Tuesday, April 7, 2009
At the Supermarket
Mrs. Apron & I went to the supermarket tonight.
Since we've moved to this neighborhood, going to the supermarket has become a less enjoyable experience, and the decrease in enjoyability (that's like "drinkability," right?) of food shopping can be directly correlated with the increase in the encounters with people we know but don't necessarily like.
We ran into a lot of people we know at the supermarket tonight.
I'm very bad at running into people. I'd like to pretend that I'm real good at pretending to be happy to see you, but we all know that I'm not. We all know that it's awkward and unconvincing and lame. We all know that I'd rather be shopping for groceries in Salt Lake City, where my chances of running into somebody I know are about the same as the chances of impregnating a water buffalo. I would shop there, actually, but, by the time I'd make it back to Pennsylvania, the ice cream would melt.
I could probably be better at faking my pleasure in seeing people I know if only I worked at it a little, but I can't really seem to bring myself to do that. That takes effort, and I'm usually kind of low on that particular commodity. I can usually sense when it's going to happen, though-- when we're likely to run into people we know. It's like an aura. My nipples start to itch, I develop strange muscle spasms. I cry.
"How many do you think it's going to be tonight?" I asked my wife as we trudged toward our doom in the supermarket parking lot like the Light Brigade.
3, as they say, was the magic number.
At one point, when we were at the checkout counter, I observed another person we know but don't like.
"Turn around," I uttered between clenched teeth to Mrs. Apron.
"What?" she said, turning in the precise direction of the PBA (person being avoided).
"JESUS! THIS WAY!" I instructed, sputtering all over our groceries.
This time, she appropriately buried herself in the pages of a "Women's Day" magazine.
While it's always a trying experience at the market, dodging PBA's and inconvenient, painful smalltalk that drives one to the brink of insanity, by far the most unsettling, unnatural, uncouth moment of our shopping experience occured when we were least expecting it, in the frozen foods aisle.