Why I like to shop alone

I was making my weekly .99 store visit for lunch snacks the other day.  It really is quite economical to as even the cheap Little Debbie snacks are $2 at the grocery and only $1 at .99.  I have a mental list of what I buy there regularly, or as needed. 

Kids shampoo
Air freshener
Lunch snacks
Hamburger Helper
Kitchen Utensils (they carry a line of blue or red Betty Crocker)
School supplies
Night light bulbs
Langers Juice
An all purpose cleaner called Awesome.  cause it is.

Sometimes they will have stuff that is not normally there like Capri Sun 10pks, or once they had twinkies.  I bought 4 boxes.  Yesterday I found CoffeeMate GirlScout Samoas creamer.  I bought 4.  I also peruse the isles for other gems that ended up in their store for whatever reason.  Also for things like generic candles, jewelry cleaner, wet wipes and cheap squeaky dog toys. 

So as I'm enjoying my weekly visit, I hear this voice behind me.  A male voice, talking really fast.  Non-stop.  I turn casually and see a male in his 30's or so.  And he's talking to a girl.  They were there together but from the sheer volume and velocity of his speech pattern my immediate thought was "tweaker."  I know, it's not cool to make such an assumption but seriously, the chatter was non-stop.  I have two sons with ADHD, so I'm used to loud, rapid fire, one-way conversations- but even for me, I was like, "Damn that guy is buzzing!!"  So he and the girl he was with seemed to be on the same shopping track as me, so basically they followed me through the entire store.  A few times the girl made eye contact with me, widened her eyes in an exasperated "Oh holy hell, will he ever stop talking?!?!?!" sort of way.  He never did.

He was talking about cars, and family, and kids, and cooking, and nutrition, and beer, and driving, and back to cars again.  It was amazing.  I was surprised that someone could be so unaware of themselves that it never occurred to him that his shopping partner said practically nothing the entire time.  By all accounts he was a good looking guy.  Tanned skin, buzzed dark hair, brown eyes that looked kind, although dilated.  However the constant talking made me want to throw a blanket over him in hopes that maybe he'd fall asleep or something

As a talker, I know what it's like when you are talking about something, and then another thought pops into your head so you jump the track.  I get it.  However to continue doing that for 45 minutes- stopping only to take a breath?  That is something special.  He made eye contact with me a few times, once commenting on the coffee creamer in my cart.  I gave a wide smile, but said nothing.  I was not getting sucked into a conversation.  I might have had to kill myself. 

I have always thought that I will die under very "normal" or very "comical" circumstances, but at that moment the tragedy of dying in the .99 store was too much to consider.  What was in my cart would surely come under question.  4 bottles of Samoas Coffee Creamer, 3 boxes of chocolate cookie crèmes, bread, 2 packs of hostess donettes, and some fudge covered graham crackers is not the impression I want to leave on this earth.  Even if it was a $15 savings.

So I wrapped back around to the other side of the store because I had forgotten something, losing the talker.  Then I got in line.  Only one line open, and of COURSE they are in front of me.  Oh for the love of....  he's STILL talking.  The girl he was with looked at me again, her eyes in WIDER this time, as if to say, "Can you believe this mother fucker is still talking?"  I giggled and sort of shrugged at her.  I suspected it was a sister or a cousin or something, because not only did he appear to be much older than her, there was no affection between them to make me think they were any kind of couple.

They exited the store, and were parked close to me, loading the car and it wasn't until I closed my car door that there was sweet silence.  I wondered how they knew each other that she didn't feel comfortable enough to silence him for even a minute.  I am always polite, but at some point I might have said,"ok.. chill!"

Fast forward to today after work.  I went to the grocery store and was heading for the cheese section, and ohh myyy god, he's HERE.  The talker.  HE'S HERE.  I recognized the voice and cadence of his endless chatter before I turned my head completely to the side.  He saw me and recognized me, smiling in an opened mouth sort of "hey!!!" and I smiled and nodded- and quickly turned a corner.

Seriously, is this guy stalking my shopping?  Is this karma for enjoying grocery shopping alone?  Do I need to look over my shoulder for fear of the TALKER?  Maybe I need to just drive to the other part of town.  Shopping is quiet time away for me.  I can think about the meals I want to make, new things I'd like to try, etc.  It's not really a social excursion.  Most people I know have a rhythm to their grocery shopping- and don't like it interrupted else it throws off the balance of the whole experience.  We will forget things.  We will spend too much.  We will, for sheer comfort, buy sugary, fattening foods because the thought of them eases the anxiety we feel just getting through the experience when the TALKER is close by.  For many moms, grocery shopping is precious quiet and alone time.

Shopping is sacred.

This guy threatens that.  For me.  For all of us. 

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