Groping, crying, a high speed security chase…and that’s just the cereal aisle.
Most people are familiar with the American Pie reference, “This one time, at Band Camp . . . ” even if they haven’t seen the movie. In my family we have something similar, only it’s more of a, “This one time, at WalMart . . . ”type of thing.
Sadly, when it comes to shopping, I’m a menace to society. No matter how hard I try, I’m just one of those people who, when you see me coming down the cereal aisle, can make you forget your daily fiber intake and slowly back out the way you came.
You may not make it out with your Raisin Bran in cart, but at least you know you won’t get hurt. Or groped.
Here are a few examples of what I’m talkin’ about.
“This one time, at WalMart . . .
. . . Mom grabbed an old lady’s butt!” In my defense, I didn’t actually grab it. It was more of a gentle patting action.
I was looking at cereals on the top shelf and trying to herd my Offspring at the same time. I gently patted one of them on the behind and said, “Come on, sweetie. Move aloooong, little doggies.”
Imagine my shock when a very surprised, elderly lady replied, “Umm, honey? I’m not one of your doggies.”
. . . Mom groped an old lady’s boobs.” OK, this really was a grope, but a totally accidental one!
We were nearing the end of our shopping, meaning the Offspring were running wild like they had fire ants in their pants. As I reached for the powdered drink mix, I turned to yell at the little shelf-climbers to calm down. Sadly, when I turned my head, my hand went with it, missed the drink mix entirely, and latched onto a nearby breastacle instead.
At least no complaints were filed.
. . . Mom farted loud enough to make a kid cry!” It was NOT my tushy-trumpet that made the kid cry. It was how tight his horrified mother was squeezing him that did it.
If one of my beloved Offspring had bothered to tell me there was a family of four standing right behind me? I never would have engaged in the full-on leg-hike, blow-a-hole-in-your-shorts air release, or the subsequent giggle-gagging over the stench.
. . . Mom chased Store Security.” I wasn’t chasing him, I was just trying to make his job more fulfilling. There’s a difference!
Yes, I dress like a color-blind bag lady. Yes, with four kids (each one a mere 18 months apart from the last) there were times when personal appearance may have taken a back seat. Yes, I am easily distracted and tend to wander aimlessly until I remember what the hell I know I’m forgetting, but did I mention four kids?
With that image in mind, it’s no wonder Store Security frequently tailed me. It also shouldn’t come as any surprise that I occasionally got fed up with the more overzealous plain-clothed guys and struck back by asking them if I should put the items I intended to purchase in my cart or in my bra. Ya know, just to make sure they didn’t feel like all their hard work was for nothin’.
If he hadn’t run from me without answering my question, I wouldn’t have chased him. So this one really shouldn’t count.
Ya know, now that I think about it, all these examples have one thing in common (besides me): my Offspring. Maybe I’m not the one who’s a menace after all.
Of course, we’ll never know since, on the off chance it really is me, I don’t plan on ever shopping without them. I just wonder whom I’ll blame once they all move out.
This original piece by Chris Dean was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC.