We're just about done when I realize that I forgot the cooking oil because I was too lazy to read the whole list ahead of time. Since my father is in another aisle, I realize that I can probably high tail it over to the oil aisle and get back before he gets lost.
I turn the cart and race straight across the store to the oil aisle. I am not happy, but at least I know where to go.
The cart clatters and shakes as I dodge the other shoppers, narrowly avoiding them like a seasoned stunt car driver. I get to the aisle, I turn the corner...
And then I see her: Big Mouth.
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I don't want to see Big Mouth, so I simultaneously lift the shopping list to my face and turn my head away, all while shoving the cart forward.
She has not seen me, so I race down the aisle, snatch the first bottle of cooking oil I see, and race down to the other end of the store.
It's pathetic, but I can not stand this nosy, obnoxious, big-haired girl from high school right now. Her hair hasn't changed since 1992, and she wears enough make up to embarrass a drag queen. She also prefers to embarrass me, saying things like, "Madonnnnnaaaa, Chris. Vogue!" every time I see her. She's stuck in the early 90's and has the personality of a dial tone.
She also has a tendency to ask, "How's Laaaarry?" a lot louder than one would in public.
When I reach my father, over by the meat case, I'm out of breath.
"We have to get out of here - now," I declare, as though I've just spotted Mariah Carey.
"I just saw someone I don't want to see."
"Who?" he asks.
"Some stupid girl from high school. She has a "megalo stoma." (Big mouth)
He doesn't say anything, but I'm sure he's thinking, I should have put this one up for adoption years ago.
Now it's a race against time to avoid Big Mouth. We're three aisles away from the end of the store, so I pretend I'm on a game show and I have 2 minutes to finish my shopping, otherwise I will be banished to a deserted island with Big Mouth as my life partner and nothing else to eat but brussel sprouts and purple Gatorade. I turn the last few corners with speedy caution, prepared to stop short or make a wild u-turn in the middle of the aisle, if need be.
After an eternity, I've hurled the last item into the cart. Thank God eggs weren't on the list.
At the checkout, I pile the groceries onto the belt, ever so often checking for Big Mouth.
I pack the bags with blind fury, not caring that I look like I just escaped from Rikers and saw my parole officer in the cereal aisle.
Suddenly, I see her, and pray that the brightly lit windows behind me make my face unrecognizable. Still, I'm willing to hit the floor to avoid her.
I pay the cashier and whisper Thank You to her as the two of us leave. for all I know, she'll scream, "How's Laaarry!" across the entire store, followed by, "Vogue, Chris, vogue!"
In the parking lot, I plow right through the patches of snow and ice until we are at the car. As my father struggles with the trunk key, I stop myself from ripping it out of his hand. I am never so happy to slam the heavy, clunky door shut and sit on the tattered leather seats as the ignition switch is turned and the fan belt squeals.
"Let's go," I say to my
I guess I could have just said hello, but that would make for a boring (ie: nonexistent) blog entry.