Dare To Venture Out?
You aspiring Homedaddies, and Mommies, for that matter, are going to spend a great deal of your time grocery shopping. I try to stick to our little local market, since it provides a distinct advantage in atmosphere. This hit home the other day when Emma and I took a detour to visit the Jumbo Corporate Supermarket, the name of which I will not mention except to say that it implies that you may not be safe shopping elsewhere. Dare to venture?
The real reason we were there was to deposit a check, since my bank maintains an ATM station right there next to a very attractive salami display. Once inside, I decided to take a spin around, strictly for research purposes.
It seemed that every child in the place seemed to have an incurable case of the Grabbies. They were snatching up gaudily-packaged products as fast as the moms could pry them loose and slam them angrily back onto the shelves. This little scenario was being played out all over the store: Children grabbing things, and parents saying "NO!" as if training a deaf spaniel, often adding "Don't grab!" while ripping the item out of the child's grasp.
Emma got right into the groove, making a smooth, one-handed snag of a package of cookies as we rounded a corner. They were located so conveniently for the shopping cart kiddy seat, all she really had to do was stick out her hand. I took her out of the seat and let her walk, and she went straight for the ground-level stuff. I then tried carrying her, but she wriggled in my arms like a ferret on speed.
All I had picked up so far was some kitchen trash bags, but it was time to get out of there. Eighteen checkout lanes, two of them open, and 10 people in line at each one. We fulfilled our civic duty by getting in line and scanning the magazines while the bozo in front tried repeatedly to buy his groceries with an expired library card. When an additional cashier, having finally finished her cigarette out in the parking lot, offered to help "the next person in line," Emma and I stayed put and watched four other shoppers duke it out.
Supermarket magazines feature articles mostly about losing weight and having better sex, and they share a display rack with enough candy to introduce Halloween to China. "10 Tips For Dynamite Sex," brays a typical headline, with a picture of a woman so skinny she has to jump around in the shower to get wet. "Make Him Think He's Having Better Sex!" "Lose 20 Pounds in 20 Minutes!" "Be A Totally Different Person!"
When you eventually reach the cashier, your purchase is double-bagged in plastic, even if all you are buying is plastic bags. It is an appropriate ending to a completely absurd experience, even though most people consider it the most normal thing in the world.
As much as I dread having to explain all this to Emma some day, I have an even greater fear that she'll think it makes perfect sense.