Tag Archives: grocery shopping

Must-See Movies for Winter…Kind Of

Back in September I introduced you to eight “new” movies that I felt you should be watching that fall. (I hear “It’s the Great Pumpkin Spice Latte, Charlie Brown,” was a big hit among the 18-34 crowd.)

Well, now that we’re well into a bitter cold winter, it’s time once again to remember that among the new releases with attractive people doing unrealistic things in situations that are resolved in two hours topping the charts, there are some other films being shown this winter that if given a chance, I’m sure would be a great hit.

Unbroken 2

No, this isn’t the epic tale of the Olympic track star who survived a plane crash in World War II, only to fight for his life against nature and eventually as a prisoner of war. 

This film instead follows a woman who unknowingly keeps several impressive streaks unbroken as she goes through her everyday life, such as picking out the grocery cart with the wonky wheel that will inevitably veer into a display of Triscuits, having the keys in the opposite pocket of the hand she has free and spilling something on the white shirt she attempted to wear.

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Will she eventually pick out a functional cart? Hit all the green lights while driving home with a full bladder? Join her for her epic adventures and see how she deals with adversity.

Why Waldo?

In this philosophical film, “Waldo” battles his social anxiety disorder and tries to find a reason for his existence.

In search of this answer, he makes public appearances, but only discreetly surfaces in large crowds of people and insists on wearing the same clothes each day—thick, black-framed glasses, red and white striped shirt, red and white cap. Eventually he becomes paranoid that people are constantly looking for him and wonders, “Why am I here? Why are they here? Why does low-fat peanut butter exist?”

The Belle Jar

In this dark Plath-meets-Disney film, Belle, a girl who is dissatisfied with life in a small provincial French town, becomes mentally unstable and develops delusional tendencies and troubling urges towards bestiality after her father is imprisoned.

Some of her best friends are household appliances that spend a majority of their time singing and dancing, and she is faced with the internal struggle of if she should marry and live a conventional domestic life or attempt to satisfy her ambition with a man under a spell because he couldn’t love.

Will she regain a tenuous grasp on sanity or will the “Belle” jar of her madness descend again at any time?

The Hundred Food Journey

While “The Hundred Foot Journey,” showcased the family of a talented cook who has a life filled with both culinary delights and profound loss, this tale is about a mediocre cook who has a life filled with hundreds of foods to help cope with her own journey of loss.

In order to procure said culinary delights, she must brave the grocery store multiple times a week, perfect her “serious” face when trying to sneak an expired coupon past the cashier and avoid the checkout line with the customer who insists on using every single square inch of personal space past the plastic divider, creeping up closer to her with their cart and sighing so heavily at the apparent lack of cashier expediency that it blows her coupons off the checkout stand.

After checking out, will she make the journey home without bruising her bananas? It’s a culinary “Choose Your Own Adventure” for the whole family.

Mild

In the sequel to “Wild,” in which Cheryl Strayed hiked the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail by herself in an effort to recover from a recent life crisis, a 33-year-old unemployed writer trying to recover from her own life crisis faces a series of her own challenges.

While Strayed dealt with creating fire for meals and wild animals popping out unexpectedly, our protagonist risks life and limb to reignite the pilot light on her stove, the expected yet jolting release of the toast from the toaster, accidentally hitting the switch for the garbage disposal instead of the light and getting stuck in the neck of her sweatshirt.

 This inspiring tale proves we all have our own battles to fight.

Gone Girl

This is just me walking away really quickly any time someone calls my name out in public. It’s going straight to DVD.

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Let’s Explore Some Career Options

They say to dress for the job you want, which given I’m in my robe until about 9 a.m. every morning before I go to the gym would suggest that I’m aiming to become a judge.

Even though I wouldn’t mind getting paid to voice my opinion on the stupid things people do, that’s what a blog and social media are for, and those things require much less work than being an actual judge.

With that said, I’ve been thinking about jobs that I AM qualified to do other than be the humorous, insightful, professional wordsmith that some company is just waiting to scoop up and hire any second now. Right?!? Right.

But in case I’m still unemployed next week, let’s explore my options.

