Saturday, September 17, 2011

Encounters at the shops

For reclusive and easily sensory-overloaded types like me, grocery shopping in the peak hour on Saturday mornings can be a bit too much sometimes.

This morning in Woolworths, I saw our next door neighbour and her teenage daughter at the deli counter (not relevant to the story, but we were both buying olives). I haven't seen our neighbour for a while, other than to wave to when we've been driving in and out of our street, and so for the first time this morning, I noticed she had lost a lot of weight. So much that I had to look twice when I saw her to make sure it really was her.

I wanted to tell her she was looking really good. But before I could say that, she got in first and started talking about all the usual pregnancy related things....she only realised I was pregnant when she saw me at school drop off during the week, when was I due etc etc. And then smoothly moved on to tell me that I looked huge and like I was due much sooner than November. She said it twice, just to make sure the point sunk in.

Thanks for that. After she said it, I didn't feel much like telling her how good she was looking. So of course, I didn't.

If I was a better Christian, I would have thought nice thoughts and brushed off the irritation. But that was difficult at the crowded deli counter. I mumbled something about it being my fourth baby, there wasn't much to hold my tummy in anymore, and moved on.

On my way out of the shopping centre with my heavily laden trolley, I saw Chris' admin officer at the bakery counter. The position he is acting in at the moment comes with its own administrative position, which is a bit of a novelty since he's never had this before. We affectionately call her "his girl" because we've been watching too much Mad Men lately, even though she's much older than either of us.

I met her for the first time earlier this week so I only realised it was her after I had walked past. Then there was an awkward moment on the down ramp to the car park when she was pushing her trolley behind mine and I avoided eye contact instead of doing the right thing, which would have been to say hello. If she did actually recognize me (I live in fear of saying hello to people I've only met once or twice and receiving a blank response) she probably thinks I'm very rude.

But all I really wanted to do was escape the crowdedness and find some peace. This is why I like shopping in the evenings. Just me and the shelf stackers and only one checkout open.

Life at home is chaotic sometimes. I'm looking for quiet time when I go grocery shopping, not crowds and awkward social moments.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Some people just don't think! I have acquaintances who've said things like, "Sarah, you look so tired. You've got bags under your eyes," when I've actually had a great night's sleep. Ummmm thanks that was so helpful....not!

I've done the avoid eye contact with people I've only met once or twice thing too. Mostly because when I did say hello to someone, they had no idea who I was. Embarrassing for both of us.