Shopping Geriatric Style

Last Friday I went grocery shopping at 9am. Now, this is not the usual time I frequent the store. I'm usually a Friday afternoon kind of gal. And on Friday afternoons, the store is a' buzzin with all kinds of folk. Mothers dragging whining kids. Office workers grabbing lunch. College kids picking up beer and aspirin for the weekend.

Such is not the crowd on Friday mornings. On Friday mornings, there appears to be only two kinds of people in my grocery store: the old and the painfully slow, and the old and the scarily motorized.

Not, first let me say here that I love me the old folk. My family is full of them. And you know how much I *heart* my family. My great aunt of the cookies and the house-cleaning is 78. My grandma of the "old rules" is 76. And my great uncle of the Golden Autumn Pumpkin Cake is about to turn 82. They are the loves of my life, truly, and I would never disparage their generation.

But, see, the people I encountered in my grocery store on Friday, well, they were seriously old. O.L.D. And I don't see my relatives this way at all. My great aunt climbs ladders to paint her house. My grandma still works and has a more active social life than I do. And my great uncle is at the mall every single day buying $80 sweaters for $6.78 with his coupons and sale-rack scouting. These people buying their food on Friday? Seemed ancient.

It literally took me 10 minutes to get through the produce section, because the old folk were everywhere. I waited for a wee little woman to pick out her five apples for a good three minutes as she selected each one as if it would be the last thing she'd ever taste (and perhaps it would be). She was adorable, but My. God. Woman. Keep it moving!

And unfortunately the older set doesn't like to keep to proper cart-in-the-aisle-etiquette either. If you're stopping in an aisle to select a product from the shelf, move your cart to one side or the other so that other shoppers can navigate their carts by yours. My geriatric co-shoppers liked to leave their carts smack-dab in the center of the aisle as they meadered up and down said aisle looking for their boxes of graham crackers and their cans of peas. And so I would stop. And carefully move their carts over so I could get mine by. And smile at them as they realized their mistake. And smile at the same people once again in the next aisle over when they repeated the behavior.

However, there was a more concerning senior element in the store on Friday. And those were the folk in the motorized shopping carts. You know. The ones that look like big scooters with a basket attached in the front? Okay, clearly the people driving those things around the store are the very same ones whose licenses were revoked by New York State because of bad vision. I was picking up my eggs in the dairy department. I turned to head toward the frozen food section when WHAM! An elderly gentleman with (and I kid you not here) this seriously crazed and dazed look in his eyes slammed into my cart with his motorized one. Thank the good lord I didn't have Isabella with me, because her brains would have been scrambled by that collision. But the most frightening thing was that he appeared to not realize what had happened, because he went right on careening down the aisle as if he hadn't just hit my cart.

I know I'm going to be old someday. And sometimes I feel like I have more "senior moments" than my senior citizen family members do. But I hope I'm "with-it" enough to be as active, socially mobile, and bargain-obsessed as my own older relatives. Or at least that I'm sharp enough to realize that I need my speedy and non-motorized grandkid to come with me to pick out my apples.

8 Responses to “Shopping Geriatric Style”

  1. # Blogger Shannon

    Oh yeah we have those at my grcoery store too... they are there all times of the day though... the scary ones are the ones at Wal-mart during the day... ACK... run for the hills lol...  

  2. # Blogger smashedpea

    Heh, we went through this while I was on mat leave - just that I took Sophs with me to the store.

    This, in fact, means that you have to try to get around everyone's abandoned shopping cart while also fighting off every old person in the store that Sophs, being the superfriendly extrovert she is, just waved/smiled/gurgled at. Plus all of those who think it's perfectly ok to come over and touch her, whether she tried to make contact with them or not.  

  3. # Blogger Marie

    LOL! Yeah. Each time of day attracts a certain population. Is this on East Ave?

    I know exactly what you mean... It is frustrating!

    Just wait til you're driving Isabella around in one of those mammoth truck shopping carts (because she won't ride in a regular cart seat). Talk about wide turns! And holy crap, stay away from the P-ford Weggies then, because you'll get the evil eye from everyone without a wee one! That place is nasty!! Much more family-friendly at Lyell... (my unsolicited 12 cents!)  

  4. # Blogger M

    This is hilarious. I shop at Super Target mostly....and there aren't a lot of old people there.
    My grandma breaks one of the major faux-pas. She waits until she gets the total from the lady...then counts out every last penny out. And her wallet has SO many compartments that it takes FOREVER  

  5. # Blogger sher

    OK, I've stopped laughing. You are so darn funny. I've noticed this phenomenon too. Out here, several retirement homes bring their residents to the grocery store at a particular time of the day. I've also noticed that some oldsters are very cranky!!! Why is that? I was standing at the fish counter as one elderly lady questioned the fish monger about various types of fish. She seemed to get angrier and angrier as she looked at the selections. Finally, she yelled, "Forget about it" at him. And what's with the sidelong glare I keep getting from some of the elderly men?  

  6. # Blogger Shannon

    Oh, this is too funny because it rings so true! When I was unemployed last year, I shopped during the daytime and all the retirement folk were being dropped off at the grocery store. I recall *countless* hours--well, probably just minutes but felt like hours--of standing behind seniors at the register as they argued over 25 cent coupons, forcing the cashier to go search for the correct product in question. I tried sooooo hard to be patient because I know that every penny counts for them but ARRRGHHHH!!  

  7. # Blogger Kristi

    Shannon-LOL. I feel bad for them, but my aggressive personality wants to run them over most of the time. ;)

    Smashedpea-Oh, the touching. I keep Isabella's hands under wraps in stores to avoid this very thing.

    Marie-No, this is Pittsford. I can't imagine trying to navigate around the older people in East Ave, which is so tiny and so busy all the time. And yes, I know exactly what you mean about the P-folk.

    M-your grandma is not alone, my friend. I see plenty of people (old and not so old) do that exact same thing.

    Sher-Yup. I've seen my share of angry seniors as well, especially at the store where I shop, which is in a wealthy area. Lots of people there think they have the right to treat the employees like garbage. It's awful.

    Shannon-I feel your pain. I want to dig in their change purses for them to speed up the process!  

  8. # Anonymous Anonymous

    I feel silly now.. had no idea blogger had so many blogs. I guess I should have figured since I found out it is owned by google. I thought I'd be the only one out there. Thanks for the site.. here's mine >>> :)  

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