Professional Chef

toaster

Okay. Maybe that one isn’t an option. Let’s move on. 

Before Picture

I think my ability to make others look good by comparison is highly underrated. My beauty routine can be completed in the time it takes my car to warm up in the morning, so I think it’s safe to say I have perfected the perpetual “before” beauty shot.

Plus, that’s a job that wouldn’t require me to actually put on makeup, so really it’s a win-win!

Infomercial Actress

Do you have problems completing basic, everyday tasks effectively? Then YOU can be the star in an infomercial, or rather, I can be the star in a series of infomercials.

The number of times I’ve grabbed a hot pan with the hand not wearing the OveGlove is impressive, not to mention the drama in trying to change a shower curtain liner or my sheets. There could be a whole series of infomercials with me as the star—including those for beauty products (see option 1 above.)

Game Show Contestant

This appears to be a quick way to make more than $10,000 in under 20 minutes. While I would excel at the awkward interview portion of “Jeopardy,” I would be kind of screwed if the categories were about anything other than food, sports or cleaning products.

“Wheel of Fortune” would be an option, although falling over the barrier in an effort to enthusiastically spin the wheel and being forced to ride around in circles until it stopped is a distinct possibility.

If I could go on with someone else’s family, “Family Feud” might be viable, but I think my best bet would be “The Price Is Right” only because food often drops down my flat chest like a PLINKO chip. Plus, I have extensive knowledge of product prices, which brings me to my next point.

Professional Grocery Shopper

I know people think I’m crazy, but I love grocery shopping and do it not only for myself, but also my mom and uncle, who can’t do it that easily themselves. It’s like a big treasure hunt going into the store with their lists, and the store employees pretty much know me by name around town (true, it might be “That Crazy Girl Who Hoard the Avocados,” but whatever.)

Considering my top blog post of 2014 was “The Ten Commandments of Grocery Shopping,” maybe they could even give me a badge so I could enforce the rules that I wrote.

Life Coach

Quit laughing. I don’t mean Life Coach in that I have my life together and should tell people how to live there, but rather that it’s more “practical” advice for those who also have issues. Given that “The Tao of Abby” was the second most read post of 2014, it seems that suggestions like this go over well: 

miniblind

Plus, given some of the search terms people use to find my blog—“I have to pee but I can’t unzip my onesie,” “Believe in yourself unless you have small boobs,” “Need a studfinder both literally and figuratively” and “I will beat you with the grocery lane checkout divider”—it’s obvious that the public has questions they think I can answer…or they have deep-seated psychological issues.

Potato, po-tah-to.

Either way, I’m here if you need me.

References available upon request.

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The 10 Commandments of Grocery Shopping

Given the fact that the employees at my local grocery store see me more than my own family does, it’s safe to say that I have quite a bit of experience pushing a full cart around.

While I generally enjoy the experience because a) I love finding and checking things off of a list and b) food, there are a few simple things that would make it better for all those involved.

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Thou shall not leave your cart in an empty parking spot.

As I’ve said before, there are two kinds of people in this world: 1) those who return carts to the cart corral and 2) a-holes. Leaving a cart to find it’s own way home often results in the cart camping out in a parking spot someone will inevitably pull halfway into before realizing the cart is there and angrily backing out, pissing off people behind them. The carts have a home. Help them find their home.

Thou shall not walk down the center aisle of the parking lot

You do not have super-human pedestrian powers that override people in their cars trying to get past or around you. Pick a side—any side—and no one gets hurt.

Thou shall travel up and down the aisle like a civilized person

Up one side, down the other. If you’re barreling down the middle or the wrong side like a linebacker and clip my cart, I am not above throwing a shoulder. Also, try to refrain from doing a 180 halfway down a jam-packed aisle only to amble along as if you’re taking in the sights of the Louvre. It’s soup. Not the Sistine Chapel.

Thou shall obey the express line rules

The sign says 15 items or less. It does not say, “Everything you can stick in the small-ass cart you chose instead of regular cart.” That does not refer to the number of item types, but the actual item count. For example, those 75 cans of soup that took you 15 minutes to pick out does not count as a single item. You are not a special snowflake. If everybody ignored this rule, it would just be a regular line.

