The idiots are out –

Grocery shopping, and shopping in general, has always been like therapy for me. I’ve been making a list all week and I plan out my budget, denoting the most I’m willing to spend on an item before I step foot into the store. I’ve even worked some intense coupon-ing and a grocery list app on my HTC into the ritual. Getting the most product for the least amount of money is like a competition and I always win! And I always plan trips to the grocery store when I know everyone else is not going to be there. Wednesday at lunch time or Sunday at 10am are always safe bets. It’s like shopping online without the agoraphobia. Peace and quiet. All to myself. Aaaaahhhhhh.

I walk through the store with my list and a a calculator, making notes about each item and comparing the price I was willing to pay with the actual prices of each item. Things in the store that aren’t on my list seem to magically disappear. Treats and over-priced name brands are like little watermarks on the shelf. You know when you click open in Microsoft Word and all of the items in a folder that aren’t the right format are opaque — denoting their incompatibility. It’s like that. Sorry Charmin Ultra Soft Mega Roll Bathroom Tissue. Your format is incompatible with my grocery list. And my budget.

That was before moving back to Knoxville with Tyler.

We really do enjoy each others’ company. We spend a lot of time together. The more time I spend with him, the more tolerant I become of his ways. Not to mention, if I leave him alone for too long, he gets bored and is more of a pill to deal with when I get back to him.

That’s all true and good EXCEPT for trips to the grocery store.

Top three phrases heard from Tyler while grocery shopping:

1) “Ooooh, Oreo cookies!”

2) “We need to buy treats.”

3) “I wish I had a dinosaur to take to the grocery store with me.” (In response to the 9-year-old mentally handicapped boy toting a toy dinosaur.)

Between his obsession with name-brand crap and non-stop sneaking of treats into the cart, a trip to the grocery store is like taking a 6-year-old shopping. (Return of babysitting theme.)

And that’s JUST Tyler’s part of all of this. For some reason, we only manage to get out of the house to grocery shop on Saturday morning. We’ve all made the fatal mistake before, but how do I continue to torture myself by going week after week at noon on what should be MY day of rest from all of the idiots in the world.

If one more old man rams the back of my heels with one of the new, unnecessarily over-sized shopping carts, (I call them food stamp shoppers), I’m going to throw a can of Kroger Premium Selection green beans! I mean, seriously. If I get stuck behind one more buggy full of diapers and hot Cheetos in the 15-items-or-less line, I might shove my Kroger card into some trailer park trash’s eyeball.

But then I wouldn’t be able to get 10 cents off per gallon of gas at participating Shell stations. Lemme think about that one a little harder first……

That’s one of the few, very small parts of my life I miss pre-Tyler. I still win, though. A quiet trip to the grocery store isn’t as nice as having someone to cook that food for you when you bring it home.

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