Everyone has heard it is unwise to grocery shop when you are hungry. To this will I add two more warnings: 🍕Never shop when you are exhausted.
🍕Never shop when you are cantankerously irritated by humans.
Saddled with all three of these states, I popped into the grocery store on a mission: grab a sandwich, a container of soup, split it with hubby and call it dinner.
No line at the deli. Ah the stars were aligning for me, because if I had to stand in line, I was going to have to grab a fork and consume a “grab and go” container of potato salad while I waited.
“Can I help you,” drawled the woman behind the counter.
‘She talks too slowly,’ I groaned inwardly. This will take too long. I grabbed a fork and eyed the salads.
I also spotted the stromboli, my real target. Even hunger, however, could not make that sausage appealing. Lumps of pale grey globs oozed, and I thought for a moment possibly creeped out of the crust.
The voice inside my head said, “Pepperoni stromboli, please.”
But what came out of my mouth was, “Sausage and pepper stromboli please.”
I had no idea what I was saying.
She dutifully, slowly, grabbed the sausage sandwich.
So I corrected her of course. More loudly.
“No, I said the pepperoni stromboli, please.”
Well the IN-HEAD voice said that, but apparently what came out was,
“No, I said sausage and pepper.”
She paused and looked at me. Oh, please, I thought, why are you stopping!? I cracked open a “grab and go.”
Again she reached for the sausage.
I suspected her hearing was poor, so I carefully, this time, repeated my order in my best diction.
My in-head voice said carefully, “NOO. Pehhpperrroooni, pleeese.” Yes, by the way, my in-head voice always says please.
Again she stopped and stared, then proceeded to grab the gross excuse for a sandwich for a third time.
My disdain for mankind was fever pitch now. This woman was not deaf at all. Her level of intelligence was unquestionably wrong for this simple job. Where do they find them I wondered.
I tried a fourth time, my diction garbled by the half chewed potato chunks.
“Mam, I really don’t want want the sausage. I want-”
She interrupted and quietly said, “You keep saying sausage.”
“I am SOO Sorry!” I said quickly.” I want the pepperoni! Oh my gosh, I am sorry.” This was definitely my in-head voice and out-of-my-mouth voice talking in unison now.
She slowly, slooowly packed the pepperoni parcel, but I was contentedly licking the salad container while I waited and let my stupidity sink in.
Oh, God, help me, I thought. I am the idiot. I knew there was one close by. I just knew it. I just did not realize it was me.
By the time I rounded the next aisle, I could not contain my giggles which grew harder the more I stifled them. As I left the store I was laughing out loud. I was also alone, and I would counsel against walking along, alone, and laughing. It makes people wonder.
I arrived hungry, ended up humbled, and left hysterical.
Take the warning: never shop when you are hungry, tired, or cantankerous. If I heed my own warning I may never be able to shop again.