I feel your pain. Enough already with this white stuff. The first blizzard nearly flattened us, and after 11 (yes, count them, please, slowly on your fingertips) snow days at home with my sweet little boy, I am as ready as you to dive out my bedroom window and slide down the snow bank that must surely lead to a warm, tropical island. But, before deserting my family, I thought I'd head to the store to ensure our home was stocked with adequate provisions for the next impending blizzard. What good mother wouldn't?
But wouldn't you know... All that collective goodwill we Bostonians have exhibited during these last few weeks somehow got buried in a snow bank outside the grocery store. You might even say, when it comes to grocery shopping, we've lost our collective minds.
So, to help keep it in perspective, here are a few tips for making everyone's pre-blizzard trip to the store (you know there will be more) slightly more bearable:
- You've been driving around the parking lot looking for a space for 15 minutes. When one finally opens up, you're ready to grab it. That's when you notice the elderly man in the opposite lane who also has his blinker on -- for the same spot. You know you were there first; this man has appeared out of thin air. You deserve this spot. And, yet, why not take the high road and cede the space to him? Another one will surely appear before the kids go back to school.
- When you finally get inside, there are no grocery carts available at the front. Instead of doing what we all want to do (throw ourselves down on the floor in 2-year-old tantrum style), why not put your head down, go back out in the cold, and see if you can bring one in from the parking lot? Count it as your exercise for the day.
- The deli counter can drive us mad on the best of days, but there's no need to act as if it's post time at Saratoga and the window is closing. Take a number like everyone else; or help yourself to the 50-some packages of pre-cut delicatessen. It may not be as good or precise a cut as you'd like, but will you really care when you declare "sandwich night" for supper? No, you'll just be grateful it's sandwich night.
- Yes, the aisles are crowded. We all need pasta and sauce. So, please, for our collective sanity, do not park your cart in the middle of the aisle so that no one else can get around you while you consider your sauce choices. Pick one and move on.
- We're all in a hurry to get home before the storm hits; please don't ram your cart into my heel to let me know that your time is more precious than mine. Especially when I'm still carrying a basket.
- By the same token, when you see a parent pushing a child in one of those "car carts," cut them some slack. Those things are impossible to maneuver, even when the aisles are clear. Plus, they're probably dealing with a cranky toddler. These parents deserve our applause, not our ire.
- I see you eyeing that last bottle of windshield wiper fluid. It's the only one left and you watch as someone else swoops in and grabs it first. You might be tempted to bare your fists, but don't. You're a better person. You can go home (or visit five other stores before you find another bottle of wiper fluid) and feel smug with that knowledge.
- Please don't count your 20 bags of ice melt as "fewer than 12 items" simply because they are all the same -- 20 is 20, dude, so move over to the regular line.
- I understand that long lines at the grocery store can make you want to curse like a truck driver. I feel the same way. But, please don't do it in front of my child. And please don't cuss and then apologize, as if you forgot my child was in the cart behind you (yes, the one you just high-fived a minute ago).
- And, of course, the obvious: Don't wait to go shopping until the day before a blizzard. You might actually find some food on the shelves and keep your good cheer intact.
Good people of Boston, there is such a thing as karma. Good karma. I know it's hard, but let's please try to remember this while we breathe deep breaths ‒- and when that jerk cuts the check-out line. Spring is coming.