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Supermarket Shuffle - Excerpt From Crayons and Chaos

29 September 2019

The last thing I needed today, whilst out doing the grocery shopping, was spotting Belinda and one of her discourteous disciples. I caught a glimpse of them through the baked beans and tinned spaghetti, while trying to reach for the canned tomatoes.

They looked as is if they had settled in for a long chat, or should I say, bitch fest. I woke up to be greeted by my monthly visitors this morning. I knew there was no way I could cope with bumping into Belinda and having to make polite conversation through tightly gritted teeth, and unpleasant cramps.

I glanced down at my shopping list. What is next on the list? That's in the same aisle as Belinda. Shit..shit..shit. I'll just have to come back to that aisle last, and hope I don't forget to grab the much needed coffee pods.

I wasn't sure if I would be able to avoid bumping into her, even if I skipped the coffee aisle? She is like an annoying mosquito that wont leave you alone, when in close proximity. I decided to skip it, moving straight to the next aisle, and simply hoped for the best.

I have ignored her invitation to join a Facebook soccer parents page. I do not want to be put on the volunteer roster for canteen duty, or field marshal, so I have been ignoring it, hoping it would go away. I knew I'd have to answer her request eventually, but I had been hoping to evade her a little longer. I knew she would bring it up if she saw me.

While trying to decide between Cornflakes or Weet-Bix, I could hear her high pitched irritating voice nearby. I began to feel a slow rising dread in the pit of my stomach. Avoiding her was going to be near impossible. I contemplated ditching my trolley and high tailing it out of there, but we needed the groceries as the cupboards were bare. So, the game of cat and mouse continued.

I hastened my pace. I was painfully aware of the sound of her voice getting closer. This was going to be the fastest trip to the supermarket in history. Usually, I enjoy taking my time, especially if I'm on my own without Tom or the kids. Tom isn't so bad, he enjoys grocery shopping, but with the kids all you hear is 'I'm bored and I'm hungry, how much longer are we going to be?'

Now, here is where it all fell apart in a rather spectacular and embarrassing manner. I was reaching for a packet of sanitary pads, when she tapped me on the shoulder from behind. 'Natalie, oh my god, I sent you an invite for the Facebook group but you haven't responded.'

She scared the crap out of me. I jumped so high, and with such force, that I knocked the whole shelf flying across the aisle like a missile. Packets or pads, tampons, condoms, and lubricant were strewn everywhere. I was mortified.

So, my day has been all kinds of awful. I was left red faced in the sanitary aisle, I couldn't get out of accepting the Facebook invite, and of course, I got home and realised I forgot to go back and get the coffee. 

Published Work (c) Hayley Walsh 2019

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