I did it again. I went ahead and tried to be nice and, as always, it ended in disaster.
During last weekend’s Super Bowl preparations I made a run to the store to get supplies. If you’ve ever been to a grocery store on a Sunday during Football season or before a winter storm, it can be a little maddening. There are people everywhere. There are no places to park. It’s just a souring mood setter. So, I put on my best game face, took my list, and said, “Let’s do this!”
Being in an area where the hometown team was not competing, it was slightly less frenetic than anticipated. Still, with the Hated Ravens playing, Steeler fans were probably watching just to hope both teams would lose. Me? I was just interested in getting some good game day food.
Since I was at the store, anyway, I might as well pick up some items for the week’s worth of lunches. That meant getting yogurt for me and my kid, as well as some lunch meat. My last stop is always the deli, because it’s always the busiest. It’s also right at the entrance and I try to go against the grain and start at the other end of the store first. This solves two issues. One, I end up back at the registers when I’m done, and two, by going to the deli last, that added ire of waiting extra long for pimento loaf doesn’t cause me to want to rage quit my shopping trip before I make it two thirds through my list.
For the record, I don’t eat pimento loaf.
I don’t even like olives.
I just like the sound of saying pimento loaf… much like saying prosciutto.
By the time I got to the deli, I was about tired of being in the store. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, though. They were on number nine and I was holding number eleven. Soon, I noticed an older lady, probably in her late 70s, standing next to me. She looked as if the wait was going to be hard on her. She was steadying herself on her cart and I felt bad for her. I leaned into her and asked… “What number are you?”
I handed her my number eleven and attempted to take her twelve. “Oh, no.” She replied, “I’m fine.”
“No. Really. It’s alright. This wait is murder.”
At that point, a lady who was older than I was, but considerably younger than my new friend piped up. “It’s OK. I’m with her, so it doesn’t matter.” She happened to have thirteen. So, I offered to switch to thirteen and give them both a pass in front of me. They weren’t having it.
During this exchange, the deli worker called “Eleven.” Now, I felt like a real prick. Not only am I failing at trying to do a good deed, I’m ruining it by holding up the line. Now, I am the IDIOT that won’t take no for an answer. At that moment, I was now the center of attention as my good deed was unspooling into an awkward mess of fail all over the deli section floor.
I gave up and went back to being eleven and put in my order. The wait for twelve would go on as they had to go unpack a new cut of meat to fill my order. The lady behind me, missing her opportunity, had to wait extra long because I ordered something out of the ordinary. Not only was I the idiot who held up the line by trying to surrender my spot. I was now holding up my intended recipient by making the deli worker travel to the far reaches of Hell’s half acre to find a new block of Homestyle Roasted Chicken.
I quit being nice. Sorry world, but I’m tired of asking you to the dance, only to be turned down.
Oh, and guess what? Same store chain, but different location as the previous act of fail… Maybe I need to raise my own food and never leave the house, ever.