Grocery Store Confessions

I was picking out tomatoes at the grocery store yesterday so I could make fresh salsa. As I tried to imagine what possible virtues hydroponic vegetables possess to offset their tastelessness I noticed a little girl, probably around 6 years old, fondling a pile of fresh green beans nearby. She looked past me to her mom who also was picking tomatoes and asked, “Mommy, what are these?” I thought it was kind of cute but a little sad that she had to ask what a green bean was. Then her mom said, “I don’t really know.” In quiet shock I turned to put the tomatoes in my basket.

It was then that I realized the basket I was using wasn’t mine. I must have mistakenly grabbed someone else’s before I came to the produce aisle. I left the basket there as I looked for someone who appeared to be as confused as I, someone other than the clueless produce mom, who was smartly holding on to her own basket.

I had no luck finding confused people, which isn’t that surprising. Were I a person missing a basket (and I was) I would stroll around the store trying not to look spacey enough to misplace a shopping cart. Happily, I bumped into basket #1. I’d left it in the frozen foods section. I don’t know if it was the right thing to do, but I never went back to the one in produce I’d nabbed. Once I found mine, I just acted as if I’d left it to pick up some tomatoes, grabbed the handle bar and headed for the check-out.

My punishment for not trying harder to reconnect the owner with the stray basket and for pretending not to be senile was forgetting the cilantro I’d planned to use in my salsa.

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14 Comments on “Grocery Store Confessions”

  1. Susan Says:

    Oh my sides hurt from laughing

  2. Jennie Says:

    Isn’t it ridiculous the games we play with ourselves on behalf of others? I would have acted like I wasn’t spacey, too, which is really insane when you think about it. Who cares if we misplaced our basket? It happens to everyone.

    That sucks about the cilantro – I went to two grocery stores this weekend and neither of them had cilantro. (I got tomatoes from Papaw’s garden last week!) So yesterday I found the cilantro but still haven’t convinced J to make salsa (he makes it better than I do). I’m keeping my fingers crossed for tonight.

  3. Leann Says:

    Mmmmm, homemade salsa is the best. Do you happen to have the recipe or is it a family secret?

    I’ve left my buggy before or even worse, went in thinking I just had a few items to pick up and then realized I needed a buggy because I was picking out all kinds of stuff I saw (never shop when hungry). Then I’d casually look for an empty basket and find one…probably one that someone misplaced. Ha!

  4. Citizen D Says:

    Other than the green bean portion (which I found a little sad), this story made me laugh. Instead of your approach (and apparently the one Jennie would take too), I probably would have just started asking everyone if they had seen an unclaimed basket anywhere.

  5. bigskymind Says:

    Sounds like there was a lot of spaceyness going on in the ol’ grocery. I too have lost my cart, and walked up to someone who wasn’t my husband and almost put things in their cart. That is tres embarrassing.

  6. Susan Says:

    I was with my mother at the grocery store when I was about 12 years old and decided I was tired of how long it was taking so I went to the car. I completely got into the wrong car and was sitting there when the owner came out. Our car and theirs were identical..honest. I’ve never been so mortified. Haha too funny now.

  7. My Momma told me, You better shop around.
    P.S.-Was that salsa for tonight’s episode of SYTYCD?

  8. Troy Says:

    What is it about grocery stores that make these kinds of situations possible? Is it that we are usually in a hurry, multitasking, and overloaded with visual stimuli?

    Sorry Dave, that batch is gone, but I’m going to the Farmer’s Market at lunch today, so I might just make more!

  9. Troy Says:

    Susan, I would have died.

    Leann, my recipe is pretty run of the mill, but you’re welcome to it:


    -Six Roma tomatoes or three or four regular size tomatoes (seeded and diced)
    -1/2 to 3/4 medium-sized onion, diced (I like a lot of onions and use yellow or white ones, the white ones can be a little too sharp for my taste)
    -1 rounded tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
    -1/2 minced jalapeno pepper
    -Juice from one lime
    -A dash of Tabasco
    -Sea salt (1/2 tsp or to taste)
    -Fresh ground pepper (to taste)

    Mix all of the ingredients. Place covered in a glass or non-reactive metal bowl for a couple of hours before serving.

    I’m open to suggestions for improvement J. so chime in if you want!

  10. Leann Says:

    Mmmmm. Sea salt. Thanks for the recipe!

    Speaking of grocery stores (this is sadder than all of the other comments), last night I went into our local Kroger and walking in was this man in front of me, probably around 60 or so. Not old in my book because that’s how old my father-in-law is. Anyway, he was walking funny and had trouble picking up the hand-held basket. I also took one after him. He continued to sort of stumble into the fruits and vegetables and usually I get annoyed with slow people, but not this guy. Something about him touched me. Well, as I was walking out to my car after checking out, I saw him again. This time, he had gone to the wrong car on the wrong aisle (where I had parked) and was obviously confused. He then proceeded to walk to the appropriate aisle. As I was leaving, we crossed paths in our vehicles. I was so sad. I guess it makes you think about the frailty of people as they get older. I have a hint that he may have suffered from a stroke before or had the onset of Alzheimer’s. But something about this man really hit me hard and I didn’t quite understand.

    Okay, sorry to write a book, but grocery stores and Susan’s story about getting into the wrong car made me think of this…

  11. juliebelle Says:

    i especially liked that you had to pretend you were just going to grab a tomato.

    this story made me glad.

  12. RNR Says:

    Do all you people smoke marijuana before you go to the grocery store?

    No wonder there’s so many carts sitting around in my way when I go.

  13. Troy Says:

    Rich, I have to believe that it is primarily self-absorbed people who never have these problems.

  14. crystal Says:

    oh no! i’ve left a grocery basket in a store too, and never found it. and i too forgot cilantro this past weekend for our cooking excursion at jeb’s house.
    and i was sorely mad that i spent 2 danged dollars on a bell pepper and didn’t even use it.

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