Shopping not as much fun

Published 9:29 pm Monday, June 11, 2007

By Staff
I've reached the far end of middle age. It's a fact that I'm not at all happy with and one that I have been denying for a couple of years now. This past week has certainly proven that my theory is correct.
After discovering empty containers that once held mayonnaise, ketchup, washing powder and dish detergent, I realized it was time to make a trip to the store. If you're wondering how this lines up with my realizing how old I am, here's the answer: I dreaded the trip.
In my younger days, which seem like yesterday, I searched for a reason to go shopping for anything. You need a broom, I'm the gal to go search for just the perfect one for your needs. If someone used the last cotton ball, I'd be chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and head off to the nearest retail store and search for the best deal.
I can even remember, in the not to distant past, that a day-long trip was planned for shopping that included a trip to a large department store, a discount or dollar store, a grocery store (or two, depending on the sale items) and even a stop at the local fruit and vegetable stand.
Now mind you, I still have to go shopping. As I said before, when the discovery of empty containers is made at my house, I still have to make a list and go to fetch replacement items. However, I'm not quite as eager as I once was to make the trip to the store.
As of late, I have discovered that an empty mayonnaise jar doesn't mean the end of the world. As a matter of fact, I've found that a little Ranch dressing makes a pretty good sandwich spread (as my son has tried to tell me before) especially if there is a tomato involved in the sandwich.
I've also found that those tiny little packets of ketchup most fast-food restaurants throw into your bag, come in pretty handy when the bottle in the fridge has less than enough contents to accommodate even one French fry.
I've digressed a little bit. Let me get back to the age thing.
Just this week, I had to make one of those refill runs to the grocery store. No problem - you'd think. I made it to the store just fine. No problems at all. The air conditioning was working just fine in my van and all was right with the world. Then I got to the store parking lot. Here's where the realization of my age kicked in with a vengence.
First, there was not parking spot near the front door. I made a quick scan down a couple of aisles to see if there was a close spot in which to park. No luck. I began to circle the parking lot. The closest spot was at least 20 cars away from the front door of the store.
Now, when I was 20 or 30 that wouldn't be a problem. But now that I'm on the back side of 40, that seems like an awfully long way to walk. With the temperature climbing to about 92 degrees that day, that lengthend the distance considerably.
I eventually found a spot in which to park and made the trek into the store. Here's the kicker: even though I searched for the &#8220best” spot possible, I failed to consider the proximity to the cart-return area when I found the spot. So, here we go again.
As I exited the store and huffed and puffed to my parking spot, I unlocked the doors and proceeded to put the items into my van. As I turned around to find the spot to return my shopping cart, I realized that designated area was a full three aisles away from where I was standing. I now understand why so many people leave their carts parked in the middle of aisles and other parking spaces - too far to walk.
With one of my pet-peeves being the proper placement of shopping carts, I trudged across the parking lot, all the while cursing about those lazy people who'd left their carts running wild and free. I then trudged back to the van and quickly turned on the air conditioning and caught my breath.
As I started out of the parking lot, I remembered (see, I am getting old) that I had forgotten the ketchup and I needed some salt. At this point I decided to order a small order of French fries at the nearest fast-food establishment and ask for lots of those little ketchup packets and plenty of extra salt.
Yep, I've reached that dubious late middle-age. Just watch for me if you see me out shopping in the hot, summer heat.
Lisa Tindell is a news reporter for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 251-867-4876 or by e-mail at

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