Wednesday, March 31, 2021

And Then, Whole Foods

I was excited to go.  Unlike my first two excursions, there was no anxiety.  I had a smile on my face when I announced my intentions and I was grinning all the way there.  Making all the green lights was just an added bonus. 

I should have remembered to worry.

Of all the awful parking lots in Tucson, this is the worst.  Even emptier than I'd ever seen it on a Tuesday afternoon it was terrible.  I took a spot to avoid on-coming traffic and hailed the young woman with Whole Foods credentials who was walking by.  Yes, if I bagged my own groceries I could use my own bag.

I masked up, grabbed the big blue soft sided igloo, and stepped onto the walkway..... where I was immediately confronted by two young white guys who were buff and unmasked, walking my way, chatting up a storm.  I hung back, but then I woman behind me was on my tail.  I sighed (mentally) and plowed ahead.

The sanitized carts were where the carts usually sat.  I waited as the he-men put on the masks an employee provided, passed by the plexiglass encased temperature check station (for staff only), and there was the produce department, just like it always was.  

I didn't want to browse, but I was helpless. Apparently, so were the other women of a certain age, none of whom seemed the least bit interested in maintaining any sort of social distance.  It was a start and stop situation, with me doing most of the zigging and zagging.

Obviously, there is a rhythm to grocery shopping in Pandemica.  Equally obvious was the fact that I missed the training session.

It was lovely to choose my own chicken breasts at the butcher counter.  I was delighted to ask the bakery kid to slice my ciabatta.  I wasn't that thrilled with all the people walking by, perusing the merchandise right under my elbow.  Once again, I was on a dance floor without knowing the steps.

I stood back at the cash registers, waited until the woman in front of me was finished, then unloaded my cart.  And there they were, another couple of a certain age, angling their cart so that he could stand right next to me in line.  

It's 6 feet, not 6 inches...... but I bit my tongue, moved to the other end of the cart, and continued unloading.  I left the cart there, effectively enforcing social distancing, and smiled at the cashier as he pulled it down to the end of his aisle where I stood packing my own big bag.  

They kept getting closer and closer.  I left it there on purpose.  

I know.  I saw them. 

It's my first time back in the store in a year.  There are a lot of people......

His smile and nod and sympathetic eyes told the rest of the story.  I wasn't the first person he'd encountered with the same face I had .... deer in the headlights, overwhelmed but bearing up, happy to be out but ready to be home.

I left my cart with the garbed-head-to-toe-in-plastic sanitizer girl and her wand of magic spray goop and drove home as safely and quickly as I could.  

There's a wide world out there.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  


  1. I always felt that if I got Covid, it would happen in the produce department. The way it's configured forces people into close proximity. It's not helped by the massive carts used by the store shoppers who bring food out to the cars. I have been pleased at masking compliance, and that many people are double masking. I went to the garden department at Lowe's yesterday, and was shocked, shocked!, at the increase in plant prices and the decline in quality.

    1. Well, that makes me feel better about my performance! THANKS!!
      Prices have gone up as people stayed home and gardened and the demand outstripped the supply. As for poor quality, that's why I avoid the big box stores except for left overs I want to rescue.

  2. I always wondered why other people couldn't figure out one way aisles. Now I just shrug and move by quickly, going the correct way, of course.

    1. Because it didn't occur to me to look down and see them!


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