Thou shalt not decide against the frozen pizza you picked up in the frozen foods section and then place it on the shelf next to the shampoo

Really? Come on now, people.

Thou shall respect the invisible checkout line bubble of personal space

Regardless of how close you creep up or how many items you throw on the belt, you will be next—after me. If you continue to creep up, I will pretend to go through my coupon keeper for an extraordinary amount of time and chit chat with the cashier…unless you would like to pay for my produce. In that case, you have a deal.

Thou shall treat the cashier with respect

This means not chatting on your phone while she’s ringing up your groceries or getting ticked when she won’t accept the four expired coupons you thought she’d ignore. If you get caught trying to sneak in an expired coupon, just let it go. It’s 35-cents off of dish soap. You’ll survive.

Thou shall not stop at the exit to go over your receipt

Once given your receipt and all 300 extra pieces of paper that get pumped out of the printer with it, do not stop and read the receipt like it’s a treasure map. There is nothing on that paper that is that important that you need to throw on the brakes and cause a backup. Move it along.

Thou shall reconsider the self-checkout

Know your limits. Can you find a bar code on a product? Match the picture of bananas on the screen to the bananas in your cart? Flatten paper money to insert into a slot? If you answered “no” to any of those questions, don’t be a hero. Go through the normal checkout.

Thou shall not stalk for a parking spot

Finally, do not slowly drive behind me at 5 mph impatiently waiting for my parking spot that is often only two down from another available spot. Unless you’re going to get out and help me unload my groceries into the back, your insistence on sitting there, impatiently revving the engine on your minivan, will force me to do a full vehicle check—interior and exterior—before getting back in and leaving 5 minutes later.

Thank you for shopping with us.

Have a nice day.

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Discount Double Check

A majority of my purchases can be rationalized with the phrase, “It was on sale and I had a coupon.”

someecardgrocery

Every. Single. Time

I love Sundays because the new grocery ad and coupon books arrive in the paper, (and because I don’t work and usually don’t wash my hair or do much of anything productive, which is why I usually don’t wash my hair. That would be productive.)

My only true ad interest is in the produce section and my “staple” items, as many of my specialty food purchases rarely go on sale. Boo hiss.

But seeing as I do the grocery shopping for my mom and uncle as well, I clip the coupons and organize them in my little coupon keeper. Every Sunday I weed out the old and add in the new, but sometimes an old one gets missed.

This is where I run into a minor coupon conundrum.

Most likely the old coupon will be the one I want to use on the grocery trip one day after it expired. Seeing as this wasn’t discovered until I’m already in the checkout line, I’m forced to make a decision—try and sneak it through or throw it away? Unless I know the cashier is a badass who’ll bust me, who are we kidding? Of course I’ll try and still use it.

In fact, I should try my hand at high stakes poker because of how good I am at keeping a straight face when knowingly using an expired coupon.

I usually make sure to sandwich the expired one in between two “valid” ones, if those are also being used. In my demented way of thinking, I believe the cashier is going to think, “She’s using two good coupons, so this probably slipped in by mistake! Of course I’ll give her 50 cents off of this cereal! She’s practically a saint, for god’s sake!”

When passing over the expired offender, I also try and busy myself with the rest of my bags and coupons while she tries to scan it in.

Some don’t care and figure the machine is just being funny. Others immediately get all CSI: Coupon and check the expiration date that I forgot to “accidentally” clip off with the scissors.

Again, I assume the internal dialogue of the cashier is running along the lines of, “This coupon is expired, but she looks really busy rearranging the bags I just filled with her stuff—pulling things out to examine them before glancing back up and then rearranging the bags yet again. She needs to save $1 on two cans of chickpeas.”

Of course the situation occasionally arises when I am busted, at which point I put on an Oscar-worthy performance of feigned ignorance about what the date is.

To be fair, I usually don’t ever know what date is, so it’s really not much of a stretch.

