Midnight at Meijer
I work second shift, so that means a lot of my grocery shopping happens in the late hours of the night and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There’s no Saturday afternoon crowd, consistently getting in my way and making me frown while profusely apologizing for existing at that moment in front of the fifty some kinds of instant coffee choices.
There’s a customer here and there, but mostly, the regular populace at night consists of stockers and floor buffers.
I think they must have extraordinary lives- to come in night after night, putting product after product on the shelf that mostly no one really needs. There’s the bearded guy who always wears a beany- I imagine he must have a weird hobby like collecting tiny spoons from different states. Then there’s the older gentleman who wears knee pads, to save his aching knees at a job he shouldn’t have to still work at in his 60’s. I wonder how much longer his body can hold up to the kneeling.
I have the same routine; I make a break for the medicine isle, wondering what new wonder over the counter drug I can get. Maybe that one herbal supplement will be just the thing I need to lose those last ten pounds.
I then wander to the book section and curse the fact that members of the Duck Dynasty have managed to write a book before me.
For some reason, the book isle is the place where people unload items they’ve decided against getting.
One night, right next to a copy of NYPD RED 2, I saw a disposed box of Spermcheck, someone had placed on the shelf. Guess he just couldn’t face the facts. One shelf down, someone placed an opened box of Wheat Thins…nevermind, they must have thought.
On that same night, I think I witnessed an emotional breakdown of a fellow female shopper. I first noticed her in the frozen pizza and ice cream section (I believe they should rename that isle- Single and Loving It, isle). She was a teeny cute brunette, clad in a Victoria Secret sweat suit. She finally decided on some Edy’s ice cream creation and walked away.
Later, as I was checking out, she got in line behind me.
I noticed she had managed to pick up a 24 pack of Michelob Light along with her ice cream. The cashier scanned my items and the obviously distressed beautiful ice cream woman said she had to go to her car to get her id.
She was back right quick and then proceeded to look at the candy while waiting for me to finish. She then put seven, I counted them, SEVEN different candy bars on the conveyer belt. Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Almond Joy, among others. I averted my eyes because I couldn’t bare to look her in the face in her pain.
I wanted to turn to her and ask, “What’s the bastard’s name,” while I hugged her. No one should drink and cry alone. This girl was getting ready to get chocolate wasted.
Meanwhile, the casher beeped my produce through. I knew I’d end up throwing half of it away. I’m sorry, I just can’t seem to come up with consecutive recipes for leeks that will use them all up before it gets all slimy and gross.
I’m then embarrassed, as the ice cream woman looks at the DVD’s I’ve chosen to add to my collection. There’s the Legend of Billie Jean and a three-hour tutorial by the painter Bob Ross DVD, don’t you judge me, it helps me sleep.
At least I’m not at the self-checkout, where the blonde floor supervisor probably curses my name every time I come in because I can’t get the cauliflower to scan.
That fucking bar code is crinkled every single time and I could murder nuns it makes me so mad.
The one draw back to night shopping is I never have enough time to pick out yogurt. There’s always some guy stocking in my way. Come on man, there’s like ten different varieties of greek yogurt and I really resent not being able to properly weigh my options.
I would be mad that I have to carry the groceries in by myself at such a late hour. But, it wouldn’t matter anyways. It’s a scientific fact, when any woman pulls the car up to the house after grocery shopping, the male is conditioned to take a shit at the exact moment you need help.
Another key component is, he will have previously put dirty dishes on every square inch of the counters so she must then clean the kitchen while simultaneously putting said groceries way.
You get bonus points for trying to find room in the fridge among the Tupperware with week-old leftovers and decayed bunches of parsley- fuck all recipes that require trace amounts of parsley or cilantro. It’s a conspiracy I tell you, there’s cilantro lobbyists of Walmart pressuring famous chefs to add the fresh garnish to the dishes, et tu Rachel Ray, et tu?
For whatever reason, when I shop at night, I feel as if the world could end and I wouldn’t know it.
It’s fine though, because I was able to spend twenty minutes picking out a new water bottle with just the right sized opening so I can fit ice into it, and I’ve also found the perfect T-shirt with kittens on it. Too bad Auntie Anne’s the pretzel place wasn’t open though.