I know I SHOULD be more organised and do the groceries basically any other day of the week. I work from home, I SHOULD be able to work around a grocery trip - but every week it gets to Saturday and every week I get to the realisation that I will have to stock up or feed my family soup until Monday and therefore every Saturday I do a little list and get shopping - with varying degrees of success.
On the good weeks, I meal plan, organise my pantry, consult the specials brochures (online and paper form) and have a cracker list. We get to Softball, go to the library and then do the health food shop (always fun), the big smoke supermarket, the fruit & veg shop and the 2 local supermarkets and somehow manage to keep within budget and get nearly everything.
On the not so good weeks - we go to softball and get home, when I panic. I figure what we will eat based on what I see in the shops, I double up on things I think I might need and completely forget what was absolutely necessary, I am limited to the 2 local supermarkets and the budget gets blown with only enough good stuff for 2 days.
Guess which one yesterday's was?
It wasn't that dire - however little shops like that will strangle whatever financial sanity you have, and add a nearly 10 year old into the mix...
My gripes with the shopping yesterday, however, weren't about menu planning or meat specials or other customers lack of consideration of aisle usage or old beans.
They definitely weren't about the cutest little kids abounding on a Saturday afternoon at Local Supermarket Number 2 (the blow in). I don't think it is cluckiness, I think there just happened to be a mother-lode of cute little kids at that particular time at that particular place. One little boy was so chatty, he struck up a conversation with me whenever I was anywhere near - even though I declined his offer of a drink (he has worked out all the smooth moves before the age of 3!).
It wasn't about the gorgeous, slinky young things in backless togs and towels in the toiletries aisle - they looked to be having fun together far too much for me to work up a full grump about frumpy matrons, it just made me smile.
It wasn't the fact that my "oh my goodness how much is she growing up" girl disappeared on me for most of the shop for "her favourite aisle" (she is a stationery junkie), reappearing at opportune moments to ask "can I have some money?" (the answer to that is generally no, but she still has to try it), "what is my allowance this week?" (a sliding scale where we hope she aspired to get 100% of, and often receives less - unfortunately she remains happy at getting whatever, and so the bribery is not as effective as it should be - I blame relatives (who do not read this blog) (I hope) who blow our economy with gifts of 3 figure amounts making the 100% of our weekly aspiration look paltry)... I am loving the fact that, in Paradise the supermarkets are not so big and faceless that she can't track me nor I her and she does get a little bit of liberty... Sob, my girl is getting so grown up.
It wasn't that last week's lotto didn't give us the $400,000 I was sort of banking on to solve all financial dilemmas and build a few of our dreams, but I did invest in another chance for fate to step in and do so for us this week. The only guarantee with lotto is that if you don't enter, you will NEVER win.
It wasn't even the fact that a lady in Local Supermarket Number 1 (the original) said "excuse me" in the stock and gravies aisle and then laid her hands on the bump and rubbed - I am far more perplexed by this strange behaviour than outraged, although the whole "personal space" issue can be a bit of a hurdle for me, especially when coupled with the transgression by complete strangers (it freaks me a little when closer acquaintances do it) but she obviously felt it was important enough and did apologise beforehand.
However, there was ONE EVENT that tipped me over the edge yesterday afternoon during the shop - and I am ashamed to say I did not do what I should have done at the time about it.
'Salina had found an object of desire fitting into her budget and was quite excited by the prospect of being the owner of this object (a new notebook - just her kind of candy). I suggested she go into the express aisle for her own purchase with her own money and she was more than happy to comply.
The store was staffed - sparsely - with all very young things - nothing wrong with young things if they do their jobs, and in general there is a certain amount who do and a certain amount who don't - but it is important to note there was not one person working there who I would have called a senior staff member. It comes into play later in my melodrama.
Paradise is made up of mainly by retirees and holiday-makers - families are definitely the smaller third group. 'Salina waited patiently while a few elderly and a few out-of-towners were served. Just as her turn arrived, two teenage boys reached over her to put their purchases on the counter, and Gra#me* served them.
'Salina turned to me to say "did you see that" and I did say out loud (which can be quite) that I had seen that and it wasn't on - and for all the effect that passive aggressive action had on the young thing staff I may as well have been talking from within a plastic bubble - or at least, outside of theirs. Thwarted.
I took her under my wing and put the previous notebook amongst my purchases, scanning the store for someone senior to place a complaint with - but my search was in vain.
My own personal young thing serving me was diligently avoiding any eye contact should I wish to complain to her, and by the time I was at liberty to tackle Gra#me, he had a queue to serve and I stayed silent, defeated into seemingly mute acceptance of this display.
However... However, Mr C, the local owner of Local Supermarket Number 1 (the original) will be receiving a letter, and because Mr C is neither Young nor seeking the admiration of teenage boys above loyal customers I am truly hoping that my Saturday afternoons shall not be ruined by any Gra#me's in the future.
BTW - to those who saw my desperate Twitter last night, inspiration answered my plea and the risotto was fantastic!