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The Stranger I Met Today

On Sunday afternoons, some places should be avoided.

I made the mistake of going to a grocery store on a Sunday afternoon. My friend Kate and I popped into the ShopRite to grab a few things. Once through the doors, we surveyed the produce section. The cart traffic jam, complete with noisy collisions and hand gestures, started at the oranges and ended all the way back at the olive bar. We each grabbed a basket and decided no fruit was worth braving that mob. The aisles of the store were reminiscent of a game of Pac-Man, an unsporting game of Pac-Man though. 

General observations - Sunday afternoon grocery shoppers scowl a lot. Also, they make sharp turns with their carts and, for the most part, they don’t say “excuse me.”  And as I recall how my bruised shin throbbed on Monday morning, I’d like to note that grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon can be downright painful. 

In an attempt to avoid the coffee aisle (packed) and the chip aisle (jam-packed), Kate and I ventured down the pet food aisle to reach the cold section in the back.  There was only one man halfway down, which meant it would be nearly impossible to be slammed with a cart or bumped by a running child. He knelt on the ground with his back to us. The man lacked the joy of a child playing in the sand at the beach, but the motions were the same. As we got closer, we realized that the gentleman in the black and red checkered flannel was scooping kitting litter into a ripped back. His hands were dull gray and he muttered softly. He craned his neck as he heard someone approach.

“I didn’t spill this,” he said as we passed. 

“Well, kudos to you for helping to clean it up.  You’re a good Samaritan,” I said. 

“Or a dumb one,” he said. Then, he angrily grunted.

“Well, on behalf of whoever spilled it - thanks.  You rock.” I said. 

“Yeah.  Whatever.” 

Ugh. 

Lesson Learned

Grocery shop on Tuesday nights. Grocery shop on Friday mornings. But, don’t ever grocery shop on Sunday afternoons. If you avoid the grocery store on Sunday afternoons, your shins and spirit will remain unharmed. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

tocman February 26, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Angela, that's the best you could do............yawn. You could have mentioned the liquior section there's always characters there. I was told by a ShopRite employee that it is not a supermarket with a liquior department but rather a liquior store with a supermarket attached.
Angela Speakman February 26, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Tocman, None of the ShopRite stores in my neck of the woods host adjoining liquor stores. I have to make a special trek to stock up on my spirits. I like that you provided a suggestion for making my stranger posts more exciting (although going with booze and the people who buy it for interesting stories is a little predictable). Perhaps my next blog post will be more to your liking. Thanks for taking the time to comment and happy reading!
tocman February 27, 2013 at 01:03 PM
Sorry Ang, Didn't realize that when I surf the Cinnaminson Patch I would be connected to all of it's media websites. The Cinnaminson store was, I now realize, one of the few with a liquor licence and contains within its walls a complete liquor store. Which btw fosters many not so predictable anecdotes.
Angela Speakman February 27, 2013 at 02:18 PM
No worries, Tocman. Actually, one of my favorite things about Patch is that I get to read blogs written by folks all over South Jersey that are all contained in one spot. Seriously, I appreciate the read and your comments. Now I'd like to hear one of those anecdotes about the liquor store ShopRite! I look forward to reading your feedback on future posts.

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