Socially Inept Choose-Your-Own-Adventure: The Grocery Store

03/19/2012 · 102 comments

in I'm A Terrible Person, Psychological Warfare, Social Services

Where is it tough for you to be socially awkward? Any awesome stories of social ineptitude from there (by you or others)?
Favorite Comment From The Last Post:
From Valerie: “That awkward moment when you realize exactly how much Riker got blown…”
Meg March 19, 2012 at 3:35 am

I feel socially awkward on a regular basis. The one thing that sticks out in my mind right now, was and still is awkward for me. We live on a small island and we’d often run into one of my husband’s coworkers and his wife. The wife and I had been introduced, but other than that, I never got the warm fuzzies from her. A week after I saw her the last time, we both attended a wives night out. She sat down beside me and turns to me to say, “Hi, have we met before?” and before I could even form the words, she says, “No, I’ve never seen you before in my life”. I wish I could say I spoke up, but no, I just sat there in total awkwardness. And I still feel it every time I see her, although now, she knows who I am.
Meg recently posted..It’s Official

Bill G. March 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm

This reminds me of the part in the movie L.A. Confidential where the pretty-boy actor doesn’t recognize the cop who busted him for felony marijuana possession a few weeks before.

It’s normal to regret not saying something about it at the time, but if you’re that un-memorable to the person, it’s probably better to just leave it alone. Having your next meeting be a completely cringe-worthy affair is much worse than the somewhat-awkward moment that it is now. You probably didn’t ping her radar because you’re not a guy that buys her jewelry or takes her out to expensive dinners, or a person who increases her social stature with the crowd that she actually wants to be running with. No worries.

Noa March 19, 2012 at 11:23 pm

@Meg: Wow. That’s some kind of awkward. The best part is that it’s not even you, it’s this crazy bitch who’s “never seen you before.” Also, that might have been me. Sorry.

@Bill: Way to save, “unmemorable,” there, Bill.

Laura March 19, 2012 at 4:55 am

The stores that I shop at most often don’t have my favorite kind of tampons, so when I’m in a store that does have them, I want to stock up — but I always feel awkward checking out with a bunch of identical boxes of tampons (and in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to bring myself to buy more than two at a time).

The other time I feel socially awkward is any time I leave my house.
Laura recently posted..March Madness! A Pop Quiz

Bill G. March 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Purchase condoms and tampons at the same time, that will give the checkout girl something to talk about on her next break.

Christine March 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Oh, this reminded me of a good one! (In that it was incredibly awkward, but holy fuck, did my friends and I laugh so hard we cried when I told them about it later.)

So I went to the grocery store after work, and because it was the crush time, there weren’t any handbaskets left. “Oh, well,” I thought. “I’m only getting a few things. I’ll just carry it all.” Except then they had my brand of pads on sale, so I grabbed a couple of packs of those, and it was supposed to snow, so I was grabbing some rock salt, and as I was trying to juggle everything, one of the packs of pads went shooting across the aisle and hit an older gentleman in the side of the head. His reflexes were quick enough that he caught them on the rebound like a ninja, and he was kind enough to overlook my mortification and brush off my apologies as he tried to find a place where the package would balance on top of my stack, but as he walked away, he rubbed his ear–because IT WAS STILL STINGING FROM BEING HIT BY MAXI-PAD PROJECTILES. *collapses into 12-year-old giggles*

Laura March 20, 2012 at 11:28 pm

That’s hilarious. I’m glad he got hit by the maxi-pads and not the rock salt — it wouldn’t have been nearly as good a story, plus it probably would have killed him.
Laura recently posted..March Madness! A Pop Quiz

Noa March 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm

@Laura: I do the same thing with Taco Sauce. I go through about a jar a week, so when the ONE store I know carries it actually has it in stock, I buy 900 jars. And I get judged.

@Bill: PSSSHHHH. Amateur. Try vaseline and watermelons.

@Christine: Those plastic packages are slick like mofos, and has contributed to this mostly awesome of stories. Well done, ma’am.

Laura March 20, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Questions to ask in the checkout line:

“Do you think this is enough taco sauce to fill a bathtub, or should I get another jar?”
“I can still return these after I’ve opened them, right?”
“You don’t believe any of those stories about people using taco sauce instead of Sudafed in meth labs, do you?”
Laura recently posted..March Madness! A Pop Quiz

Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:27 am

I am in love with you.

