Shopping: the grocery store.

It happened again this evening.  I don't know what the the attraction is between me and grocery carts.  They don't all roll toward me.  I'm not that magnetic.  Just the lame and limping ones attract me.  It could  be something out of that classic TV show, The Twilight Zone.

Can you hear that low, throaty, mono-toned voice of the uncredited announcer saying...."They come to her, unwilling carts, drawn to her.  All she wants is to shop.  All they want is to be played.  That's right, played.  When she pushes them, they make beautiful music together."

I don't know the cart is broken when I wrap my hands firmly around the handle.  That's because it doesn't start until I'm actually in the store.  The carts trick me.  But once I get through those doors, the racket begins  And it's too late.  I feel guilty if I actually reject one and take it back to the lot.

So I push onward...avoiding the disdaining looks of fellow shoppers who hear the off-kilter beat coming their way.  "Aahhh", I think they think, "it's her again and's a different sound this time."  Maybe it won't be so noticeable if I can get the heavy-metal-hobble to sync up with the beat of the Muzak.  Easier thought than done.

This is not speed shopping.  This takes more time.  I find myself slowing down or even stopping when an in-store commercial comes on.  I don't want patrons to miss a good buy and blame me for it because the rattle got in the way.  I pause to study shelves and products I have no intention of buying.  The only thing I'm buying is time before I can either shove the cart along at double time and get to the check out stand, or mosey along and bear the humiliation.

The clerks nod.  They hear me coming.  They know.  They know me.  They know the carts. They hope I don't choose their line. "Please", I think they think, "go through the self-check out.  Spare us."

I'm a dejected one (wo)man band.  And a lousy one at that.  On to the parking lot.  Over to the car.  I make sure not to offer the cart to anybody going in.  They think I'm not friendly but I know I'm sparing them, and that I really am their silent friend. 

Live richly,     marilyn


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