I didn’t want to go in the first place, but then, I had the list. My husband insisted on heading to the supermarket together — all four of us — after church on Sunday, even though I was secretly hoping he’d shop while I was off coaching soccer that afternoon 45 minutes away.
There are just some things better done alone, and I strongly believe that food shopping is one of them.But there I was, getting out of my car with my family at the supermarket on Sunday morning, a task that, when done by all four of us, generally involves me speed-shopping while the kids add things to the cart that aren’t on the list and my husband wanders off for coffee. This time though, we didn’t even get inside the store before the whole thing fell apart.
I stopped out front to talk to a friend while Hubby and the boys went inside. Which would have been fine with me, except that I had the shopping list, and I knew they’d forget something and I’d wind up having to drop by the store that evening in my soccer cleats.
But I wasn’t having a “How’s school going”? conversation. Rather, it was a “How was your oopherectomy?” discussion. And that’s why my family disappeared in the first place: They heard “ovaries” and got the heck out of Dodge. But I ended the conversation quickly, as my friend looked weak and tired. Besides, I had to make sure that somebody remembered the milk. (See above about soccer cleats.)
I searched the store at the logical starting point: the produce section near the entrance. We needed fruit, so I grabbed some, just in case the guys forgot it. Meanwhile I searched the aisles for my husband and sons, but I couldn’t find them. Instead, I found three friends, the pharmacist and a sale on Cheerios. But not my family.
So I called my husband’s cell phone. Naturally, he did not answer. Sometimes I think he got a phone just to weigh down the cash in his pocket.
I called again. Same thing. I texted him. Nada.
I lost my family in the supermarket.
So, I started to pile up on the things on my list, moving from the produce section to the back end of the store in a natural progression that allows me to get everything I need and then pick up the things I’d forgotten on my way back. Doesn’t everyone shop that way?
I’d just about gatherered everything on my list when I spotted my husband and kids near the entrance by the produce section clear at the other end of the store. They had a cart full of just about exactly the same stuff I had in my basket. Plus, my husband had a coffee in his hand.
“I called you and texted you,” I said rushing toward them. Hubby pulled his phone out of his pocket and checked it.
“Yes, you did,” he replied.
“How come I never ran into you? Which way did you go?” I asked, putting some bread and milk into their cart.
“We turned right for the coffee and then came back this way,” he explained.
“That’s all wrong, you know,” I grumbled, before I started wandering off to put everything back (except the bread and the milk). “And how come you don’t answer your phone?”
He shrugged, and put it back in his pocket so, I presume, the dollar bills would stay put there. He sipped his coffee, and they headed to the check-out lane.
As I dashed around the store, putting things back, I ran into the same three friends, the pharmacist and the sale on Cheerios, pretending all the way that it’s normal to return items to the shelves. Then I found my family right where I’d left them, and we went home.