Bill G. March 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Oh, dear god!!

Mayor Gia March 19, 2012 at 6:40 am

Haha! I usually use a basket cuz I hate grocery shopping and a cart means I’ll be there longer. I find it hard to navigate through other people and THEIR carts “Oh, excuse me, just passing, oh crap wait no I’m not I need salad dressing too in this aisle oh neat your giant cart full of shit is in my way and it looks like you’ll give me a death stare if I think of touching it…” le sigh.
Mayor Gia recently posted..Sigh, Wine Drinking. It’s Kind of Like a New Year’s Resolution. Even though it’s March.

Noa March 19, 2012 at 11:51 pm

It’s a field full of social land mines where no man escapes unjudged.

Jillian @ Brilliant Title March 19, 2012 at 7:13 am

Why? Why must you always bring it up? There is evil in that place, Noa. Not just a gold mine of potentially awkward encounters and banana peel jokes. EVIL.

I WILL chat with the TidyCats woman for two hours, goddammit, if it means not touching any groceries while laser scanners are involved. As it turns out, she’s related to the woman who asked me to be an egg donor.
Jillian @ Brilliant Title recently posted..Reasons My 16-Year-Old Self Hates Me

Noa March 19, 2012 at 11:51 pm

I was once asked to marry a woman’s son in the speedy lane. She wrote his number on the back of her check, then signed her check.

That woman better be glad I have some sense of morality left.

Jillian @ Brilliant Title March 20, 2012 at 9:06 am

I don’t know, it would have made for some good stories to tell around the Christmas Tree.

“Kids, did I ever tell you about the time your grandma paid me for an arranged marriage?”
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Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:29 am

Damnit. I did not realize the comedic properties at the time. Stupid.

Misty March 19, 2012 at 7:52 am

I love the grocery store. No, wait, before you think I’m a freak . . . it’s because of all the completely ridiculous people I get to take pictures of!!

I do hate the assholes who take up an entire aisle by putting their cart along one side and then standing directly in your path along the other, looking at something. I was waiting patiently for some asswipe to pick her selection and then get out of my way, and she was apparently trying to memorize the boxes for some quiz later, and when she finally, like 3 years later, noticed me standing there, she was like, “oh, am I in your way?” Me: “Yeah, a little bit.” She gave me such the death stare, but she did move the fuck out of my way. Gah.

Now I’m all rageful again. Thanks, Noa. Now I have to go off to court. On a Monday. This will not go well . . .
Misty recently posted..Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Jen March 19, 2012 at 10:12 am

I want to punch those assholes in the neck so. Damned. Hard. The only worse thing are those goddamned mall walkers who shuffle along in some geratric chorus line, making it impossible to get around them. Those sons of bitches should be playing defense for the oakland Raiders because NOTHING is getting by them.
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Bill G. March 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Completely agree with you on that one. There seems to be a lot of places where there’s a legion of people walking duck-footed at a snail’s pace whose sole purpose in life seems to be slowing down what should be a quick errand.

Noa March 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm

@Misty: Look at you, turning a weekly horrorfest into a goldmine of blogging material. It’s all I can do to escape without a complete mental breakdown. Also, just ram those people. The shit in their cart will break, and then they’ll never stand in the middle of the aisle again.

@Jen: I am a natural fast-walker, also known as the predator of crowds everywhere. Combine that with a tank of a cart, and I will demolish you.

@Bill: It’s all they have to live for.

asplenia March 19, 2012 at 8:51 am

OHMYGOD I am dying laughing. DYING. I LOATHE foodshopping. Did you MAKE this or get it somewhere off the internet? You are a fucking riot!!

Socially awkward moment: that time I had a giant zit on my nose and the gas station attendant in a turban pointed to it and asked “WHAT’S THAT??”
asplenia recently posted..Him, me and my awesome papillary muscles.

Noa March 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm

I feel incredibly honored in telling you that…I made this shit myself, with my own experiences.

Also, fuck that cashier.

