When I first married, I found the grocery store crowd to be a world of its own. First of all, there were all these young, frazzled moms with toddlers pointing, begging, trantrumming. (Not a word, but it should be, right?)
Then there were the soccer moms with their lists and calculators, breaking up arguments between their coupon flipping.
You could tell the moms who left the kiddos home with hubby. They shopped S-L-O-W. And why not? This was their me-time. So it happened over cleaning products in aisle 11. You take what you can get. I understand this now.
The strangest to me, though, were the other ones. The older women who talked to themselves. When I encountered my first one, I thought she was talking to me. But when I answered, she turned with wide eyes. Oh, I thought. I guess she's just putting that question put out to the universe.
I was in the salad dressing aisle, searching for the pre-cooked bacon (because spaghetti carbonara is time-consuming enough without frying the bacon) when it happened to me. "Where is it, oh, please don't be out of it." The full sentence is out before I realize. I suck in my breath. I have become one of them. This can't be! I haven't even finished the soccer mom phase. "See? Here are my coupons!"
A young woman walks by. We make eye contact, and before she looks away, I see that look. The one that says,"Make a wide right. Crazy woman ahead."
"No," I want to say to her. "I'm not crazy! You'll be like me too, one day. You'll see."
I find the bacon pieces and toss the package in my cart. It's official. I have hit all the phases of the grocery life and landed, prematurely but inevitably, in the delusional, talking-to-self phase. The only thing to look forward to now is the motorized cart.