Special Shopping Times at The Grocery



Companies do lots of different promotions to get people into their stores. If you are a student you get a discount, if you are a senior you have a special day, if you belong to their loyalty program you have discount prices. Yes, all these things are in the name of marketing, and heaven forbid I say something negative about marketing. But sometimes the promotion for one group is a disincentive for another.


Today I had to run into the market and get just a few items. The first stop was at the apples. There I encountered a very elderly lady who had left her cart blocking the aisle with her purse unminded, mind you, and had walked down the apple aisle touching every piece of fruit as if feeling in Braille for the type she wanted. I knew that I just needed two granny smiths and waited patiently as she guarded the whole section like a pro-linebacker protecting the ball. Eventually she noticed that I was either waiting for an apple or to get my cart by her, neither, which I could do, in the current situation.


After the apples came the raspberries. There I encounter an elderly woman who was using the corner of the berry display to lean on while she adjusted an unmentionable article of clothing with no regard for being in public. Again I waited patiently. Eventually when her bosom, as my grandmother would call it, was in place she looked at me and said, “What are you looking at?” “The raspberries I am hoping to buy.”


I moved on to the cheese counter where a couple who had to have been married to each other for at least 60 years was fighting over feta or goat cheese. They must have had their readers on and not been able to see me waiting just to grab some blue.


As I tried to weave my cart through the aisles full of AARP members it dawned on me. It was senior discount Thursday. I guess that the area nursing home busses had brought all their residents to shop at ten in the morning so they had plenty of time to roam the store and clog up the check outs before they were due back at the home for lunch.


I know that one day I too am going to be one of these people and I can only imagine that inefficient shoppers will still bother me then even if I am one. I need to make a note to myself not to ever shop on senior day except during meal times.


As I finally got out of the store and pushed my purchases to my car in the cart I saw an older man I know from church. I said hello as he was going into the store and he asked if I had finished shopping. “Yes, I just need to return my cart.” I was sure that as an older man with excellent manners he might offer to take it since that was where he was heading. I was wrong. He just said, “have a nice day,” as he walked a step ahead of me into the store. So there isn’t even any chivalry on senior day.

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