L-Kat March 19, 2012 at 9:07 am

First dates from my online dating site. I am socially awkward meeting people for the first time and most first dates are somewhere public (so I don’t get kidnapped/raped/murdered), but I have anxiety over crowds of people. I prefer to stay at home, watch sports and read books. Can’t we just skip to that part?
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Noa March 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Weirdly, I totally did in my marriage, and it has been awesome.

Monica March 19, 2012 at 9:17 am

I’m always really socially awkward at the change machine at the Laundromat. I try to put the $20 bill in the wrong slot every single time. Sometimes no one sees me. Other times, I’m like, “Ha ha! Silly me! I’m a moron! Kill me now! No, really, I shouldn’t be allowed out by myself in public.”
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Noa March 19, 2012 at 11:58 pm

I HATE the laundromat. I once got asked to be a stripper in one. You could have put your twenty in my panties, then.

Monica March 20, 2012 at 8:50 am

If only I had known you back in the day, Noa.
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Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:31 am

Fuck, I’ll meet you there now, and we will have a fucking laundry party.

Kelly March 19, 2012 at 10:01 am

Eh, I usually shop at Walmart for groceries, which means if I have on two shoes that match and combed my hair I am the fucking beauty queen of the establishment. But when I go to Publix, I feel like I need to be in my Sunday best, and I never ever make eye contact because I know they’re wondering why I’m wearing white after Labor Day or some shit.

My most awkward moment was being hugely pregnant and buying beer and Copenhagen. Stay classy, Kelly. Stay classy.
Kelly recently posted..Ten years ago yesterday…

Stephanie March 19, 2012 at 11:04 am

I, too, bought beer while pregnant. I seriously got The Stare from another couple in the aisle. ‘Cause if I’m buying it I MUST be the one drinking it, right? I saw the after-school specials. I know better, alright?!

Kelly March 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm

The more you know, Stephanie. The more you know.
Kelly recently posted..Ten years ago yesterday…

Noa March 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm

@Kelly: I once bought a pregnancy test and vodka at the same time because we needed both. Bad calls.

@Stephanie: And I’m now thinking that should I ever get pregnant, I’ll pass the time of dread by buying booze.

Valerie March 19, 2012 at 10:01 am

I love that grocery stores are becoming more accepting of the socially awkward. Hell yea I will scan and pack my own items!!! BECAUSE I’M A MOTHERFUCKIN SURVIVALIST!!!
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Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:01 am

Being weird is easier and easier every single day.

Angela March 19, 2012 at 10:23 am

Yeah, I can’t hang at the grocery store for long. If I’m shopping alone, I’m on a mission to get in and get out with as little interaction as possible. I live in a small town where there’s really only 1 grocery store (unless I feel up to the Herculean task of going to the only Wal-Mart for about 50 miles). The grocery store is one of the old fashioned sort where the baggers are not only expected to cart and unload your shit into the car for you, they get in trouble if they don’t do it and you aren’t allowed to pay them for the service.

This is my personal hellspace. Partially because I know the bagger is judging my four 12 packs of Dr. Pepper and 30 lb. bag of cat litter. More because I also know that my trunk no longer supports its own door and I’m going to be forced to either use the broom handle trunk prop I’ve improvised or force the poor dude to dump everything into the backseat of my car, which is awkward for everyone.

The other Forced Human Interaction that I can barely survive is the checkout process. We have two types of cashiers: chatty mid-40s lady or teenagers busy flirting with each other. Chatty lady will ask about every goddamned thing I’m buying, probably because I’m the only weird-ass person in town who buys Greek yogurt and the occasional hunk of cheese from the “fancy” cheese trough. Either that or we must discuss whatever exciting health/church experiences she’s had lately while she draaaaags each item over the scanner slow as fuck. The teenagers will be so intensely focused on flirting that they won’t pay you any attention at all, which is a good thing if I don’t want to make eye contact or speak. Unfortunately, they also won’t pay attention to scanning my shit either, so I get the Saved By the Bell experience and feel awkward for interrupting their mini-date for the bagger escort to my car.

This is always followed by that special shame of knowing I’m perfectly capable of carrying my own shit (and accustomed to doing so after living my entire life in the city) but I’m too concerned for the guy’s job security and my own laziness to refuse.

Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:04 am

Glad to know I’m not the only one who has to prop a trunk open. Lucky for me, I usually forget to bring anything and just use my head.

