Earlier this month, I came down with a horrible sinus infection that plagued me for about a week. Fortunately, I have amazing people in my life and my recovery was swift, but during my sickness, my appetite was nonexistent. As I started to feel better, my appetite returned and I had the idea to cook some tilapia with my boyfriend, who agreed to this cooking endeavor. So, on a Thursday evening, we went to the grocery store to buy fish and some other things to make with it. Basically it was my idea and I ended up pawning off the execution of it on Bryson because I was getting over my sickness and I hate cooking despite how much I love eating. (I really don’t hate cooking as much as I say I do, but at this rate it’s become too much of a gimmick so I’ve got to keep running with it.)
Anyway, while we were there I decided to get some juice because I was in the mood to treat myself. Essentially any time I nourish my body with anything other than water or toast I consider it “treating” myself. So I decided to splurge on some juice and Bryson and I parted ways in the middle of shopping so I could go off and pick some out.
This was a bad decision on my part and a bad allowance on his part. We should know better than this by now.
I found the juice aisle, and I picked out a flavor that sounded good. It was “white grape” or something. I grabbed the juice, but then I noticed the next aisle had even more juice, including my favorite juice, which is a white cran-grape juice. I picked out that, too, but then I had to put back my first choice in the previous aisle.
If you’ve ever been to a grocery store, which I hope you have, because even I’ve been to a grocery store, and as we all know through and through, I hate cooking, there are typically racks at the end of every aisle. I’m not talking about the shelving on the caps of each aisle, I’m talking about the metal hanging racks that have random but slightly relevant items on them, like sandwich containers in the bread aisle or Quaker Steak and Lube sauces at the end of a meat aisle or something. If you can’t picture this, then I hope you catch on soon enough because understanding the layout is crucial.
So there was this dude blocking the end of the aisle. He was just standing there with his cart facing the back wall of chips. I was impatient. I needed to get around him so I could round the corner and head back down the aisle I was in before to put back this damn white grape juice.
“Excuse me,” I said. “I’m just gonna squeeze by you…”
This was what I had hoped to accomplish. I had hoped that I was thin enough to slip between him and the aisle and not have to wait for him to move or to say, “Hey old dude, you’re blocking the path.” I was hoping he may not even notice me and I could quickly and politely do what I needed to do and get on my way.
Well, girls have purses. And this girl–meaning me–was wearing her purse. I need it for things like holding my wallet and my phone and my keys and other things that would generally go in one’s pocket except I’m a girl and somewhere along the line, fashion companies decided girls didn’t need practical things like pockets, so that’s how I came to be wearing a purse. And my purse is relatively small and I very often wear the strap across my body so it doesn’t slip off my shoulder or anything annoying and inconvenient like that.
Or so I thought it was convenient to wear my purse like that.
As I shimmied between the man and the aisle, the purse strap along my back caught on the hanging metal rack at the end of the aisle. And essentially what happened is that my purse strap–caught on the rack–pulled the rack off the aisle, so that there was a loud metallic bang and suddenly backs of Sun Chips were raining from the sky like the apocalypse and strewn all about the floor of this Marc’s grocery store. The man, who had not witnessed any of this, turned around to see me standing among the ruins of what was apparently my new Sun Chip empire, so short-lived as it was.
“Oh my god,” was all I could say. Do I run? Do I flee the scene of the crime? Do I face the music? Do I turn myself in to the authorities?
Are you picturing this? Do you understand what happened? I inadvertently committed a hate crime against Sun Chips! I dismantled a perfectly good display completely unintentionally! I terrorized the institution of healthy snack options! This poor obstacle of a man was now my cohort in this outrageous scandal!
Anyway, I don’t remember what I said. I think I tried to explain to him how this came to be, but I was probably anxiously spewing gibberish and regardless, he picked the metal rack off the floor and tried to hook it back on the aisle. I started grabbing bags of Sun Chips to quickly clean up the scene of the crime so that no one would see the monstrous deed I had committed. I am not a chip-ist! I love all chips! It was not personal! Purely a circumstantial mishap! I didn’t want Bryson to see. I was so embarrassed.
I also imagine that a Marc’s employee was walking by, saw the scene and stopped to watch and consider approaching the scene, and then felt like they didn’t want to get involved and so continued to walk on.
Anyway, so the innocent bystander gentleman was actually very nice. He didn’t say much, but when I told him, “Oh, you don’t have to help me pick all this up,” he said it was fine and continued to help me scoop up bags of Sun Chips and place them back on the shelves of the rack. All I know is that if I ever see another Sun Chip bag again in my life, I’ll probably cringe and sidestep it.
So when the display finally looked acceptable, though not quite how it was supposed to look, I made off real fast, got rid of the wretched white grape juice and desperately searched for Bryson.
I found him in the freezer aisle. “What do you want to eat with the tilapia?” he asked, slowly pushing the cart down the aisle towards me, totally calm, cool, collected, and casual, entirely oblivious to the trauma I had just experienced.
I, distracted, jittery, and mortified, said, “You have no idea what just happened to me.”
“What?” he asked, concerned.
“I can’t even tell you what just happened, I’m so embarrassed.”
I ended up telling him as soon as we got in the car afterwards, but I’m glad I didn’t tell him in the store lest any Marc’s employee or other eye witness overhear my incriminating confession. Later in our shopping trip, my accomplice rounded the corner and we exchanged a mutual glance of comradery, the way two veterans may nod at each other after fighting along side-by-side in a war (in fact, exactly the way two veterans would acknowledge each other, absolutely no difference, nope). I almost saluted him right there in the butter aisle. No one else knew what we had been through, what I had done to us.
In any case, I got over it real fast and found it to be quite hilarious almost instantaneously. But now, if you’re wondering what I’d like for Christmas, the only thing I truly desire is to get my hands on the store security footage of that climactic moment. I bet the security dudes in the back got a real kick out of me. I’m glad if they did, anyway.