The place was packed as usual. And I should know better that when poor Daddio starts to complain while still in the parking lot that maybe I should limit my trip to a loaf of bread and some milk.
I poo-pooed my gut warning and stupidly proceeded.
"The walk of the living dead" he growled, barely missing hitting a wide fannied woman wearing dingy white polyester pants and carrying six black garbage bags filled with plastic returnables.
He found a space about a mile from the entrance. "A walk will do us both good" he said in defense of his crappy choice.
I think he does this on purpose, he knows that if I were driving, we'd go round and round and round until one of the first parking spots opened up.
I don't care if it takes thirty minutes to find that perfect spot, and I usually don't realize that I've gone around so many times until I notice my gas gauge starting to go down.
"Mom, I'm getting dizzy" the kids used to say. "Please just pick a spot."
Daddio went for a cart and he didn't even flinch when his mitts grabbed the dirty cart handle.
I shudder to think of all the E.coli he's probably just touched.
Oprah once did a show about E.coli and the places where it can be found.
Believe it or not public toilet seats don't have a ton of microscopic poop on them.
Bowling balls and shopping carts were found to be much worse...yuck
I've not stuck my fingers into a bowling ball since I saw that show.
Unfortunately, I can't say the same about shopping carts. Therefore I'm
Daddio gave me the evil eye as I searched (in vain) for the alcohol wipes.
"Forget it" he barked "I don't need those things."
"You're going to get sick" I warned.
"That's why I have such a superior immune system" Daddio brags "I'm not scared of germs."
Daddio doesn't really understand how aggressive he needs to be to successfully navigate a Meijer store on a Sunday after church.
Trying to be mannerly gets you nowhere besides stuck behind a lady with a coupon filled shoe box, six unruly snotty nosed children and two full carts.
Or an old gray buck carefully studying the entire 129 different varieties of Campbell's soup looking for Mrs. Grass chicken noodle.
So as Daddio, beginning to look brain dead waits behind the gang, I scurry ahead grabbing items as I go.
Needing to get some tomato sauce for spaghetti I stop at the Hunts sauce and look for the big cans.
Of course, as usual they only have the eight ounce size and all of them seem to be dented.
When he catches up to me Daddio gets perturbed watching me feel out each can trying to find an uninjured few.
"What the hell does it matter?" he asks "just grab a couple."
I'll be sure to remind him of this little exchange a couple of days from now when he is suffering from stomach cramps.
We make it to the check out with me knowing that I certainly have forgotten something...you can't shop properly under that kind of pressure.
I choose a good lane and place our groceries onto the belt. Daddio was in front and didn't know what to do when the cashier passed him one of those grocery separating bars like a baton in a race.
"What?" he asks, holding it in the air "Do I run with this thing?"
When the cashier is almost done ringing our order I see that there is a great possibility that I may be able to use my $6.00 off $60.00 coupon as well.
I started getting giddy.
$26.00 off my grocery order!!!!
When the total hit $60.53 I almost screamed "BINGO", but for Daddio's sake I just stood mute and handed the cashier the coupons.
A little history here, over the years Daddio has gone to the grocery store once, maybe three times by himself. The couple of times that he did was because I was totally unable...I had a day old newborn at home or I was projectile vomiting and had a temperature of 103.
So only when he HAD to, did Daddio ever step foot into a grocery store.
I always gave him coupons and good directions about using them.
The following day I'd find them in a soggy ball at the bottom of the washing machine.
When I handed the blob to Daddio he'd just shrug and say "I forgot."
That was not a truthful statement...Daddio would rather hang by his earlobes than use a coupon. Using one is like asking for charity. Stealing money from the cashier's pocket. Trying to redeem a clam shell from the Great Depression...
She swiped and swiped.
Without even looking I could feel Daddio pain.
"Buy any alcohol?" she asked.
"Nope, no alcohol" I answered.
"Ohhhh...it doesn't count your bottle deposits" Miss Cashier finally figured out. "You need to buy something else."
Daddio's embarrassment and the line behind us was growing by the minute.
"Gum!!" I yelled "I'll take some gum."
Since the people behind us in their impatience had invaded our personal space, I couldn't reach the gum display and had to ask the cashier to choose a pack.
The first pack didn't cost enough.
"Okay, two then" I told the cashier who obviously is also a Libra and was having a hard time making a choice for me.
"ANY KIND" I yelled "ANYTHING!!!!"
The second pack didn't do it either.
"Charge me for two eight packs of Pepsi, I'll run back and get another." I suggested.
Finally, the machine took the coupons.
I sent Daddio and the other groceries to the car and I ran to the back to get my extra eight pack of pop.
It was a long walk which gave me plenty of time to plan my defense.
I was mighty tempted to ask the cashier for that baton and directions to the nearest exit.