Thankfully, in Dallas, everyone hates everyone, so the cashiers usually don’t talk to you. Unless it’s after 11 PM, when the 16 year old boys do checkout, and then hit on me. FUCK YOU.

Also, are you shopping at United, where they are required to lug your shit to your car, proving more forced interaction?

Angela March 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Sadly, this is Brookshires territory. I’m in east Texas and they appear to have a total monopoly on the small towns out here.

Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:33 am

Damn. All I have is mean-ass Kroger. I used to have a Kosher Tom Thumb that was the nicest grocery store I’ve ever been in ever. They had a German deli girl and that made me giggle with irony.

Stephanie March 20, 2012 at 6:08 am

I, too, had the broom handle trunk prop. Thank God I lived where they didn’t automatically take your groceries to your car. It may have happened once, but I’ve suppressed the memory.

Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:35 am

Since we live in a tall building, I have begun to bring in a plastic tub in which I place my groceries so that I can just load them on a wheely cart to take up instead of carrying 1,000 bags filled with 3 things each up so many floors.

This also makes me the crazy person, as you can imagine.

They used to offer to carry my groceries, but seeing as how I look like I’m prepping for the apocalypse, I get no more offers.

KJ March 19, 2012 at 10:44 am

I usually don’t mind the grocery store, it’s meeting strangers at a party or dinner that is my social kryptonite.
My most awkward grocery store moment was when I bought femining products (lots) (they were my favorite brand & I happened to find them on sale) (shut up) and a large bottle of Frank’s RedHot sauce (I was going to make hot wings for a football game) (shut UP). Just carrying this collection through the store was uncomfortable enough, but then the cashier says “are you playing a prank on someone?” and I blushed so hard I died.

Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:09 am

That might be the most spectacular prank of all time.

Jaime March 19, 2012 at 11:54 am

I wish more people knew how to use the self check-out machines… if you ever wanted to see how horribly we’ve failed as a society, just watch the self check out line up. It’s the reason why I would never in a million years work at a grocery store.

(and yes I do feel like people are judging me in the ethnic foods section)
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Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:11 am

My sister used the self-checkout only once, and watched a lady try to scan each individual orange before just drop kicking them about and leaving.

Memories.

Carrie March 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm

The grocery store is fraught with social landmines. I especially hate asking the African American girl who works behind the deli counter for White American. Awkward.

Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:11 am

I bet it’s equally weird for her.

Rae Jones March 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I usually can’t make it past 5 minutes in a grocery store. Overwhelmed and panicked I grab the thing closest to the register and get out.
Worst. Shopper. Ever.

Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:12 am

Adrian always wonders why we never have food. THIS IS WHY.

Pish Posh March 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I need you to write a Choose Your Own Adventure for my life please. All of it. Especially what I should do about my career. Annnnd… Go:
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Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:17 am

Do you:

Choose an awesome job?

Yes: Good. You win.
No: WHY.

Dana the Biped March 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I’m not anorexic, I’m not!

I’m just too socially awkward to–well–never mind.

Er, how’s your mom?
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Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:36 am

In my fridge right now, we have eggs, ketchup packets, 3 jars of pickles, and butter.

And I still refuse to shop.

tova March 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I guess I really don’t belong on that chart, I chat with everyone, all the time.

I do have a favorite awkward supermarket game though. it is called “beibering” but can be done with twilight or any offensive- to-society style media. You walk around with a bunch of it, and surreptitiously place the dvds or cds or whatever in people’s carts, while they are trying to remember to carry the 5 in determining if buying the “family size” is cheaper.

Then you get to watch people pay, and explain to the checker that the Justin Beiber dvd isn’t theirs, and they don’t want to buy it (no one ever believes them). My favorite target is single men.
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Mandi E. March 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I think I fell in love with you just now…
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Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:38 am

@Tova: Holy shit. You’re a mastermind of public humiliation.

@Mandi: She’s mine, ho.

Bex March 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I an overcome with awkward in nightclubs. I am borderline midget height, so I spend the whole time buried in a mass sweaty swaying throng of armpits in my goddam face. And I don’t even dance. I just get caught there. I panick, I’m already sweating like a glass blowers arse & my fuck kick leg starts a twitching, then before I know it I’m being ‘removed from the premises’ for assualting tall people’s knee cleveage.

