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I Don’t Like to Push a Shopping Cart!

It was last Friday and I happened to be in the store when an elderly woman, accompanied by what appeared to be her daughter, was haltingly pushing a shopping cart.  She was kind of leaning on the cart, using it to help her keep her balance I guess.  ~Lida Krieger

Cousin Katie playing with Kyle

Those that know me, know I HATE to push shopping carts.  Not only shopping carts but strollers and such.  When Kyle was just a baby, I carried him around in this papoose contraption.  It was the coolest thing!  Kyle would hang off of my stomach facing me when he was really little until graduating to facing out, then as he got a little bit bigger, I wore him like a backpack.  My hands were free to shop, get groceries etc.  I never wondered off away from him, not even an inch, and I felt like he was safer being strapped to me.  Basically my point is, I didn’t even push a stroller or buggy.  Then, once Kyle was old enough I had him walk everywhere.  Great exercise and it wore him down, allowing for perfect naps and a great night sleep, for everyone.  Kyle has always, and still always goes with me everywhere.  I guess I got my money’s worth out of that papoose.

This brings me the shopping cart discussion.  Why you may ask am I bringing this up?  Well, my dear friend Kelly said she found my match the other day.  Evidently, this guy was at the grocery store walking back and forth to fill up his cart. That was too funny!  Kelly said she instantly thought of me, and it’s true!  I do that!  Here’s the way it goes.  I get my cart at the entrance of the grocery store.  Then I take it to the middle of the produce section and I walk back and forth to fill it up.  Then, when I’m done in that area, I push the cart to main isle of the grocery story and proceed to maneuver up and down the different shelves gathering items.  This all happens while my shopping cart remains fixed in one location.  Once my hands are full, I swing by the cart to unload the goods.  This continues until everything on my list is crossed off and then I push the load of groceries to the checkout.  Also a little known fact, if I can manage to carry all the bags in my hands, then I ditch the cart.  If there is a substantial amount of groceries, then I will concede and push the buggy to the car for unloading.  That pretty much wraps up my shopping procedures.

If I don’t need a buggy, I love to carry those little plastic baskets on my arm.  I feel like little red ridding hood.  I carry the arm baskets everywhere in the store.  Well, that is unless I get too many items, which is usually the case and I have to leave it on the floor somewhere until I’m ready to check out.  At that point, I continue with the standard walking back and forth filling up the arm basket that is now residing on the floor somewhere, until I’m ready to heave it to the checkout.

Pushing a buggy makes me feel like I’m weighed down and I can’t move freely.  Maneuvering through people is difficult, especially if it’s crowed.  That drives me crazy!  I don’t have the patience to wait till shoppers step aside from their slow moving motions and get out of my way.  Believe it or not, if there are a lot of people in the isle, I will go to another one to continue shopping before returning to that specific isle to get what I need. If I am forced to adventure down a crowed area, I’ll do it, but being trapped in an isle with a grocery cart and several other shoppers and their carts makes me completely claustrophobic!

Since I will walk back and forth a zillion times and not push the cart, it probably takes me longer in the grocery store, but I truly don’t care.  Now I’ve never conducted time tests on which is more efficient, pushing the buggy through crowds of people or parking the cart and going back and forth.  I bet with the speed that I walk at, it’s a wash.  Sounds like I take extra steps?  Yep, I do, but who cares, it’s great exercise and I don’t feel confined to a buggy.  I’m also the believer that every extra step does a body good.

This also sounds like I don’t have a system when retrieving groceries.  However, I do, but I have no issue changing it up on the fly to make my shopping experience more enjoyable.  Not to mention, gaining a little extra movement in my adventures in grocery shopping is actually a goal of mine.

Naturally, I have a different shopping adventure when others are joined with me, like mom or Kyle.  Shopping with mom is slow moving, ever since her knees have gotten bad.  In fact, now-a-days she takes the motorized carts, which totally crack me up!  But when she has the regular old shopping cart, she tends to be a leaner.  She pushes the cart and leans on it the entire time like she is using a walker.  This works out, since I don’t like to push the cart.  Mom used to go through the grocery store and stop to retrieve the items around her, while she instructed me on the items to grab. I would run around and come back with the packaged food items in my hands.  Now that’s a perfect team!

