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Friday, April 8, 2011


So I stayed with TLC last weekend while her Hubby was out of town. We did a little shoppin’. Just a teeny bit. When I headed back home Sunday afternoon, I was going to have to make a stop at a grocery store to pick up a few things for my Bridge Club I was hosting at my house Monday evening. There’s a Walmart (aka Wally World—although Autumn has a much funnier name for it!) that is super convenient for me—easy access off and on the Interstate and close enough to my house I don’t usually have to put the cold stuff in that cold stuff sack we all have in our trunks.

Once I’d decided that was where I would stop, I got to thinkin’—during commercials on my satellite radio (Remember when there were practically no commercials? They lured us in and then made it the same as FM. So wrong.)—about the fact that I often dread trips to Walmart. Or any grocery store, for that matter, and for so many reasons. Starting with the parking lot.

I don’t know about the peeps where you live, but where I live people drive extremely cRaZy in the Wally World/grocery store/Mall/Target/Home Depot/etc. etc. etc. parking lots. I’m not going to try to put myself out there as a perfect driver. I’ve made more than my share of mistakes in the 43 years I’ve had a driver’s license. (Let’s don’t even get my Hubby in on this discussion. He’d have to take extra blood pressure meds. Once, soon after we got married, I backed my car into his car. Oops.) We all could do a better job of being more careful, aware, and patient as we’re driving in parking lots, right? Heck, as we’re driving anywhere. Okay—done.

Back to the story: As I picked up my cart outside the Walmart “Market” door, I noticed someone had left a list in it. I LOVE finding people’s lists! It fascinates me. And, at the same time, makes me wonder what someone would think if they found my list (believe me, I’ve lost many—one minute I have it, the next—gone—apparently to the same Universe our socks go). This list was on yellow-lined paper—like one of those little mini-legal pads. The hand-writing looked like an older person’s—someone my age—NLOL (not laughing out loud). And I don’t know why, exactly, but I’m fairly certain it was a woman’s handwriting. I picked it up, of course. Had to. And had to giggle. Because it could have been one of my lists. Here’s what it said (I’m going to type this exactly as I’m looking at it—punctuation, capitalization, spelling—everything):

Green pepper
1 lb Turkey Sausage
1 can Stewed tomatoes w/Green peppers & onion
Turkey Kibalsa
Whipped Cream Cheese
Italian dressing
Hershey Bars
Oat Snacks

What tickles me are the question marks. I promise you—I rarely make a list that doesn’t have a question mark beside at least one item. I think she may have put these question marks because she intended to see how fresh the "onions" and "salad" were. We’ve all been in the produce section, looking at the fruits and veggies, and thought, “Geez—these look horrible!” The onion and salad were clearly optional for her purposes. I can see her re-thinking her menu as she stood there—looking at the yucky produce—disappointed. My list would have had a question mark after strawberries, though. I’ve thrown probably thousands in the trash in the past several years because of the nasty ones hidden (on purpose to trick us?) under the pretty ones.

I would guess “Dinners” meant Lean Cuisines and/or Smart Ones--what us Boomers grew up calling TV dinners. They’ve come a long way—thank goodness. Hubby and I now spend many a night heatin’ up a TV dinner. Some are quite delish. And I’m not one ounce ashamed that they’re what My Man has to eat. Nope. Not one bit. He handles it with dignity.

I like that she was buying several “semi-healthy” items. Turkey sausage. Not pork (the yummiest). I think she meant turkey kielbasa—and I’m not positive that’s very good for us. It’s never been on one of my lists. But then we get to the Hershey Bars and Bagels. Which is so moi—only my list would have had Peanut M&Ms and Sara Lee Cinnamon Raisin Bagels (for Hubby). Honestly, what is life without chocolate (and I don't mean that bitter dark stuff), white flour and sugar? Okay, healthy. She does end with “oat snacks.” There’s her attempt at a “save,” I suppose.

Because I’ve lost so many lists in the past, I find myself being careful as to what I put on them—just in case someone picks mine up and decides to read it. (Then that someone judges me or posts my list on a blog.) I have a grocery list “code” a 3-year-old could crack—so I’m not sure why I bother.

Next time you find a list in a cart, read it! It could be mine. It could also make you realize how much alike we truly are in the big scheme of things.

Happy Wally World Shopping!


Autumn said...

I agree that reading someone's left behind grocery list is fascinating. And more legal than looking through their windows! So I'm curious. Do you have a code word for 'panty liners'? Cause that's one I refuse to write on my list.

The Leightons said...

For sure--way more risk-free than window peepin'! LOL. And Oh, Autumn. I am sooo sorry to remind you I haven't had to purchase panty liners since 1985. I mean--not regularly. YUCK. TMI. I don't blame you, though. Wouldn't "PL" work? If I found a list that had that, I'd have to think long and hard about what it might be. No man could EVER guess that, right? They might think Pabst Light? (Is there such a beer?)Who are we kidding--I don't know a guy who would waste his time looking at a list left in a cart. Seriously.