And then my husband has to come & pick me up with his disappointed face on. It’s how I survive in a tall mans world. Don’t be hatin on a bitch.
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Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:39 am

There’s a club in Dallas that has what I affectionally call, “The dollar fart machine.” Every 15 minutes, it farts out 20 dollars in ones for people to grab and put in the bartender’s panties.

I didn’t dance. I walked out ahead that night.

Johi March 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm

I make inappropriate jokes when I’m at the cave doctor.

Also, I would have died from Ebola because when you take cherubic children (much like my own) that like to smile and wave at people out into public, everyone wants to talk to you. Unless said children are screaming with a snot bubble attached to one nostril….
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Mandi E. March 19, 2012 at 6:41 pm

That last sentence makes me reevaluate whether I should have children just to have a plague bearing deterrent to conversations with people I’d probably want to stab.
Mandi E. recently posted..Greatest Hits (to my head)

Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:41 am

@Johi: I had no idea that was even a thing until Disneyworld with my twin nieces. They only wanted Aunt Noa to push them around in the stroller, so of course, everyone thought I had birthed them. I had more forced interaction that week than I ever thought possible.

@Mandi: They lead you closer to those people. RUN AWAY.

Bill G. March 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm

For some reason, I feel very awkward sitting in a restaurant eating by myself (usually when I’m traveling for my job). I do my damndest to not make eye contact with anybody. I usually bring something to read or watch the game on TV if there is one, and I always try to pick a restaurant that has the fewest number of customers possible. I guess I’m antisocial. The last thing I want to do is interact with anybody when I’m alone in a different town, especially when I’ve spent my whole day in crowded airports and flying in planes jam-packed with people.

There was one time that I had spent the day flying to Cleveland. When I got to the hotel, it was 5:30 and the Happy Hour in the lobby was starting up. They had free beer and wine from 5:30-7:30 and free Mexican food (self-serve nachos, tacos, and tamales; I think I gained 4 pounds just looking at the buffet counter).

After spending an hour and a half drinking free beers (glad it was still early and I didn’t have to be anywhere until 10 the next morning), eating tacos, and watching the game, a cute little 20-something comes up to me. “Whatcha doing, just sitting there all by yourself?” “Yep.” “Why?” “Just ‘cuz.” I figured if I give curt 1-2 word answers, she’d get the hint and leave. Nope, she has to sit down and start talking to me. What the fuck is this? I’m a dumpy 40-something guy wearing Dockers and a golf shirt, and sporting a wedding ring. There’s no way a cute little 20-something girl is going to sidle up and start talking to me, batting eyelashes and shit, unless she’s a hooker or looking to roofie my drink and rob me blind, probably both. A minute in, and it’s already time to cut this shit short.

So I tell her, “Excuse me, I gotta go call my WIFE,” get up, and start heading to the elevator. At this point, I’m more than ready to get out of whatever this is shaping up to be and the whole vibe of the situation has me on red-alert. Then she starts following me to the elevator! So then I stop, turn to her, and say, “I don’t know where the fuck you’re going, but only one of us is getting on this elevator. Have a good day.”

When I headed up to my room, I purposely went to a higher floor than my room (in case she and anybody else was watching the little indicator over top of the elevator to see what floor I was getting off at). Then I took the stairwell back down to my floor, went to my room, and stayed there for the rest of the evening. That shit was not only awkward, but possibly dangerous.

My friends all tell me that I was just being paranoid. Maybe, but I’d rather explain it to unbelieving friends than have the cops explain to my parents where my body was found (or wake up at 4 AM with my money, rental car, and personal possessions gone). If you’re in a strange situation where shit isn’t adding up and alarm bells are going off (especially in a place where NOBODY knows you), don’t ever regret getting the fuck out of there and anybody who doesn’t believe you later can go suck it. People will tell you all kinds of bullshit. If you believe it, then the problem is you.

Bill G. March 21, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Nobody’s touching this one, hehe. I posted this near midnight after drinking about 8 beers. (I don’t know why it says 4:22 PM, it was more like 11:22.) It’s a bit off-topic, sorry about that, but it’s a true story.

Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:44 am

@Bill: If you feel like you’re going to be murdered, it usually means you will be murdered.

Charity Woosley March 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I make my 18 year old daughter do the shopping for us, mainly so I don’t have to go deal with that shiz myself.
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Mandi E. March 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Damn. Apparently I need to have children, first to keep stupid people at least 10 paces away, and later to make them deal with the stupid people for me.

Nah. Too much work. Can I just borrow your kid?
Mandi E. recently posted..Greatest Hits (to my head)

Charity Woosley March 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Fuck no! My kid is fucking awesome. She’s like the only sane college kid I know. Also, she fucking does the grocery shopping, cleans the kitchens and vacuums.
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Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:18 am

@Charity: Using children as they were always intended.

@Mandi: I always thought this is what they were for.

Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd March 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

A few months ago I dropped and broke a jar of salsa at the grocery store and if that wasn’t awkward enough, I overcompensated by explaining a little too forcefully and frequently that I had never broken or spilled anything in a grocery store until then. As if, somehow, that made it less unpleasant to mop up to the poor employee who had to do it.
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Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:20 am

Someone in front of us did that the other day, and my mom said, very loudly, “WELL HE CAN’T USE A BROOM.”

Thanks, mom. His job’s not shitty enough.

Jen March 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I think the day I bought pads and a pregnancy test was my biggest “socially awkward moment”. The cashier looked at me like I was a dumbass. I only bought the test to prove to my sister I wasn’t pregnant….so of course I was. These days going grocery shopping is one of the only times I get out of the house. Thankfully my daughter is both adorable and friendly so she diverts all the attention. She smiles and waves and says excuse me when people are blocking our way. No one dares be a bitch to a sweet little three year old smiling and saying “Excuse me please” while grinning from ear to ear.

Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:21 am

I once moved for a woman who had a child belted to the top of it’s stroller.

Nice or crazy. I’ll move for both.

Mandi E. March 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I don’t really have socially awkward moments, I just make them for other people by being socially inappropriate, especially in the grocery store. Block the aisle with your shopping cart? I will remove items that I need from your cart while you’re not looking and replace them with creamed corn and gefilte fish. Let your kids run rampant while completely ignoring the little shit fucks? I will send them sprawling face first into the middle of the aisle with a well placed foot. Argue with the cashier over a 10 cent price difference when there are 4 people in line behind you? I will throw pennies at your head while screaming at you to take your creamed corn and play in traffic.

Road rage doesn’t end when you leave the car, y’all.
Mandi E. recently posted..Greatest Hits (to my head)

Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:23 am

You.

Are.

Brilliant.

I bow to you.

Bill G. March 21, 2012 at 7:20 pm

That is frickin’ great. I don’t think I have the balls to do most of that stuff, but I’m more than happy to take stuff from a cart and replace it with tins of sardines in mustard sauce, strange spiny asian fruit, and random jars of whatever when it’s blocking the aisle while the “owner” is 10 feet away blissfully doing something else. I’ve also chewed out other people’s kids and, when mommy/daddy comes over to voice objections, I’ve said, “They’re disturbing the entire store and you don’t care, so I’m just doing your job, ya fuck.”

Stephanie March 22, 2012 at 5:32 am

Stay away from the spiny asian fruit! I went with my son and his preschool class when they toured the local grocery. None of the kids would try it so I took one for the team. OMG was it disgusting!

elizabeth- flourishinprogress March 19, 2012 at 7:01 pm

This flow chart just reinforces why I don’t go to the goddamn grocery store. Because I value my sanity. I love myself. Too much sometimes. But that’s neither here nor there.

I am always always always socially awkward. Thank you for being my friend. Seriously, what a fucking chore you signed up for.
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Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:23 am

It’s so much more fun to be awkward with other awkward people, because then people think you’re just being weird to be funny.

They don’t know how fucked up we are. Let’s keep it that way.

Tracy March 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Unless I’m at home, I’m awkward.

It seems like I’m plagued with bizarre comments that leave me speechless (besides fuck you, of course, which is always on the tip of my tongue).

Like the time one of my colleagues saw that I was also going to attend our mutual ex-boss’ retirement party (who I had worked for considerably longer) and said, “Good for you.” What?!?
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Noa March 20, 2012 at 12:24 am

I want to walk around with you for a while, because your life seems like so much fucking fun.

