Monday, April 26, 2010

Stories from the Aisle of (wo)man

Posted by Terry McNichols

Today I had a funny encounter with another women in the aisles of Fred Meyer.  We were both in the produce aisle when I heard her say, "Oh, dear, I can't find my shopping cart."  The cart was actually very nearby, but the comment brought us together over a couple of funny stories.  I'm wondering if anyone else has had these experiences or whether my senility stands out above yours!

A couple of weeks ago I was shopping and had almost filled my cart.  It was very crowded at my grocery store so I was leaving my cart at the end of the aisle and making a dash for an item and returning to my cart.  This is always a dangerous habit for me, as I have often forgotten completely where I left the cart.  But this time, I hurried back to my cart and then remembered something I had missed that was about 4 aisles away and near the front of the store.  I raced my cart through the crowded aisles, found the missing item, and turned around to put it into the now almost-empty cart that I was steering.  Alas, this was not my cart at all.  I hurried back to the spot where I thought I might have left my cart, only to find a very bewildered older gentleman, looking quite confused and forlorn, hands full of items.  I apologized profusely and we exchanged carts.  He was very happy to learn that it wasn't HE who was losing his marbles!

My fellow shopper and I further bonded over several similar stories of lost carts.  I usually don't walk away from my cart these days, as I have had some very lengthy searches in the past.  But one particularly annoying time stands out.  I had left my cart for just a moment to retrieve an item from another aisle and came back to find it gone.  I  frantically searched the store, sure that I was indeed losing my mind, until I came upon a store clerk, restocking the last two items from my originally-full cart.  Apparently this store had experienced many problems with homeless people (or maybe people with memory problems like me) filling grocery carts and then leaving the store.  So they were quick to restock the items from abandoned shopping carts.  The clerk was very chagrined and I spent another lost hour retracing my grocery list to remember what I had put in the original cart. 

Don't even get me started about cars in parking lots.  I make it a habit to park in almost the same spot at my usual stores.  And I have the magic panic button on my key fob that allows me to set off the alarm if I happen to be in the general vicinity.  Hmm.  I wonder if they make those for shopping carts? 

(Photo by Earl-What I Saw 2.0, shared via Flickr)

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