Saturday, October 6, 2007

shopping on Thursdays

Where ever we live, I always settle down to one a day of the week when I run errands and do shopping. I've found my shopping day of the week here in KS is tending to be Thursdays. It suits our schedule. There is one little issue with Thursdays, though, it's also, apparently, the day the senior citizens go shopping at the grocery store I prefer.

The first time I shopped on Thursdays, I was very surprised to see all the seniors shopping; all the very elderly seniors. The produce department was akin to gridlock during rush hour. (They always have a great low price on bananas on Thursdays.) Just getting a place in line to reach the peaches was a lesson in patience. Having the three women who were ahead of me suddenly start chatting about some event extended my wait even more. Scooter traffic was moving slowly down the center of the aisles. Elderly couples are shopping together, many of them dressed carefully for the outing with some men even wearing suit coats. Frequently these couples need to stop and discuss the produce, how it looks, the price, how many plums they want for the week, and where the plums were grown. The whole store was like that and I decided that I would avoid Thursdays at all costs and try fitting Wednesdays into my schedule.

I tried Wednesdays thinking that a less crowded store might be better than the senior clogged aisles on Thursday mornings. Wednesdays were OK, but with a slower day came other issues. That seems to be the day to train new people on the registers. With new people often come errors. There were fewer check out lanes open. I might have stuck with Wednesdays but for the overly friendly checker.

I would guess that the overly friendly checker was a woman who was only a few years older than me, so she was firmly in her fifties. She creeped me out. I am always very nice and polite to sales people and those who stand at the registers scanning my purchases. This doesn't mean, however, that I want to be their best buddy. It's all business. I'll be polite and friendly, but it's only to make the business at hand, buying groceries, go smoothly. The overly friendly checker seemed to think that we were destined to be BFF. The store wasn't busy at all, so she kept chatting with me. As I was finally trying to leave she extolled me to "Always come to my checkout line! I enjoyed talking to you! It'll be nice to see you again!"

That's when I switched back to Thursdays. The store is busy, crowded, full of slow moving seniors in cart and scooter gridlock, and all check out lines are operating. Even if the overly friendly checker is working, she's too busy to see me and I can easily find another checkout lane. Shopping on senior citizen day is growing on me. In a few short years I can get an AARP card myself, but for right now I am young among the crowd on Thursdays. I don't mind patiently waiting for my turn to look at the produce on sale. It is a lesson in taking life at a slower pace, and getting bananas for .19/lbs.

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