Dana March 20, 2012 at 2:41 am

I don’t understand what signal I’m sending to people to invite conversation, but strangers talk to me all the time.

One night, I went to the grocery store for one item. It was supposed to be a super quick trip. Then I thought as long as I’m here, I might as well grab a box of green tea, too.

So, I’m standing there in front of the Celestial Seasonings display, reaching for a box of tea, when an old woman yelled (really, she yelled at me), “No! Don’t get that one!” Then, at a much more appropriate volume level, but with a certain amount of firmness and zeal, she suggested in a gentle grandmotherly way that I buy Earl Grey instead. And promptly slapped the box of green tea from my hands.

“Well, actually, I was at the book store the other day, and the lady in front of me ordered Green Tea, so I guess you’re not the only one that drinks it…” (Whew, was that a load off my mind, since I was worried about being the solitary customer supporting the global green tea market.Very generous of her to make that concession. )

She kept talking.

Half an hour later, we had discussed my unborn children and where they ought to be educated, her childhood in Louisville and how much she loved the basement there, the death of her mother last November (and she cried a little, right there across from the instant oatmeal), Medicare, hurricanes, and a variety of other things.

I never know how to extricate myself from those conversations.

Kim March 20, 2012 at 6:00 am

I work at a coffee shop, and I swear to God, of all the shitty smelling “Lemongrass and Essence of Hippy Fart” and “Infusion of Monkey Balls” herbal tea’s we have, Earl Grey smells INCREDIBLE. Seriously. I would buy that tea just to put in my sock drawer, if I had a sock drawer.

Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:51 am

I would really like tea made of infusion of monkey balls.

Bill G. March 21, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I know what you mean. People pick me out of a crowd to ask directions.

There have been several times when women in supermarkets have walked up to me when I’m looking for something, ask me if I need help, offer me all kinds of advice, then walk away in a huff when my wife walks up, says, “Hi, honey,” and puts stuff in the cart. My wife always jokes with me that if I need a date, all I need to do is show up at a supermarket and act helpless. Wish I knew that when I was single, I am socially inept in bars, restaurants, and parties.

Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:52 am

You know what happens to ladies in grocery stores? Jack shit. Try reaching for the pasta on the top shelf. The tall ones will just laugh at you.

Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:51 am

Mother. Of. God.

1. Holy shit, it’s YOU. I’m all verklemped.
2. That sounds like a made-up story, except not because who could make that up? That’s spectacular.
3. I like to think that’s just what she does on Tuesdays as part of her “fuck-em-up” routine.
4. Punch to extricate.

Kim March 20, 2012 at 5:55 am

Nowhere in Australia have I seen a store greeter who tries to give you a trolley. Ours just try not to make eye contact on the way in, and judge you on the contents of your handbag on the way out (honestly, who doesn’t keep books/crackers/cat treats/a stopwatch/mouthguard/staminade in their handbag?????). I feel like my country is robbing me of an essential shopping experience with it’s trust that our citizens can get their own trolleys.

Bill G. March 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I hear you. Store greeters always grate on me and I’m not sure why. It’s hard not to say, “I can get my own cart, for FUCK’S SAKE!!” Go accost people who look lost in the pharmacy, they’re probably off their meds and need the most help.

Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:54 am

I smile at them because I know they try to help, but I hate talking to everyone.

Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:53 am

@Kim: Here’s the thing, as Americans, we have no respect for trolleys. We leave them fucking everywhere. I saw a guy run his up on a grassy median instead of taking it 10 feet over to the cart corral. We’re spoiled.

Eleanor March 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

I have found the ultimate anti social, awkward situation avoidance tool ever….headphones. Huge, over the ear, noise cancelling headphones. The kind they use in radio studios that are generally called “cans” (cause it looks like you have cans over your ears). I have found that you can avoid awkward conversations, have a great excuse for barging in front of someone “oops! Didn’t hear you. Listening to me music!”. And for especially bad douchbags, I either sing along poorly (though I have a respectable singing voice) or arguing. Nothing keeps other shoppers away from you like arguing back to whatever it is you are listening to while grabbing heavy canned goods off the shelves.

