I love Peanuts cartoons. Some of my favorites had to do with Snoopy and his incredible imagination. He was never "just" anything; he was always the "world famous" whatever he was pretending to be. There were a series of cartoons where he was the world famous grocery store clerk. He put on an apron, stood on top of his dog house and pretending to be a cashier, checking people out at the grocery store. As he pretended to move items along the checkout counter, he'd run through prices in his brain: "hotdogs, $1.99. Milk, $2.13 ..." Occasionally he'd stop and call out for a price check. He'd greet pretend customers as if he'd known them a long time. And once in a while, he'd comment on their purchases.
I was thinking about those old cartoons this week while I was at the grocery store. You know, your groceries do talk. What you have in your cart says something about who you are. I know this for a fact because people have commented to me on what my groceries are saying to them.
I've mentioned before that I have a large family. It's pretty rare that I leave Walmart with less than a full cart. Occasionally I will have an overflowing cart. I do my best to grocery shop once a week. We consume a lot of groceries. As I push my very full cart through the store I've had people comment that I must be feeding an army. (Almost.) Or that I'm stocking up. (Not as much as you'd think.) I've even had people ask me where I found an item that I have in my cart. I've directed more than one person through the store.
The funny thing is, I would never dream of looking in someone else's cart. That's kind of like staring into another woman's purse. She may be digging for something in her purse and stuff maybe sticking out the top, but I would never stare. It's too personal. So I'm trying to decide if people are crossing my personal line because of the amount of stuff in my cart or because I look like I wouldn't mind.
I almost always get comments from the people standing behind me in line. Everything from, "Wow! That's a lot of milk!" (We usually go through 4-6 gallons a week) to "How much do you spend on groceries?" Yes, I've actually had someone ask me that. (I didn't answer. None of her business.)
Even the cashiers get into the comment game. I don't mind the comments on what a good sale they're having on tissues right now. Or how much they love that particular cereal that I'm buying. But I don't want anything much more personal than that. Think about it. Would you want a running commentary on everything you've bought at the store? Especially when you have personal items up there. It's none of their business if I'm buying zit cream, pads or tampons.
The strangest thing is, no matter how personal their comments, if I take offense, I'm the one with the problem. I'm expected to stand there and smile and take it. Well, there's always ways to get around that. I can start commenting on whatever is in their basket. But that goes against my grain. So I think what I'm going to do is start buying a couple of Midol, Pamprin and other assorted medications of that type. The biggest bottles of medicine they have. Every. time. Anyone seeing that sitting on the counter should know better than to bother me with silly questions or comments on my grocery buying habits. It's almost as good as putting up a No Trespassing sign. Except slightly more subtle.
What do you think? Am I the only one this happens to? Have you got any other creative ways of solving the problem?
Tomorrow's Post: Patriotism is underrated.