchased it.
Then, in the next aisle (juices), as we crossed paths again, she asked again, and I realized that I thought she meant the SHOE that was in that Evenup thing that makes my non-booted leg be closer to the same length as the booted leg (whose boot had a very thick sole). “Oh, no,” I said. “That’s a separate thing that I can move from shoe to shoe. It’s designed to even up my legs so I don’t walk with an odd gait that can irritate my back and hip.” It seems her sister has had a stroke and cannot completely straighten out one of her legs, and therefore walks with a big limp. And I said that I had purchased mine at my podiatrist’s office, but I had seen them (for almost half the price I had paid) on Amazon.
So now you’ve probably come to the conclusion, and rightly so, that this lady and I had held up shoppers, GOING BOTH DIRECTIONS, for several minutes while we discussed the Evenup shoe thing. I tried to make it up to people (whether or not I’d been the one to annoy them) for the rest of my shopping trip at the H-E-B, by being extra patient and kind, and smiling a lot, and trying to keep the cart traffic moving.
So seize any opportunity the Lord gives you to do good things and be a blessing to everyone, especially those within our faithful family.
Galatians 6:10 (The Voice)
This week, I’m weaning the problem foot from the boot, adding one extra hour of time each day in a shoe, until late next week, when I should be walking around in regular shoes all day. I’m trying not to be too disappointed not to be able to use the handicap tag for parking any more.
I hope you’re having a great Christmas season. Everyone arrives here on Saturday. So, I’ve got an extra day for all that food preparation.