Is there a such thing as shopping etiquette?

Published 10:42 pm Friday, November 26, 2010

I need to give my sincerest apologies to the nice lady I nearly ran over 12 times in Winn-Dixie on Monday. I just don’t know how to navigate a grocery store. It’s almost as confusing as the buffet bar at Tabby D’s.

The few days before any holiday are mass confusion for those working in the newspaper business. For those who don’t realize it, people in the newspaper business work a day in advance. Easy principle to understand, right? However, if you want to get a day off, you have to work two days in advance. Throw a holiday in the mix where everyone in the world you need to make a story is on vacation that two days in advance becomes four.

So on Monday, when I elected to take 30 minutes out of my hour lunch break to do my Thanksgiving shopping, I was in a little bit of a hurry – to say the least.

I jumped out of the car, grabbed a cart and my list and began to shop.

The nice lady and I had our first encounter along about the seafood counter. I was going for bread. I’m not sure what she was shopping for at that point. I cleared a display of doughnuts and there she was. Luckily, I had forgone my usual practice of wearing my iPod when I shopped and was paying attention to where I was going.

I excused myself and navigated around her.

Ten minutes later we met again in front of the soups. There was a bit of scraping as the carts passed each other this time.

“Excuse me,” I said. “I’m a horrible driver. They never make these aisles wide enough.”

I need to give a second apology to the nice man I caught staring at the pudding section.

I positioned myself behind him and began the mental debate of one chocolate pie or two. I opted for two. It’s just as much trouble as one. Then, if there are leftovers, they can come home with me, but I digress.

It’s been my experience that not many men bake, so when it took me five minutes to decide what to cook and he was still standing there, I elected to see if he needed help.

“You look like a man faced with a dilemma,” I said to him.

He said he was making banana pudding, and he didn’t know if he wanted two servings or four.

“Plus, I want something without artificial sweeteners,” he said.


“You’re out of luck on that front, and as far as the number of servings, four of them mean you’re four times as happy,” I said.

And wouldn’t you guess it – I turn around and there is the nice lady with her buggy again.

Smack again.

I can promise the general public right now. Your buggies are safe on Black Friday. I won’t be among the shopping public.