Friday, April 17, 2009


Nobody warned me, but then I should have known-----well I know now!! My mistake was simple enough in hindsight, but still perhaps my telling the tale, will help some other soul avoid the nightmare.

The stock market closes here at 1Pm, and today the gods of finance were gentle with me and I felt a certain okay with the world. In this euphoric mood, I decided I should go to the grocery story, and stock up on victuals, seeing as I appeared to be able to afford them. So after doing my normal sum up of the days stock market, washed my coffee cup and cereal bowl, and fruit juice glass, spent some time making up a grocery list and headed out to the local market. It was 3PM, on a Friday-----as I entered the big grocery (its name is not relevant, as I am sure all supermarkets are the same in regards to the tale of horror I am about to relate.

I parked old blue in the back of the big parking lot hopefully to avoid any door dings, and hiked the quarter mile to the actual store, grabbing a cart, still not aware of what was to be, and pushed my way into the store proper, I got maybe 15 feet into the store, I remember hearing the automatic "in" doors whooshing closed behind me----as my eyes took in the fact that every other shopper in the store had at least two kids in tow, and a third either in their arms or in a stroller-----only then did it strike home----school was out, moms picking up their kids from school were now shopping for the dinner to be served at 5pm when the fathers came home!!!

As if to underline the hell I had unconsciously, voluntarily put myself in, a wall of sound hit me, the cacophony of tired, cranky mothers screaming at their kids, who in turn were doing their best bits at getting mom to buy them the candy, crackers, cookies and toys they just had to have. Some throwing hissy fits, others just plain loud caterwauling, yet others off their leashes had started an impromptu game of tag through the isles, others playing hide and go seek, (the store was huge enough to do that).

My reaction to finding myself in the 3rd level of Dante's inferno, was to make an immediate break for the "Out door", on the other side of the checkout counters----noting that there had to be between six and 10 tired cranky mothers and accompanying sticky fingered children in every line. A stubborn gene kicked alive in me and buddied up with a now blooming gene of Masochism, and I found myself trying to actually gather up my list of needed groceries, as wave after wave of screams from mothers, and resulting screams of protest echoed from the children, washed over me------thank god I had no need to buy crackers, cookies or candy, allowing me to avoid those areas of peak disaster.

It seemed liked days and days before my body shaking I was able to clear the checkout stand and in a daze hit the outside, only then horrified to find tears in my eyes, followed immediately with relief, it was only tears and not blood. I don't quite recall arriving back home, or putting the groceries away----I do know however that I failed to get three items that were on my list---and to the best of my knowledge, I didn't run over any kids with my shopping cart.

I have made a vow---I will never, never, ever go grocery shopping in the afternoons after school has been let out-----better yet, I will do my shopping between 7-9am on Sundays. If I can't get my shopping done then---will just have to pay the price of eating out.


  1. If you were a Mom you probably wouldn't have even heard the noise. All though now that all my kids are out of the house some of my hearing has come back. I always go shopping in the morning.

  2. It is very easy to tune out a crying, screaming, I want this-this-&-this child. I guess it's easy if he's your own.

  3. It is time for you to gather your shopping essays and put them in a book!

  4. What a tale of terror! I'm so glad you survived the ordeal with only missing 3 items on your list. You seem to have a good plan for shopping in the future.....Sunday 7 - 9 am.

  5. Learning to tune out a screaming child takes practice.....unfortunately I've had TONS of
    I'm so happy you survived Gary.

  6. Hi Gary -- another new-ish Temeculan here -- the upside of this phenomenon here is that if you go to Costco or the grocery store at 2:30pm instead, it is the serene, blissful, almost-slightly-eerie opposite of your experience, because said mommies are cued up in endless lines around schools.

  7. Hahahahahahaha!!! What a screeching good tale, and very amusingly told.

  8. Gary, Are you maso ? Your horror tale makes me smile. I wonder : Is American people all dinning at 5:pm ? it's very early, isn't it ?
    Here in France, we have our dinner between 7:00 and 8:00. For my part it's at 7:45pm. Have a nice day.


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