Thursday, October 16, 2008

How to make my day

I'm standing around the deli counter waiting for the very slow deli man to give me fried chicken and coleslaw for dinner when a woman wearing a nametag (engraved, not like, "Hi! My name is Zoe") and pushing a young girl in a cart comes up to the counter.

"Excuse me, are you really familiar with the store?"

Deli man says no.

"Oh. Well, do you happen to know where the polenta is?"

Deli man says he knows what it is, so try looking in the baking or hispanic aisles (huh?).

The lady seems surprised as well, but starts off in that direction. I lean over and tell her she might try the spaghetti aisle (since that's where it is. I think about polenta a lot, although I've never used it, so I conciously look at it every time I'm in the spaghetti aisle).

She scoots off, obviously in a hurry (I wonder what she needed it for? If she was the type that made things with polenta, she would either a- know where it is already or b- not even be shopping at my grocery store. Maybe she was having a fancy dinner party and trying to impress her guests? Maybe her mother in law really likes it, and has descended on her home without warning?), and I continue standing around the deli counter waiting for the man to give me my chicken and coleslaw.

A minute or two later, another employee hurries into the counter to ask the deli man if he knows what polenta is. After a brief argument, employee #2 leaves and I am assured that the rushed lady is leaving the store polenta-less. Deli man finally gives me my bag o'chicken, and I head off toward the spaghetti aisle, just to make sure I was remembering right.

There it is, the polenta! I wonder briefly if she wanted the sun-dried tomato kind, or just regular. I pick up a tube of the regular kind, and head off in search of the lady. I hadn't gotten a good look at her to begin with, but I remember that she had a nametag and a blonde daughter, so that's something at least.

By the time I find her, she's in line at the checkout, unloading her groceries onto the belt, and talking to the lady behind her. I sneak up next to her and hold out the tube.

"Did you find the polenta?"

She immediately brightens, and asks in wonder where I had found it. She'd looked up and down the store for it and had given up hope. She gratefully takes the polenta and says to the cashier,

"See, she found it!"

I walk off to my regular cashier, pay for my chicken, and feel better than I have all day.

1 comment:

isabel said...

i never really managed to hone my grocery store skillz. i'm more the type to run back and forth looking for things that pop into my head while i'm there.. maybe i should try a list.