Grocery Store Anger

I grocery shop here once a month, because I DISLIKE shopping here so much.  I can tell you almost to the kilo and wheelbarrow load full of how many kilos of flour, oats, oil, sugar, veggies and fruits that four double digit boys eat.  I do shop weekly at the market for fruits and veggies, but the other shopping is just one mass shopping spree.

I’m always amused and befuddled at the tiny check out lanes.  Literally there is approximately 2 feet of room to place all your groceries or keep loading them as they are scanned.  No conveyor belt.  Such a tiny space.  I have to remind myself that the way I shop is very much the minority and most shoppers have just a small basket of goods, verses my 2 shopping carts brimming with food.


So where does the anger come in?

Surprisingly, my grocery shopping anger happened in America.  We were vacationing with my parents and brothers in the Outer Banks this past summer. There we were privileged to be less then 1 mile from a classy grocery store called, “Harris Teeter”.  If you have shopped at one of these stores you will recognize that they have many organic products and aisles and aisles full of staples and selection and abundant items to make any tasty meal you are dreaming of.

It was while I was gathering groceries during this summer week day, that I made eye contact with a fellow shopper. Elegant clothes and put together make up and hair do.  She exclaimed to me, “Even in this nice store, they still don’t have what I want.”  That’s it.  At first I nodded in agreement and smiled….

…..and then her words went through my Indonesian STORE filter.  I saw grocery stores with one type of peanut butter at times and no oats (because the ship hadn’t come in yet), I saw no tomato paste on the shelf and moldy cheese bursting out of its bag.  I saw shriveled up green and red peppers being sold and not discounted because they were old.  I couldn’t find any mayonnaise.  There were no instant meals in the freezers.  There were canned goods but they were double if not triple the price.  The baked breads were all white with no nutritional substance. 

And the more my filter fed me pictures and images and feelings and lack……the angrier I became.  I wanted to find this lady and explain how blessed we were to be walking in such a well stocked grocery store.  I wanted to describe what it is like to reach for a staple and it cant be found anywhere in town.  I wanted her to SEE and APRECIATE the abundance through my eye.

Indeed, I did not do this.  Instead I went home and fussed and fumbled about.  Caught between two worlds.  The world of have not and the world of have and realized that I have changed.  I will never be the same. 


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