I heard big snow was coming, so I thought I'd better go shopping this morning. W!O!W! I have never seen anything like the scene at Market Basket today!!! My first clue should have been the fact that there were no carts. NO carts!! I waited by the door until a guy came in with a handful of carts, and he didn't even get to park them- a bunch of us took them right from him at the door.
I wore my ipod and I think this is what miraculously saved my mood. I was listening to NPR's Pop Culture podcast, but I could still hear the Christmas music over the loudspeakers. I could also hear the pleas for patience by the store staff, and observe three different sub-classes of shoppers. Here's what I saw:
OLD WOMEN are seemingly oblivious to their surroundings. They stop and stand in the middle of the aisle and stare at the shelves, trying to locate their items or compare prices, I don't know... At one point, I pulled over to review my list, and I was sideswiped (my cart, really- I escaped unharmed) by a woman. She swiped the length of my cart and then kept on going.
OLD MEN are the worst!!! They are frustrated and grumpy, and try to speed through any empty space they find themselves in. Even if, say, that empty space is only about the length of a shopping cart. At one point I attempted to enter the baking aisle, but couldn't. It was full, so I settled in to wait for my chance. A man came to the end of the aisle, which abutted the space where people were in line for the registers. No one could move. He said out loud, to no one in particular, "why isn't anyone MOVING?" I said to him "there's just nowhere to go". He leaned forward, way over his cart to see around the end of the aisle, and yelled "GET MOVING!! NOBODY CAN MOVE OVER HERE!!!" No one even bothered to look back at him.
EVERYONE ELSE can be divided still into three sub-sub-groups: the angry, the bewildered, and the patient. I was, by the luck of the ipod, one of the patient ones today. And now that we're home, snuggled up with a chicken baking in the oven, we can watch the news storm reports and know our chores are done, everyone's safe, and our cupboards are full.