Now, I’m not a sissy girl. I might be prissy. I might prefer air conditioning. And I will always, always paint my toenails. But I’m not a sissy. Not too much scares me and I can hold my own in an argument. But nothing is more scary to me than the deli counter at Stop and Shop on Saturday mornings.
The first problem is that I go on Saturday mornings. Along with the rest of suburban America. And the suburban moms are out in full force. Kids climbing all over the place, screaming, crying, mother’s yelling while squeezing produce. I feel like I should just flatten myself against the wall to stay out of their way. My cart will be stopped in an aisle and I’ll see Mrs. Smith and her 12 screaming banshees come flying towards me. The important thing in these situations is not to panic. And don’t make eye contact. Just move your cart as far out of the way as you can and climb up on top of the nearest Doritos stand and wait for her to pass.
That’s the thing about the deli counter though. You can’t crawl out of their way. You have to pool together next to hundreds of the Mrs. Smiths, waiting until your number is called. As you’re waiting, you have to begin preparing your order in your head because those Momiacs don’t wait for you. Once they call number 171, you have exactly 2.6 seconds to yell out your order or one of them barks at the Meat Man to “keep going, no one has that number!” Many a time I have been passed over because of stage fright. They called my number, I wasn’t ready, and I didn’t know what to do except stand there gapping and turning red. We ate bologna that week.
I’ve gotten better though. Except then I changed grocery stores because we moved and now I can’t ever find the meat I want. And the Momiacs always block the glass case, so I can’t ever get up there to see what my options are. I usually end up ordering something like, “Uhh…A pound of anything like turkey.” We had bologna that week, too.
And I hate that you have to yell out your order. I never get the volume right. Either they can’t hear me (I had one Momiac tell me one time to “speak up when you speak to the butcher!” First, its just the Stop and Shop, lady. And second, he’s more of a meat cutter than an actual butcher, so lets not get our giant panties in a wad…) or I end up yelling really forcefully. “GIVE ME SMOKED TURKEY! ONE POUND! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!” I’d much rather step into a private stall to speak personally with the butcher. Like you get to do at the pharmacy or at Tiffany & Co. I might as well be yelling out, “I NEED LEAN MEAT BECAUSE I’M FAT AND LOTS OF IT BECAUSE I’M HUNGRY!”
I may become a vegetarian just so I don’t have to deal with the deli counter. Is meat really worth all the stress is causes me? I don’t think so…