But I act surprised, tell her to toss it—as if she’s going to keep it for her own collection or something if I don’t—and after paying, raise my head high and push the squeaky-wheeled grocery cart out to the car.

You can’t put a price on pride, my friends, but I wouldn’t pass up on that coupon.

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More Letters I Probably Won’t Send

You can find the first installment here.

To Mr. Tech Support Guy on the Phone:

You asked if I had any more questions. Sorry if “Do you think I sound pretty?” wasn’t what you had in mind. Considering this conversation was recorded for training purposes, I suggest you review it and take notes on how to be a bit more specific with your language.


To Twitter and Facebook Suggestions:

I appreciate you looking out for me, but you’re greatly overestimating my desire to find more friends. If I haven’t “friended” someone after multiple suggestions, you can bet that it’s because I’m content not connecting with the creepy biology teacher from middle school or my bank. I’m also not interested in homeschooling the kids I don’t have or connecting with singles in my area.

And I will assume the suggestion that I should follow Mr. Peanut implies that I’m nuts, which to be honest, is probably not far from the truth. You nailed it with that one.


To Amateur Photographers:

Tis the season, fa la la, but the millionth close-up photo of Starbuck’s “red cup” has been taken, so it’s safe to move on to other things now. After all, it is just A RED CUP FROM STARBUCKS filled with overpriced hot liquid. We’re not talking about the golden ticket from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory here, people.


To the Woman in Front of Me at the Checkout:

I enjoy pleasant conversation with strangers quite often, and our dialogue about the lazy person who left the bug spray in the candy next to the lane was a great way to pass the time. But apparently I have one of those faces that says, “Yes, tell me weird things that I probably shouldn’t be told” because the conversation took quite an odd turn.

The fact that your grandma—who was bitten by a scorpion and died, a fact brought up by the importance of bug spray—married her cousin seemed a little out of left field. But I would like to thank you for clarifying that it was actually “okay” and that you aren’t a product of inbreeding, despite—in your words, not mine—the lack of your back molars and motto of, “kill it and grill it.”

I appreciate you clearing that up.


To People Who Write Open Letters:

I get that you feel the Internet is the perfect passive-aggressive way to dispense your invaluable opinion on something, but it’s really not that effective. These letters usually start with the “Dear X,” greeting— often to a public personality—followed by the very expected takedown of said person you are writing the letter to, and/or what you feel is a highly controversial/unique opinion.

While stating this opinion to a recipient who will never read it, you often act like you’re just remembering additional complaints in the middle of your letter when we all know you have carefully planned when to say them. The letter often ends with your “knockout” point of contention and a “sincerely” before you sign off.

Here’s an idea. Why don’t you write a real letter to the person who has offended you?  Oh, yes. That’s because they couldn’t care less and are wiping their ass with their money.

Now I realize that this whole post is a form of an open letter, but I am under no delusions that you will write back or that my opinion will actually sway the collective “you” to see the error of your ways. And the other times that I wrote a semi-open letter, I just wanted my yoga pants and bra to feel happy in their new home.

Sincerely,

Abby

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Citizen’s Arrest

Do you know why I pulled you over today?

This is a citizen’s arrest, my friend. You have the crappiest car on the road, yet pimped it out with a large spoiler and the loudest exhaust system on the planet. Add in the obscene rap music from cheap speakers with no bass, and we’re going to have to write you up.

Your reputation?

Let me educate you, son. Community studies have shown that chicks don’t dig a loud exhaust on a 1993 Ford Escort or the fact that the only thing bigger than your tires is your ego. I’m sorry you had to learn the hard way.

Plus, it’s a 4-way stop. Not a Rubik’s cube. Pay your fine and be on your way.


Drop the apple or else the Pet Peeve Police is going to have to cite you for clamorous consumption.

Why?

Not only is the loud crunching of your apple cutting throughout the quiet room like a firecracker, the loud slurping of apple juices that follows each bite gives one the impression that both Mr. Ed and a lapdog are enjoying the fruits of some produce plant’s labor.

Plus, it’s been proven that hearing the sound of people loudly eating food is one of the best ways to no longer enjoy it yourself, and seeing as how I love fruits and vegetables, I’m going to have to ask you to either cut up said fruit or just tone it down.

