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Grocery Shopping – It can be an Adventure


Walking shoes, with orthotic inserts, laced and tied.  Car keys, purse, reusable shopping bags, coupons – all in hand.  Grocery list made and on my clipboard.  I was ready.  Or as ready as I’d ever be for senior citizen discount shopping day at the grocery store.

Once, years ago – long before I was eligible for a senior discount – I ran into this same grocery store to quickly pick up a few items.  I couldn’t get to the milk cooler because three grocery carts blocked them, and three gray-haired shoppers held tightly to their carts as they discussed their doctor appointments.  A conversation that convinced me to never shop this store on senior shopping day.  Until last week.

I really meant to shop on Tuesday, but somehow, Tuesday dwindled away.  And although I shop at several different grocery stores, only one carries the cottage cheese that my Grands and I like.  And I really hate to drive around town shopping here and there, especially on a rainy day.  I’m a task-oriented person when it comes to shopping.  Get it done and get out.  So I gave myself a pep talk.  ‘This is an adventure.  Something you’ve never intentionally done.  And everyone should do one new thing everyday.’

I eased my mini van into the store parking lot.  A long white sedan backed toward me.  I threw the gearshift into reverse, backed up, and avoided being hit.  A gentleman waved as he pushed a loaded grocery cart just two feet in front of my van.  The parking lot was as full as the one and only time I shopped on the day before Thanksgiving.  ‘Forget the cottage cheese!’ my brain screamed.  I inhaled.  ‘But you’re here and it’s an adventure – or maybe a risk.’  I parked, grabbed my paraphernalia, pulled my rain jacket hood over my head, and sloshed to the store’s open doors.

“Well, you look ready for the day!”  A store employee greeted me as he shuffled wet shopping carts into rows.  “The buggies are wet, but there’s plenty of paper towels to dry them.”  Oh, great.

Inside the store, I looked at the customers milling around the fresh produce.  They reminded me when my parents, both retired, decided to spend January in Florida.  After two weeks, they came home to Tennessee.  “There weren’t any kids near our apartment.  I never saw one school bus or one young family.  Just people as old as me,” Mother said.

I fit right in with the people at the grocery store.  I chatted with two friends I rarely see.  I visited with a former student, who was assisting his mother with her shopping.  When I realized my grocery cart was blocking a man’s view of birthday cards, I apologized and pulled my cart toward me.  “Oh, no.  It’s okay,” he said.  “I’m just perusing.  My wife is shopping.”  I moved at the pace of fellow shoppers.  And when I saw the 10% discount on my cash register tape, I gloated.

I like discounted prices – that’s why I bought six containers of cottage cheese.  Enough to last until the next senior shopping day.




3 Responses

  1. I love this! I usually find myself at my local grocery store on Senior Discount Day (or as my grandpa calls it “Gray Hair Day”). I actually enjoy it…old people tug at my heartstrings. Glad you survived the adventure!


  2. Love reading your blog Susan! I’m noticing my folks often planning shopping, meals, etc around “discounts”. Just an additional thing to look forward to… Hope you and yours are well.


  3. Susan, I look forward to Thursday every week. Love reading your articles! 🙂


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