Monday, March 29, 2010

Social Commentary from the Grocery Line

First of all, it was the express lane and that woman must have had 120 items. The sign says 12 ITEMS OR LESS for a reason.

Secondly, call me judgmental, but she didn't need all that food. She was, in my estimation, about 5'6" and around 250 pounds. Maybe 275. In spandex.

There are many, many reasons for people to be overweight -- I get that. Lack of nutritional education, eating disorders, depression, some sort of disability inhibiting exercise. Heck, we all can think of a bad day that ended in too much comfort food. It doesn't make it ok, but it makes it understandable.

Spandex, though? There's no excuse.

Here’s what really got on my nerves though: there was a little girl (offspring?) hanging off the front of her grocery cart, perhaps 5 years old and quite cute. She was cheerful and babbling on about some nonsense in the way that 5 year olds are prone to do. Despite how cute she was, I can understand the babbling getting a bit old and, if I were the adult in charge, I may even resort to the smile-and-nod routine for a few minutes.

Or even half an hour.

In such cases, no stones would be thrown by me.

However, this woman was not resorting to the smile-and-nod routine. She leaned heavily against her too-full cart with her back to the child, reading an US Weekly and listening to an IPod. Every once in a while the little girl would come around to the front of the cart and tug on her mother’s shirt, at which point the woman would turn and say, “WHAT?!” at that irritating I-have-headphones-in-and-therefore-can’t-gauge-my-indoor-voice volume.

Finally registering on the fact that her mother was far more interested in celebrity gossip than whatever cutie-patootie had to say, the little girl pointed to the cover and said “I like her shoes.”
For those of you (P, this is for you) who don’t know, Suri is the daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. US Weekly thinks she might be growing up too fast, or so I gathered.

In response to this child’s innocent ploy for her mother’s attention, the mother ripped the earphones out of her ears and threw the unpurchased magazine back into the rack next to the Bubblicious and Almond Joys.

“NO!” she shouted, “those are supposed to be play-clothes! That is totally, completely inappropriate! NO. You do not like those shoes! They’ve dressed her up like a GROWN WOMAN. IT IS TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE.”

Never before have I witnessed the word “inappropriate” being used with quite so much unintended dramatic irony.

And for the record, I think Suri looks cute. Especially in those shoes.

Q: Is dramatic irony always unintentional? If it is, does that make "unintended dramatic irony" redundant? Was my majoring in English a total failure? And while we're on the subject, why am I a 25 year old college graduate still unable to spell the word "exercise" without the help of a dictionary?
A: It's past my bedtime.

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