Then when I get to the checkout I don’t remove them until I see on the screen that they are done ringing me up, and then it is only one ear I uncover. That way I avoid any small talk the creepy guy with the 3 foot tall hair swoop might want to try to pull on me.

This technique also works well for avoiding people you might run into at the grocery store that you really do not want to talk to. Closely studying your list while wearing huge big ass headphones gives you a pass every time.
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Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:55 am

I had a guy on a plane TAKE OUT MY EARBUDS FOR ME ONCE because he wanted to talk. I have felt less violated while nude. I didn’t even know what to do. I always thought social protocol was to leave those alone who wear the headphones.

Eleanor March 22, 2012 at 11:30 am

Oh my god. That is the social equivalent to grabbing your ass. Everyone knows the international symbol for “Leave me alone, fucker” is wearing headphones. Let me guess…he thought we was doing you a favor?
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Jess March 20, 2012 at 11:50 am

I’m the one that classically grabs a basket, thinking I’m only getting 3 things, and ends up needing the cart because I decide that’s the day I need everything on the planet to fit into my cabinets. So then I’m stuck behind 3 people at the check out, the first being the Tidy Cat lady and her obsession with trying to be the latest couponer and paying only $1.50 for all her stuff. As a result, I’m still stuck behind said couponer cat lady, but far enough behind that I can’t put any of my stuff on the conveyer belt, and my arms are falling off as I’m holding 500lbs of groceries in this tiny ass basket.

Almost as bad is the day I grab the cart, thinking I’ll need it for the 500lbs of stuff, and only end up getting a single apple. I don’t know what’s more awkward, the cart with only one thing in it, or the overflowing basket of grocery items. Reasons I hate grocery shopping…oh and the stupid coupon ladies.

Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:56 am

I’m also that person. It’s why my shoulder is chronically fucked up.

Gretchen March 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I shop at the military commissary for groceries, where the baggers (as a given), follow you out to your car with your groceries, where you are expected to tip them. (As evidenced by the multiple signs and buttons stating “baggers work ONLY FOR TIPS.” Thanks. I didn’t even ask for your help.)

So I keep it under 30 items so I can go through the self checkout because I don’t want to awkwardly walk with someone out to the parking lot ad give them a few dollars when I CAN DO IT MY DAMN SELF. I HATE EVERYONE.
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Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:57 am

I can’t stand that shit. Pay your fucking employees. Don’t berate people for tips.

I feel for you.

CoreyFerns March 21, 2012 at 1:06 am

The flow chart just made me realise i’m fucked on several levels..if I’m not dying waiting for mutton chops in the meat section…I tend to roam around aimlessly in the frozen food section..because the fucking tags do not match the god damn foods in that section so it’s like “Hmm there’s an offer on burgers…yay..oh wait, this is the frozen vegetables…What Tom fuckery..”

The rest of the time I just make it socially awkward for myself cause its just that much fun to watch…and most of the time unintentional..most of the time. Not like the time I walked into the Grocery store and bought condoms, lube and pineapples..Cashier gave me the funniest look like he put two and four together..and all because I ran out of lube and I needed pineapple for a hawaiian pizza …Shit.

Or like recently where McDonalds came out with a new burger called the Asian..and something possessed me to ask if it came with a Rub and tug along with upsized fries and a coke…

Or the first time I had to buy lingerie for someone and I screamed like a little girl cause the sales person popped out of no where and I was already sweating bullets cause I was a teenager..in the lingerie section..and the only guy there.

I should’ve just pretended I was shopping for me and got the ordeal over with …

Fuck it i’m shopping online from now on.
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Noa March 22, 2012 at 1:58 am

If everything delivered, I would evolve naturally into the color of an axolotl.

Jen March 21, 2012 at 8:37 am

I’m about as socially active as JD Salinger during a SARS epidemic so pretty much every occasion out in public is a Mongolian cluster-fuck for me. I have the most significant issue with my bank tellers. They all have that toothy-grinned, bloodless “Credit Union of the Damned” look that is freakishly unnerving.
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Noa March 22, 2012 at 2:00 am

I always get roped into weird conversations with the receptionists at a mechanic’s. If I need to get my oil changed, I will leave having saved a girls’ life. WHY.

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