The weekly shop­ping trip saga

South Shore Breaker - - NAVIGATE ATLANTIC - Les­ley.crewe@gmail.com

When you are a re­tired cou­ple, the num­ber 1 ad­ven­ture of the week is to go for your weekly shop­ping trip. For some rea­son, both of you have to go. You can have your own ad­ven­tures, too. Hubby al­ways man­ages to get in a trip to Home Depot, Cana­dian Tire or Cen­tral Sup­plies with­out me, for which I am eter­nally grate­ful, and I al­ways man­age to leave the house with­out him for a hair ap­point­ment, pedi­cure or mas­sage, only be­cause he wouldn’t be caught dead at these places.

But in­evitably, we both have to go to Wal­mart for sup­plies. All is good un­til we walk in the door. I in­evitably have to use the wash­room first thing. While he col­lects the cart and makes a big deal about clean­ing the han­dle with a tow­elette, I say, “I’ll meet you at the veg­gie sec­tion.”

“I have to go get kitty lit­ter, Tums and Tylenol first.”

“Well, I have to go find a cheap bra, so I’ll go there first and then meet you at the grape­fruit stand.”

We part com­pany. And so be­gins the un­for­tu­nate saga.

Af­ter un­suc­cess­fully find­ing the one lousy ob­ject I came in for, I wan­der over to where I said

I’d be.

He’s def­i­nitely not at the grape­fruit stand and af­ter wait­ing there for what seems like for­ever (six-and-a-half min­utes), I move on. I sys­tem­at­i­cally march along the one long aisle that looks down all the shorter food aisles to see if I can see him. I start in the veg­gie sec­tion and plod along to the last aisle that con­tains the milk, yo­gurt and cheese. There are at least 100 re­tired men me­an­der­ing the aisles, but not one of them belongs to me.

This sit­u­a­tion would be reme­died if we both had a cell­phone, but we’re too cheap to get two, so we share one, which is use­less for find­ing your mate at a big box store. The law of av­er­ages sug­gest that I will find him even­tu­ally, but by the time that hap­pens I’m al­ready plan­ning our di­vorce. Af­ter an­other 20 min­utes, I won­der how I’m go­ing to tell the kids that I lost their fa­ther.

Maybe he fell and can’t get up? But surely I’d run into him if that was the case. Did he meet an old friend in some ob­scure back aisle? Men are worse gos­sips than women and they could stand there jaw­ing all day, given half the chance. Just where the heck did he go? Back to the car? I hus­tle to the park­ing lot and promptly for­get where we parked, so I dart around try­ing not to look ob­vi­ous. When I do even­tu­ally find the car, it’s empty. It’s not pos­si­ble he’s in that store! I’ve looked ev­ery­where.

Now I go back and won­der if I should get the store in­volved. Do I re­ally have the nerve to ask them to say over the in­ter­com, “If Les­ley Crewe’s hus­band is still in the store, will he please come to the in­for­ma­tion desk be­fore her head ex­plodes?”

I de­cide I bet­ter not chance it. He’d never for­give me. I end up shout­ing into the men’s wash­room. “JOHN?”

Noth­ing.

“JOHN?”

“Yes, this is the John,” a man replies.

Even in my height­ened state, I thought that was re­ally funny. I told him so.

“Thank you,” says the voice. My hair must have been on end be­cause the Wal­mart greeter is look­ing at me with con­cern. “Can I help you, ma’am?”

“I’ve lost my stupid hus­band!” “It hap­pens a lot.”

“And are they ever found?” “Un­for­tu­nately.”

And who comes around the cor­ner with a full cart but Hubby, look­ing fu­ri­ous. “Where on Earth have you been? I sat out­side that women’s change room for an hour.”

He has the nerve to be mad at me!

“John, I said I’d meet you by the grape­fruit and you weren’t there.”

“I waited by the grape­fruit and you never showed up.”

“If we had an­other phone, we wouldn’t have to do this ev­ery time.”

“I am not get­ting into a dis­cus­sion about phones in pub­lic. Let’s go. My feet are sore from run­ning about this joint look­ing for you.”

“My feet are sorer than yours.” This is what it comes down to.

We sulk our way through the check­out and march to the car. Af­ter putting our seat­belts on, he turns to me. “Did you get what­ever you were look­ing for?”

“No. Did you get my grape­fruit?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“I was too busy look­ing for you. Why didn’t you get it?”

“You had the cart, mis­ter!”

LES­LEY CREWE ARE YOU KID­DING ME? I won­der how I’m go­ing to tell the kids that I lost their fa­ther.

Les­ley Crewe is a writer liv­ing in, and lov­ing, Cape Bre­ton. These are the me­an­der­ing mus­ings of a bored housewife whose un­grate­ful kids left her alone with a re­tired hus­band and two fat cats who couldn’t care less. Her 10th novel, Be­holden, is be­ing re­leased this fall.

123RF

A shop­ping trip can be more trou­ble than it’s worth.

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