On being a recluse

I officially have had enough of over-educated, know it alls.  If I see one more woman in a power-tweed skirt with wedge heels I may go insane.  If I have to deal with appalling manners from people who should know better I think I may join Jim’s grandpa up on his mountain and close myself away from the insanity that we call society.


I survived, barely, the 20% off everything sale at Earthfare.

Emphasis on barely.

This wasn’t my first 20% off sale.  I’m an old pro… got a list and everything.  Inventoried the day before, had a game plan… good to go!

What I had not accounted for was the insanity induced by the current economic downswing AND the fact that Earthfare advertised the sale in the paper.


Let’s see… a little background.

Earthfare is a regional organic/natural grocery store.  They are based in Asheville I believe and have several stores around the southeast, predominately in SC and NC.  For the most part their clientele are either health nuts or urban professionals with a few regular folks with food issues (like us) thrown into the mix.  We tend to be friendly with all sorts and have never really had a problem with anybody while shopping.  The staff know us by sight and name (buy a couple 50lbs of flour and sugar and you become memorable).

So anyway.

We arrived at EF late due to catching a killer sale at Sunrift (seriously, $70 pants for $8.50) and having to wait for our coffee bean order to be made at Leopard Forest (20 mins of waiting… it’s still worth it!). Oh and we met up with Jim at PhoNoodleville for Vietnamese (I’m dreaming about Vietnamese Calamari… it’s that good).  So it was knocking on 5pm when we waltzed in the door.

Unfortunately Jim was unable to join us for the shopping extravaganza as he had to go to work, but that left me and M to handle the kids and I felt that it was ok.

So we entered the fray and immediately my buggy was stolen, luckily I didn’t have a child in it at the time.  I went to pick out a couple limes and turned around to no buggy.  The produce guy found me another one, and I was sort of more amused than disgruntled… but I should’ve recognized the mood in the store was not so cordial at that point. 

From there I attemptedto get to the carrots and celery but was physically blocked by a sea of humanity… ok so it was 4 people with shopping carts… but a creek of humanity doesn’t sound as good.  I NEVER got to the carrots btw.  M bullied through, but I ended up floating around the periphery looking at things that other people weren’t mauling.

By this point, 10 mins into my shopping, I was beginning to get annoyed.

So I moved on to bulk goods were I met a nice woman buying figs.  We discussed the merits of dried versus fresh and parted amicably.  I attempted  to purchase all my bulk goods at one go, but had to actually leave the area with the tide of humanity (this time more than 4) as it pushed us on down to wine and cheese. 

Surprisingly, there were only a handful of people in the cheese section so we loitered there a bit longer than necessary, catching a breather and chatting with the tattooed cheese girl. 

Then we braved the meat counter.  Our rather M did.  I decided that I would revisit the bulk bins to pick up a bit of couscous.  Enter the power-tweed skirt woman.  HISSSSSS!!   When I reentered the bulk area I noticed that most of the customers were parking their buggies to one side so that everybody could access the various bins without being blocked.  Oh not Tweedy!  She had a good fourth of the section blocked.  I politely, and I suppose TOO Southernly, asked her to let me access the couscous and she sneered down her nose and moved one whole inch out of the way.  I smiled, thought vile things about her, and squeezed/reached my way to the bin.  The couscous is in a lever bin meaning you pull down the handle and it goes into the bag.  As I pushed down on the handle Tweedy backed up OVER me and as I caught my balance couscous went EVERYWHERE… big French couscous… all over that slick floor.  Kinda like walking on tiny marbles.  I quickly shut off the lever, but the damage was pretty bad.  Couscous all over the place!  So I reached out to balance on her buggy as I attempted to clean up the couscous mess with my foot and she glared at me and stormed off.  So I’m left standing there with my hands on my hips as she slips and slides and almost twists her hoity-toity ankle in her precious wedge heels (secretly that amused me).  So I cleaned up as best I could, dashed back over to tattooed cheese girl to inform her of the incident and rejoined M at the meat counter.

M was making enemies faster than the butcher could wrap up her orders.  When she took the last of the ground sirloin there was an audible hiss from the amassed crowd, the last brisket drew a groan and when she ordered all of the remaining chicken breasts I thought we may not make it out alive!  Oh my!  It was “skeery” to use a good Southernism.

Tweedy waltzed past at one point and we glared like fighting cats at each other.  I resisted the urge to hiss…  aloud… until after she passed. 

It was at that point I registered the thought that maybe 20% off wasn’t really worth it… but it was too late to back out.

So on around we went, splitting up and cajoling the kids to endure just a bit longer.  The kids, by the way, were quick to pick up on the malevolent vibe in the store and were edgy at best.  Sophie started not feeling well and near the end she was curled up in one of the buggies singing “Amazing Grace” and “Abide with Me” mournfully to herself (people stared… and a couple complimented her singing).

At last we were done and in line, only to remember that we didn’t get any canned tomatoes (we’ve long since run out of the ones canned last summer) and so we veered out of line to get them and do one last walk around to make sure we had everything.  At that point M and I split up again.  M had to park her buggy with Xander in it at the end cap and I parked on the next aisle where I could eyeball Xander and make sure the buggy stayed put.  I could not see M, or hear her for that matter, but I could clearly see Xander.  Suddenly M reappeared, her face flushed, her eyes blazing and I knew something had pushed her over the edge.  Due to the crush of people we didn’t meet back up until the check out and M was livid.  Apparently when she bent over to pick up the tomatoes (they are on a lower shelf) a man backed into her and sat on her head.  Like his butt was on M’s head.  And then he pushed into her so that her head went UNDER the shelf.  And if that wasn’t bad enough once she righted herself some other woman launched into her about leaving Xander in the buggy by himself.  M tried to explain that I was standing right there watching him, but she wouldn’t listen and M ended up just leaving to get away from her!


So I think I’m going to be staying here at the farm and sending the others out to deal with the masses.  Give me sheep and horses and crazy cows any day… I’ll leave society to the rest of you 🙂

8 thoughts on “On being a recluse

  1. Jim

    It is shamefully how society has seemed to freefall in politeness and civility to a sad state of unkind people instead of trying to help our fellow man out. “Whats in it for me” is society’s motto/ mantra now more then ever.


  2. haze

    I’m sorry – I had to laugh at your description of that shopping event. I could see it all happening, clear as day. Which might be because I’ve also experienced similar swarms of unfriendly consumers. Not good. I think you were right – it wasn’t worth the 20% that day, but what can you do – especially when you’re already in the thick of it.

    I’m glad you made it back to the sanity of the farm.


  3. Donna

    First, I didn’t know EF had a 20% off sale. Is that every EF or just your local? Second, I must agree with Jim. Society as a whole is definitely “me” oriented. It’s disgusting. I try to be nice and polite, but it’s hard when all about you are rude and revolting people.


  4. Shea

    Each EF does it’s own sale. Apparantly there are some stores that never do the 20% off thing, but our local store does one a couple times a year… plus they occasionally do 20% off one department (like health&beauty). The kicker is they don’t really advertize it. They’ll put a banner up outside the store about a week beforehand, but that’s about it. This time they put an ad in the paper which is why the crazies were out I’m guessing!


  5. mombycalling4me


    I’m sorry your shopping day was sooo crazy, but you made me smile and laugh today with your telling of it! I reeeaaaalllllyyy needed some laughs about now in my Kyrg adoption process!

    Mary from TN


  6. Shea

    Well then I’m glad I made you smile 🙂 Honestly, in hindsight it is quite funny… just at the time I was ready to throw in the towel!!

    Seriously… my heart goes out to everybody caught up in the KG situation… I hope there is good news soon!


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