When I was in high school and mom was more in her prime, I would dance around the grocery store while mom pushed the buggy. Yep, I did!  I would jazz run up and down the isles, leaping and making up routines in the middle of the store.  Now I really didn’t do this when other patrons where in close proximity to us, but when the shelves only saw us in view, look out.  I couldn’t stop my feet from moving.  Usually mom would ignore me, and sometimes I got on her nerves, especially when I would get out of control and practically run people over.  Generally speaking, I would dance around mom as she filled up the cart.

Then you have Kyle on the other hand.  He’ll push the cart for me, only because he knows I don’t like to, but he just can’t leave it in place while I run around and fill it up.  He has to keep it within a foot from us and that makes me want to loose my mind.  Sometimes I feel like I can’t escape the shopping cart, like its the possessed car from Christine!  That’s even worse, than if I was pushing the cart the entire way through the store.  At least I would have the opportunity to free myself from the ball and chain.  With Kyle, he has to have it right beside us!  I do realize there is no doubt, I drive him crazy with the way I shop.  Sometimes, I’ll compromise and park the buggy at the end of the isle, as opposed to the middle of the store, and walk up and down the shelves of groceries before returning.  He will start walking up the isle with me, and then turn around and grab the cart and push it towards us.  Every time!  I have been known to loose my temper and say, “Kyle!  Just leave it, we’ll be right back.” followed by Kyle’s justification of “No that’s ok, I’ll just push it.”  Then I declare, “No one wants to take our groceries, it’s not like we paid for them yet.”  He just can’t handle it and ignores me to continue on his course of action.

On that note, I’ve actually had people take my buggy thinking it was theirs.  Also, visa verse, I’ve accidentally walked off with someone’s cart.  Usually, I’m pretty quick to notice and return it without incidence.  But I can’t say that’s always happened to me.  There were times when I never got my selected items back in my possession.  What did I do?  What else?  I started all over.  I might have been a little irritated, but I understand the consequences behind my actions and I’m willing to take the chance.

Mom-Smiling--Aunt Heather-Piper
Gigi sport’in a smile & wave.  I think Kyle took this picture years ago.

I will admit the dumb part of this entire process is when I leave my money in the wide openness of an abandoned shopping cart.  I’ve heard of theft happening from this action, even though I’ve been blessed enough to not have experienced it.  Usually, if I don’t have my purse with me, I will keep my wallet tucked under my arm, and the cell phone in my pocket.  But if I have cash and Kyle’s with me, I hand it to him and he usually tucks it away in his cargo pockets.  Skeptical?  I’m not at all!  Kyle is extremely responsible and I trust him explicitly.  He’s always been my little side kick.  Plus, I use that as a way to teach him responsibility.  I know the consequences if this decision would go a rye.  But you know what?  To teach Kyle responsibility and show him how much I trust him, I’m willing to take that chance, even if it costs me a couple hundred dollars.

Usually, if mom needs groceries she hands me a list that I follow.  This allows me and Kyle to divide and conquer.  I park the shopping cart in one location and give him the task of retrieving a few items.   Yep, I’m making him walk back and forth, but it does speed things up.  This is also a learning lesson, giving Kyle the opportunity to find the items and learn where they are located on his own.  He also has no trouble asking workers for assistance.  Good experience!

OK, I do want to call out that this habit doesn’t just happen in grocery stores.  Quick story.  When I was in high school, I went to the discounted clothing store, Gabrielle’s to do a little bit of shopping.  It was winter and naturally I wore my heavy coat.  Me being me, I slipped out of my coat and placed it in the buggy before beginning to shop. Eventually, I worked my way, away from the cart, probably for a considerable amount of time, looking through racks of miscellaneous cloths.  At one point, I realized, I haven’t seen my buggy in a while.  Please note, my car keys and money where in my coat, in the cart.  Yikes!  I started running around the store looking for the missing assistant on wheels, but no luck!  Just then, something caught my eye.  It was MY coat, placed among a rack with other winter coats!  What?  I double checked the pockets, and sure enough my gloves where in there with my car keys and money.  Now, the rest of my selected items have since been returned to their previous residence, but at that moment I didn’t care at all.  My brother was there with me, and after I told him about dodging a bad situation, he just rolled his eyes at me.  To this day, that cracks me up.  I almost had both of us stranded and he just rolled his eyes at me and said he was driving us home.  No problem, I never really liked to drive anyway. Especially, since Ryan was always a better driver.

I guess everyone has their own corks and hiccups, mine is the aversion to pushing shopping carts, buggies, strollers etc.  Am I alone on this one?

Published inCommon SenseEducation & LearningFamilyObservation & Imagination

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