I HAVE a habit of making things much harder for myself than they need be. For example, shopping. In particular, Tesco. There’s just a host of little things that fluster me, and I leave a traumatised, hangry* shopper.
So the first thing I go do is get a basket. I make a beeline for the stack, with my large sports bag slung precariously on my shoulder, and three carrier bags already making my hand white with weight, it’s not the easiest task. I manoeuvre myself sideways so my bag doesn’t drop off my shoulder, only to crash into a stack of baskets because I’m too weak to lift the carrier bags any higher. The creepy claw-like position of my hand that ensures I don’t drop them also makes it difficult. Awkward. I muster up all my strength, which I imagine leaves some weird gurning expression on my face. But I’ve done it, YES, I grabbed a basket, yes, I’ve done it!
So I make my way through the automatic door, hitting everything possible with my basket/bag/shopping bags. I say sorry without looking behind, just in case I hit anyone, which just ends up me talking to myself.
I need some yoghurt, so head to the dairy aisle. The combination of so much shit to carry makes me sweat with its stupidly heavy weight. I drop the basket at the fridge door, and start by opening the door from the wrong side so, coincidentally, it didn’t open. I manage to figure it out, and delve into the refrigerated shelved and grab some honey yoghurt. All is well. Put it in the basket and commence on my Tesco trek once again.
Take three steps. Oh. The yoghurt is leaking is it? TYPICAL, IS IT?! Reverse, beep, beep, beep. With so much luggage, I probably am actually as big as a HGV. I slyly replace the yoghurt pot and pick another, inspecting on removal from the fridge. It’s fine. Let’s move on.
Hey there fruit and veg aisle, we meet again. There’s plenty of hazards, so I keep my eyes peeled for potential dangers around. For a start, there’s always a squashed grape on the floor. It’s gross, squidgy and slippery. I avoid a stray green grape by the banana stand, scooting around it to avoid a horrible mushy accident.
This aisle presents another problem; polythene bags. Again, a slip hazard, so I’m careful to watch out. I pick my carrots (the oddest looking ones, because I don’t discriminate) and grab a bag to house them in. Oh look at that, I can’t fiND THE BLOODY OPENINGGG!! (Voice slowly gets angry and loud here) I lick my finger to tease it open… no luck. I wrinkle it up, and catch a glimpse of the notorious opening. Irritated flapping follows, before thrusting it back into a veg palette and taking my carrots loose. Stupid bags.
All this and I still have to pay the freezers a visit for my required frozen berries. I lollop down the aisle, Hunchback-esque because my bag is hitting the back of my knee, causing my own leg to cave a little with each step. I must look special. Five minutes I spend scanning them. Five WHOLE minutes. Nothing. Before I reside myself to be berry-less, I ask a passing shop assistant. I point to the freezer “I’ve checked them all and I can’t…” before being cut off with the opening said freezer and the lady handing me some frozen berries. I knew they were there…….
Checkout are full as. I have ten minutes until my bus. I take the self check-out route. Is this wise? Doubtful.
I begin. But alas, who is this mystery woman who keeps telling me there’s an UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA. Yes, actually there is. It’s me curled up crying because the trauma of this Tesco shop has got too much. I’m tired, and hangry, and an invisible woman is saying words I do not care to hear.
Four times I need staff assistance in this process. FOUR. But, then, all is paid for and I can leave; I made it through.
I make it to the door, a breeze hitting my face, I’VE MADE IT. And then, almost slow motion, heart-breaking, it happens.
My plastic bag rips, apples go flying.
Oh, for fuck sake.
*Hangry = hungry + angry (I’m sure you’ve experienced this before, no?)