I took my spawn to the grocery store after school today. While doing my best to navigate the premises in a civilized manner, I saw a woman pushing a cart filled with red-coated boys.
Boy number one appeared much too large to still be sitting in a cart given his age. Boy number two appeared to be humming some sort of superhero tune, occasionally interspersed with a monosyllabic, mono-pitched grunt akin to ‘bah-bah-bah-bah’. And boy number three was crying. Wailing. Screaming. Whatever one calls the furious sound that emanates from a small person’s mouth while tears are streaming down his face.
The woman looked like the star of that Rice Krispie commercial – except she was missing the tell-tale dusting of flour on her face and the pan full of treats. Her hair looked like it wanted to escape and she was wearing a too-short shirt over a too-long shirt.
She pushed her cart around the cheese section, repeatedly, aimlessly. Either she couldn’t find what she was looking for, or she didn’t know what she was looking for. The man behind the Kleenex promotion table stared with barely suppressed amusement as she circled the fromage one, two, three, four times.
Without putting anything in her cart.
Boy number one was using his hands to squeeze the life out of the avocado she’d recently placed in the cart. Boy number two could be heard saying ‘you’re so meeee-aan’ to the woman because she’d apparently denied his request to buy yet another Kinder egg filled with another tiny toy that would be admired for ten seconds before being discarded. And boy number three was still crying while trying to oust boy number two from their joint cart-seat arrangement.
The woman appeared to be oblivious to it all, choosing instead to make laps around the cheese. By the time she reached the check-out, her hair seemed grayer and messier than when she first entered the store. And her cart was filled with themed items like bubble bath, the latest issue of Vanity Fair and more chocolate than is caloric-ally sensible.
Clearly, she had big plans for Friday night.