Seasonal supermarket rage
I think we’ve all been there, haven’t we? And I’m not talking about someone swiping the last box of six Mr Kipling mince pies (£15.50) from under your nose. No, for me the seasonal supermarket rage isn’t about groceries at all. It’s about people.
So, as a mum, you know you’ve got precisely 48 minutes left until your children will be released from school for the whole of the next three weeks – and you need to use every second of that time to get your festive manicure, pedicure, blow-dry, gift-shopping and grocery shopping done – and, if you’re anything like me, you will get all of those thing done in 48 minutes. So let’s just say you’re moving fast.
On the supermarket hit-list is a pint of milk, some fresh bread and a bag of apples, so you race in, trolley on two wheels as you screech into the first aisle, shopping list between your gritted teeth, nail polish drying and curlers still in. You’re running (you’ll know this is true if you’ve ever seen me in Spinneys) past the cleaning products when you see them up ahead.
The festive Family.
Not just any festive family – these are the extended family, over from goodness knows what corners of the world and covering every age group from five to 95, including two self-conscious teenagers wearing black – and I can tell you now that the festive family is not achieving the impossible in 48 minutes. The festive family is in the supermarket “for fun”.
Cursing your unlucky stars, you fall in behind them, catching snatches of their conversation as you try desperately to gain ground when they hesitate by the Thorntons dark-and-milk selection boxes. But they don’t stop quite long enough for you to edge your trolley through and you’re forced to continue following them, cursing and sighing to yourself as they get ever slower.
“Ooh, look! Pasta!” says an older lady dressed in M&S holiday separates and comfy shoes.
“Yes!” laughs the one who lives here (even before she speaks, I can tell by her highlights). “We get everything here! It’s even from Waitrose!”
Another one in an iffy pair of shorts and a shapeless t-shirt stops dead in the aisle. I nearly ram my trolley up her bottom.
“That reminds me,” she says slowly, stroking her chin as if in deep thought. “What are we doing for dinner tonight?” Everyone stops. The angst is tangible. What? Dinner is not planned? Eyes widen, looks are exchanged. Whose monumental fail was that?
And I can’t hold it anymore. I can’t hold the trolley back. My feet are running before I know it and I try desperately to edge the trolley through the largest gap but the corner catches the backside of self-conscious teenager A who looks like she’s going to smack me and then it hits the shoe of Fat Aunty but I don’t stop, I can’t stop – I’m through, I’m free and –
Well, thank heavens that’s over for another year.