THE BATTLE OF THE SHOPPING CARTS


I wonder, as I do each time I do the shopping at the local Costco store; where do these people come from? My mother and grandmother would stare in confusion to the crowds of people from other countries, all speaking in their own language. and all at the same time.

Costco no longer offers a wheelchair for those of us too lazy to maneuver the aisles, so I take my own walker in order to sit upon whilst waiting for Dr. A to come and relieve me of what part of the list I have been able to stuff into my cart.

The majority of customers I see shopping here are from some part of Asia, however there are a great number of people who seem to be from the Middle East. I am quite happy to realize that I no longer wish to to visit their countries, simply because they are all here.

We continue to be disappointed in the manners of fellow shoppers who apparently have not learned the English words for “Excuse me”, “Sorry”, “Thank you”, and “Yes please”; this last in receiving a sample from the food vendor. I forgive them though, as long as they continue to pick up a word here and there of our language. I would be the same in their country.

I won’t go into the subject of child rearing. It is painful to watch small children scream and slap their parent/grandparent because of the lack of their attention. I was always under the impression that children from another country were quiet and well behaved, as opposed to our own. After all, the ploy my mother used to get me to finish my dinner plate was to make me aware of all the starving children in China, so I always held a certain amount of pity for the poor kids.

In the crowded post office the other day, while a mother was trying to make herself understood at the counter, her rotten little boy was screaming for her attention. As a mother,, grandmother, great-grandmother and former teacher, I admit that I didn’t even try to stifle myself when I glared at him with narrowed eyes and yelled “STOP THAT”! His mother looked around vaguely and patted his head.

I don’t remember that shopping was such an experience in the old days. In fact, my mother had our groceries delivered, and I did the same from the same market when I was first married. The small store we frequented was family owned and hired a couple of high school boys to deliver. I had a mighty crush on one boy while I was still in high school. As is the habit of all people, male or female when hormones begin to be active, I found I needed to go to the store more often than necessary simply to gaze upon the object of my desire. He finally invited me to the movies. In preparation I sprayed myself liberally with my grandmother’s Shalimar perfume, which is either a powerful aphrodisiac or equally powerful bug killer. We took the bus from Alameda to Oakland. both of which put him in close proximity to the intoxicating stench.

He didn’t ask me out again, but he eventually married and divorced the girl who became my maid of honor. We saw him again last year at our 70th class reunion, on his walker with his son accompanying him. He was a nice boy and I’m glad he made it one more time.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

13 thoughts on “THE BATTLE OF THE SHOPPING CARTS”

  1. Oh, I too have a special glare when children scream. They often stop and then tell their mother but I look away, only to return my evil look.
    Children are usually OK till about two or three years old. After that they often go into steep decline and that’s where my special shop- stare comes into play.
    It helps.

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    1. My mother and my great auntie taught me the “look”. Narrowed eyes, mean look, and sometimes that is enough. I can’t figure out what is the matter with these young mothers who let their kids take over. Very much like JRTs who unfortunately can’t see well enough to understand a clear warning.

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  2. Our kids work hard to teach their children manners, which is something I really respect. I like to think, as kids growing up, our parents also insisted on good public behavior. I think it is a mixed bag out there, Kayti. Some kids are polite and respectful, others… 🙂 –Curt

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    1. I think the majority of kids today are respectful. That’s why the few who perform in public stand out as bad examples. I too am proud of how our grandchildren were raised and now the great grandchildren. We must have done something right Curt. (grin)

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  3. I had a good laugh over your Shalimar as aphrodisiac/bug killer remark. I had a college roommate who was enamoured of the fragrance and I never could decide whether I was attracted or repulsed by it. On the subject of children, I have to agree with Curt. Some are polite and respectful and some are not. I think it’s always been that way.

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    1. I have found it interesting to see how each generation handles the dating preparation. Today is so much more casual than in my day. It’s “no big deal” today. I remember when my daughters were first dating, one girl made a lovely dress and when the boy came to pick her up for a school dance, he was quite casual. Enough so that the next door neighbor was upset and said he wouldn’t let her go out with him!

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  4. Public behavior is subject to cultural differences, I’m sure. And yes, we were taught to be quiet and respectful in public. I’m not sure that worked out so well, though. Today’s children (all cultures) seem more confident and prepared to speak out, ask questions and express opinions. I think that will serve them well in today’s challenging world of business, where they are called upon to make presentations and publicly solve problems.

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    1. You are absolutely correct. As a former teacher of college age young people, I can see the value of questioning authority. By being taught to be quiet and respectful of adults, at least in my generation, it also led to being more submissive wives in many cases. There again it was subjective. The women in my family were an example for me to listen and then explore my own chosen path. After 70 years I can say it has worked out pretty well.

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  5. Unfortunately too many of today’s children are both confident and ignorant: an especially unfortunate combination. The sense of self-entitlement is growing, and its effects on the younger ones can be corrosive. In the same way, self-expression assume a self to express. It takes discipline and effort for the to develop, and too many parents haven’t any desire to exercise discipline. For one thing, they’ve never sorted out the difference between discipline and punishment, and for another, they’re so needy themselves, they want to be their kids’ best friends rather than their parents.

    My. Didn’t I jam a lot into that? But, too true, I fear.

    The one time I really got involved was the day The Child was throwing cans of vegetables up and down the aisle. I marched over to the mother, put on my best magisterial tone, and said, “You can let your boy do that if you want. But if he hits someone with one of those cans, they are going to sue you for everything you’re worth. You either can discipline that kid, or be disciplined by the legal system. Your choice.”

    And with that, I walked off. Who knows what happened?

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    1. I can’t imagine throwing cans up and down aisles! So hard to know what some mothers are thinking, but yes, too many want to be their kids’ BFF. I rather enjoyed being the boss.

      It is interesting to watch the political news on TV when children are interviewed. They have definite opinions today. I was oblivious to anything outside my own house. Some sound quite well informed at 14-16 years. Makes me wonder if the new parenting methods are all wrong.

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  6. Shopping in large stores beloved by the masses can be a bit overwhelming. Like you, I often wonder where all the people come from and why they seemed to check their manners at the door. I much prefer shopping in the supermarket in our little town where I know most of the folks and checkers. They seem to forgive me when its early and I’ve forgotten to comb my hair. I loved your description of the perfume you sprayed so liberally.

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    1. The big stores are becoming more and more difficult for me. My eyesight is leaving and with the masses of people swarming around me, it is no longer fun. I used to enjoy the food samples and searching out new products. Now I hurry to where I know what I want is situated and get out quick.
      We love the neighborhood stores too where you know all the staff and they know you. Makes you feel at home and secure. I know these are the stores we will continue to trade in. There are some who may not feel well on certain days and it’s nice to be able to know that and let them know you care about them. As a plus they know you don’t feel your best some days either.

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