Monday, October 21, 2013

I Finally Figured Out Why I Hate Grocery Shopping

I moved to this area of town in 2006. Prior to that time, I don't recall any particular feelings about grocery shopping. I do recall visiting this area of town once and stopping by the only grocery store in the area, Kroger. I commented to my mother, who lived nearby, that their Kroger was horrible. She said yes, this is the worst Kroger she's ever seen.

After moving here, grocery shopping became a highly stressful experience. If I worked all day and came straight home, I was fine. If I worked all day and stopped by the grocery store, I was exhausted and tense. I just assumed I'd developed some intolerance to grocery shopping at some point.

Then, a few months ago, a competing grocery store opened. Now we have two grocery stores to cover an entire 15-mile radius. The new store, Publix, has wide, open aisles and is meticulously clean. Here are Publix's aisles:

Kroger aisles look a little closer to this:

Including those cardboard stands in the middle of the aisle. Does anyone actually buy products from those things? I never look at them--just try to summon patience as I wait for the person coming the other way to pass so I can veer around them.

And now it's time for the biggest grocery store stressor of them all. It goes without describing...

...but I'll describe it anyway. People who block the aisle and refuse to move make me want to have my own Norma Rae moment. I'm not just talking about couples and families who spread out and act like each decision will impact the next 20 years of their lives. I'm talking about the one person who stands next to his or her cart, ignoring everyone else.

I just have one question. Do they really have the ability to tune everyone else out? Or are they simply rude?

What are your grocery store annoyances?