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Hot Mess and the Sailor

My oldest never goes grocery shopping with me anymore and I miss that. My youngest was at soccer practice so I took it upon myself to bribe him heavily to go. After promising him a venti-mocha-frappe-choca-something, it was a done deal.

You know, I always go into the grocery store thinking that “this time will be different” and I won’t drop $200. But like clock-work, my basket overflowed with Capri Suns ($1 each!), Chips Ahoy and Lunchables.

My weekly grocery cart

The last thing on my grocery list was lunch meat. If there is 1 thing I can’t stand is waiting in line at the deli counter for the 2 100-year-old women slicing my meat. I always wondered if they could invent self-slicing stations like they have self-checkouts. But for the dummies of the world, we all know this would result in lost digits or limbs. And normally, I’m behind the lady who is having a lunch meat convention and orders every f’ing type of lunch meat that’s been invented.

“Um, yes….I’ll take 2/3 pound of the ostrich meat.”

“I would also like 1 pound of the vegan bologna but can I see the slice first? I need to ensure it’s the proper width.”

“Can I please sample your Himalayan goat cheese?”

This oblivious type of person is always in front of me, clueless to the line stretching around the building just to pick up lunch meat.

The Sailor

Today P and I were lucky. We immediately were attended to at the deli counter. There was an older gentleman, probably in his 80’s already being assisted next to us. The conversation made me laugh.

“Here!” A stout woman wearing a hair net said. “Try this kind. It’s real good.” She plopped a slice of turkey on wax paper in front of the gentleman.

“Oh, no thank you.” He said as he handed it back to her.

“Try it! You’ll like it!” She said, raising her voice a bit and laying it on the ledge.

In a calm manner, the gentleman again refused it. And to my shock, the woman did not give up.

“It’s not salty! Try it!”

“I’m only a vegetarian wanting potato salad….” I said under my breath, imitating the man. P doubled over in laughter and the forceful woman shot us a look of death. P straightened up real fast, knowing I was heard.

‘Great. She’s going to spit in my lunch meat,’ I thought.

By now a woman to my left was snickering at the exchange. Knowing he wasn’t going to win the lunch meat showdown, he picked up the slice and plopped ¾ in his mouth. The other ¼ landed on the cart handle.

‘Dear God, please don’t put that in your mouth.’ I thought as I looked at the piece of turkey, laying lifeless on the handle, then up to his mouth then back down at the meat. When I realized he would indeed be eating that piece as well, I blurted out,

“3 second rule!” Instantly regretting my comment. He looked at me funny and then came over.

“Were you in the Navy?” He asked.

Dear readers, I can confidently say in my 40 years on this Earth, I have never been mistaken for a soldier or a sailor. There is nothing in my looks or demeanor that would indicate a tour of Iraq. I was once in Civil Air Patrol in high school but my best friend and I only joined to meet boys. I then realized where the confusion came into play as I looked down at my shirt to find had worn this:

Sailor Shirt Suddenly I felt embarrassed, as if I owed him an explanation.

“Oh no. I’m not a sailor. I just….umm….I thought this shirt was funny because my language is bad sometimes…..” I trailed off.

“Oh yes,” he said. “Sailors do have foul language sometimes. Me and my _____(sorry, I forget what he said), were the worst!”

After about 10 minutes of regaling us about being a sailor in the Korean War, something about a boiler room and the passing of his wife and best friend, my son and I bid him adieu.

So that was that. Yours truly is a sailor now! Eye, eye captain and shiver me timbers! Isn’t that what they always say? No? Ok, peace out bitches!

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20 thoughts on “Hot Mess and the Sailor

  1. Bwaahahaha. I love that he thought you might actually be a sailor!

    Once I was behind a couple who were buying waitrose’s poshest steak from the meat counter (waitrose is one of the more expensive grocery stores in the UK, so they were choosing the most expensive cut, from the more expensive shop!) The lady behind the counter asked if they were planning a special meal together…and they replied that they were vegetarian and that the meat was for their dog(!)

    That doggo eats more expensive grub than me! 🙁
    The lady behind the counter was in complete giggles after they’d left!

    1. Omg! That is ridiculous yet so funny! Chichi is happy with eating the left overs of my roast beef sandwich. And consider it Christmas if she gets any left over steak from a casual steakhouse near bye!

  2. Your story sounds like mine. I hate going to the deli counter because I always get behind the person ordering 1/4 pound of 6 different meats. This extends to the checkout lines as well. Whatever lane I am in will be the slowest lane. I just accept it. But I do find that having conversations with other people who are waiting helps to pass the time quicker.

    1. My grocer finally acknowledged the fact that the deli takes too long so they created a “grab and go” display of deli meat they cut that day. The irony is, it’s usually turned off or no more meat is available. I too get behind the slowest people at check out. Usually the ones who “forgot something” and runs to the aisle to retrieve it, oblivious to the line behind them.

  3. One time I went to this great Italian market in Chicago near my brother’s. Caputo’s was the name. My mission? To get some prosciutto. Simple, right? No. This lady in front of me did the same ‘can I taste that?’ ‘show me the slices’ ‘which kind of ham?’ nonsense that you experienced, then proceeded to order just an eighth of a pound of, like, 12 different items. Sigh. Should have worn my sailor shirt!

  4. LOL! That’s what a pirate would say HM! hehe this is a great story! But don’t you have pre-packaged lunch meat in the US? We have so many really good varieties here that come pre-packaged. No waiting required and it’s actual meat..not spam or bologna.

  5. The joys of shopping and lines! I have a preternatural talent for getting behind those who move like glaciers. I always pick the shortest, but slowest queue.

    I really enjoyed your post- will read more!


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