Have you ever felt discombobulated by the multiple competing demands for your attention? Have you tried to keep things straight, only to end up a confused mess? We know Our Lady of 15 Font Colors, Minelle, has shown up at work with her clothes inside out. (Wow, I didn’t know P was that good!) We scramble, trying to get it together, only to sheepishly admit to our shenanigans.
Every Sunday in the late morning or early afternoon, I go to the grocery store. The food is fresh, the crowds minimal, and I can plan the week’s menu in peace. Sometimes I watch the cooking demonstrations, and occasionally I ask for help. Where’s the curry paste? What is the price on this bag of green beans? Do you have any sugar snap peas? The local grocery store is staffed by friendly, courteous professionals who make my visit enjoyable.
Today, I loitered by the Easter/Passover clearance table. There was a sad, one-eyed chocolate Easter bunny at least a foot tall. I like chocolate, but ew. (At least it wasn’t a chocolate cross, eh Louisa Bacio?) Cadbury eggs, so horrifyingly over-sweet and yet filled with nostalgia for a childhood hoarding the precious chocolate. Chocolate covered marshmallow eggs. Yum. I’m a sucker for marshmallow and chocolate together, and everything was half price or less. There was a big selection of “Kosher for Passover” Matzo boxes. At only a dollar a box, I was curious enough to try some. Sure, what can taste good about flour and water, but it’s Matzo! I gave an apology to my Jewish friends as I considered spreading some Matzo with peanut butter for a snack. That’s not sacrilegious, right? (Louisa knows about sacrilege!) It’s okay if a non-Jew eats Matzo, isn’t it? I promise not to eat it with bacon. ;)
By the time I got home and unloaded bags of food into my refrigerator and cupboards, I had a funny feeling something was wrong. I knew I’d bought a can of orange juice concentrate, but it wasn’t in my freezer. I searched high and low, in all of the bags, and went back to my car. Nope. Another search. Nope.
Puzzled, I phoned the grocery store. “This sounds really stupid,” I apologized. “But have you found a shopping cart with groceries still in it?” Maybe I had left some of the food in the cart. I couldn’t remember putting the cart back into its stall. Had I driven off with some bags still in the cart? Did the bagger forget to put some of the groceries in my cart?
“I’ll look,” the manager promised. “Who’s the cashier listed on your receipt, and what was the time? What were you wearing?” He took my name and phone number and promised to investigate.
Just a few minutes later, the phone rang. The manager confirmed the color of my hair, and he said, “I was at the desk! I saw you put the cart away empty, and the cashier says she gave you all the groceries.”
I went to my kitchen counter to look through the empty bags again. “This is so weird,” I said, perplexed. “I mean, one can of orange juice might have fallen out of my bag or rolled underneath my car, but I’m missing a lot more than that. Cough syrup, apples, a box of Matzo, vegetables. I don’t understand.”
The manager listened patiently. “Come back, and grab another of what you need.”
I stammered, “Are you sure? But if I bought them, and I lost them…”
“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “We’ll take care of you.”
I hung up the phone after thanking him profusely. I reached for my car keys…to find an ignored bag of groceries sitting next to my front door.
I blushed and considered not calling the manager back. How would I ever explain a second phone call describing even more stupidity than the first? At last, I decided I had to ‘fess up since I do go to the store every week. Better to let the manager know I’m an idiot over the phone, when he can’t see my face, than in person the next time I shop.
“Hi, I just called you about the groceries missing…”
“Yes, what can I do for you?”
“Uh…I’m really sorry, but I just found them. Sorry to bother you.”
The manager was lovely enough to thank me for calling back, but I’ve been embarrassed ever since.
So…that’s my Sunday afternoon. How’s yours?