I had an interesting Friday afternoon last week at a King Soopers grocery store. My boss and longtime spouse, Gerri, is ailing from a recent bout with sciatica. Limping along in pain she gave me a list of specific grocery items that I was to get from the grocery store. She usually does the weekly grocery shopping. I occasionally go to the grocery store for milk, bread, and snacks, but she has been the food purveyor for decades.
Armed with the list and some accumulated coupons I headed to the grocery. Arriving at the store the parking lot was crowded with late afternoon shoppers.
I grabbed a shopping cart and immediately had a choice to buy some fresh pineapple inside the door. It wasn’t on the list, but I love pineapple, which was non-existence during World War II and the war in the Pacific islands. The grapes looked good; I selected the large green ones – not on the list.
Next I wanted some potatoes, onions, and cabbage for a possible soup that I like to make, and some bananas, all not on the list. Moving along to the deli I stood in line to order some Honey Baked Boar’s Head turkey. The very efficient butcher asked me how I wanted it sliced? I said, “medium,” and that seemed to answer her question.
Near the deli was a massive selection of cheeses, I looked for an Irish brand of Stilton, but none was to be found among thousands of choices. Cheese was not on the list.
Passing the bakery items there were dozens of rolls, breads, pies, cakes, pastries, and I selected an apple breakfast pastry that we like in the mornings, not on the list.
Then to the major meat market where I wanted some cooked chicken tenders for evening dinner. I asked the friendly lady behind the counter for chicken tenders, she smiled and came out from behind the meat counter and walked me down the aisle to handing me some packaged raw chicken tenders. “Excuse me,” I said, “I want them cooked.” “Oh,” she replied, “you have to get them at the deli.” Back to the deli now past the Boar’s Head counter to a rear area where prepared foods were sold, including chicken tenders. I asked another lady to select four tenders which she did, sacking them, but then she suggested that if I purchased five, they would be cheaper. “Sure,” I replied, the five pieces of chicken came to $7.00, not on my list.
So far, I had been in the store for 30 minutes and had only filled one item on my wife’s shopping list.
Moving past the huge assortment of wines where shoppers were loading up for Thanksgiving, I passed massive stacks of dressing and cans of turkey gravy. I grabbed two cans, not on the list. We’re going out for Thanksgiving dinner, thank heaven.
Checking the list, I had to find a Marie Calendar apple crumb frozen pie that was not with the other frozen meals, I picked up two frozen turkey dinners, not on the list. Next aisle I found the pie, along with some Jimmy Dean breakfast biscuits, cheese, and sausage, one package, not on the list.
In frozen foods there was a long selection of ice cream starting with the larger containers down to the small Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia that was on my list.
Changing aisles, I picked up some Spanish sea salted peanuts, and two bags of Lay’s Potato chips, not on my list. I also spotted some mixed bean soup mixes and snared two of packages… not on my list.
Next, heading towards the dairy section, always in the rear of the store, I was searching for Starbucks coffee pumpkin spice creamer, that was on the list. Another lady shopper pointed out the small section of coffee creamers, and I snagged the last pumpkin brand.
A grabbed a half-gallon of 2 percent milk, not on the list, and I missed the eggs in the area, that would come back to haunt me later.
I passed the toilet and paper towel section and thought about lugging one of those containers home, not on my list, and I passed.
At this point I was backtracking and searching for Bob’s Mac and Cheese, our favorite brand, but alas couldn’t find so I selected a Stauffer brand, kind of on my list.
Next came searching for Dole prunes and Hunt’s apple sauce; had to catch a clerk to locate those, another nice lady clerk walked me to the aisle for the display on a lower shelf.
Back to the roll and bagel section to find a package of Cinnamon raisin English muffins that Gerri likes in the morning with peanut butter and honey.
Passing the canned good section I grabbed some stewed tomatoes, a can of corn, and a box of Saltine crackers. Not on my list.
My cart was overflowing as I got in the checkout line. Several ladies were in front of me and one gave me a nice smile. She loaded her full cart onto the conveyor belt meal, and I loaded my assorted menagerie right behind her foods. I spotted three cartons of Eggland eggs in her selections, and, “Oops,” I realized I had forgotten to pick up any eggs. What to do, a long line was behind me, and it was too late now. My new shopping associate said, “Here take one of mine, they’re the best.” Hurrah, it pays to be nice to other shoppers and acts of kindness should be on our lists.
So, her act of kindness made my day, along with the many King Soopers employees that were so very friendly and accommodating.
I left the store respectful of the vast inventory, the amazing food chain in America, and our farmers and ranchers that supply these quality fresh foods to our tables. (Ugh, I forgot to use my coupons.)
I certainly felt guilty arriving home with so many food items after having watched the evening news about the wars and starving refugees.
My admiration also reaches out to all you shoppers, who will be doing the shopping and cooking as we celebrate Thanksgiving again in our beloved country.
We should be very “Thankful,” that is on my list.