During this probationary period you’re also to refrain from corn on the cob. Public consumption of this vegetable is strictly prohibited and limited to confines of home. For everyone.


Excuse me young lady. Please step to the side of the locker room.

It has been reported that you were overheard talking with your “besties” about how “totes old” and fat you felt despite the fact that you’re a 20-year-old woman with the metabolism of a manic hummingbird with hyperthyroidism.

On top of that, you turned “Jersey Shore” on the TV in the cardio room, walked for 5 minutes while checking your phone and then left in a cloud of JLo perfume without offering the remote to anyone else. I was willing to overlook that last charge until you called me “sweetie.”

Three strikes. Don’t let the door hit your perky butt on the way out. (#forreals)


Ma’am, please move your grocery cart over by the large stuffed animal-filled crane machine. It’s come to our attention that you are a menace to the sanity of shoppers. Why?

First, you were observed violating code 45D—creeping up past the plastic grocery lane divider and piling on your items with no regard for the personal space or the power of that plastic partition. Back it up, woman. You’ll have your turn.

Second, you were talking on your cell phone while at the checkout counter, completely ignoring the cashier while loudly discussing your husband’s colonoscopy prep. This is a clear violation of, well, society.  

Finally, you stood at the register and studied your receipt for 30 seconds before moving your cart towards the door, so at this time we’re going to have to ask you to do all of your shopping at Wal-mart.

The punishment must fit the crime.

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Your turn. Who deserves a Citizen’s Arrest?

Grocery Girl Gone Wild

There are some things that you can’t “unsee,” and the naked body of a local grocery store cashier on display in the gym locker room is one of those things. But let me explain the context of this situation, as I think I need to talk myself through this difficult time.

Unless you’re new here, you know that my usual swinging single gal hangouts include the gym, the grocery storeand the retirement home of my grandma. Most of the cashiers at the store are familiar with my presence and I know which lanes go quickly/allow me to sneak expired coupons and which to avoid.

This particular cashier is probably somewhere between the ages of 23-27 and what I would describe as…comfortably awkward? She seems really nice but slightly misguided as evidenced by questionable fashion accessories from the ‘90s and clumsy lane conversation.

Anyway, I go through her lane if it’s open because she’s been there forever and knows to hand me my change with all the dollar bills facing the same exact way, so she’s a winner in my book, regardless of whether or not she’s wearing a snap bracelet and hair scrunchie.

A couple weeks ago I walked into the gym and saw her on a treadmill. Now this was a surprising turn of events and I felt my worlds collide—grocery girl at the gym?—and had to do a double take. She did the same thing and gave an awkward half-wave thing that I reciprocated while pondering the fact that I never took her to be a runner, but apparently she is.

I’ve seen her at the gym a couple times in passing since that point and once or twice at the store, but recently things got a bit tricky.

After ogling Hot Gym Guy for an appropriate amount of time—somewhere between “gets the heart rate up to cardio level” and “remember about the restraining order”—I walked to the locker room and opened the door. The first thing I saw was boobs, which caused me to avert my eyes down only to be greeted with cooter.

Momentarily glancing up, I saw a look on her face akin to a buck naked deer in the headlights as she stopped wiping down with a towel. For a minute I thought she was the weirdo girl who does kung fu moves by herself in the bathroom that told me she suspects the spider on the floor is a peeping pervert, but then I noticed this girl’s legs weren’t hairy, which is a glaring characteristic of Kung Fu Spider-Girl.

Anyway, she quickly tried to cover up with a towel and finish her drying procedures while I made my way to the locker, which of course was positioned directly next to the only other person in the locker room — naked grocery girl.

We both just went about our business and then thankfully someone else walked in, so my efforts to avoid conversation were quickly passed like a baton back to her.

But as I walked out to my car, I wondered how this would change our relationship. Would she still make awkward small talk if I went through her lane? Could I use this as blackmail those times she didn’t allow an old coupon?

I think I’ll just play it safe and choose a new lane. I just know too much at this point.

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