Tip # 1: Don't
Today's post was inspired by my trip to Publix yesterday. I'm writing it as a mother of four, a wife, a daughter, and a granddaughter. So spare me the excuses for the violations. The following are rules for grocery shopping during holiday peak hours--peak hours being those times when the only parking spaces available are the ones on the shuttle route.
1. Be patient as you look for a spot to park your Suburban; you don't have any more right to park than the teenager in the Taco Bell uniform, driving a Ford Escort.
2. After parking your vehicle, collect at the crosswalk. Wait a couple of minutes for the folks who are coming up behind you (THEY should be hurrying). In the meantime, wave a couple of cars through so they can actually get OUT of the lot to make room for others. The alternative is a lazy string of crossing pedestrians, with a line of cars waiting for them, blocking the entrance from the main road.
3. Unless they fit in the buggy and are asleep (baby) or wearing a muzzle, do NOT bring your children. And by 'fit in the buggy,' I don't mean sprawled on the rack on the bottom with their hands and legs hanging out. Extra bodies are bad. Extra bodies crying, whining, and begging for Cookie Crisp are a capital offense. The only people who should be in the store are those who are actually shopping, their mission being to get in and get out.
4. Along those same lines, do not bring your spouse or significant other if all they're going to do is shuffle behind you and take up space. If they must accompany you, give them half the list, and have them carry as many items as they can in their arms and bring them back to the cart. (Never use more than one cart per party.)
5. No one over 75. It's too dangerous. That's just common sense.
6. Do not park your cart on one side of the aisle and stand directly across from it on the other side of the aisle, creating a roadblock while you try to decide between Bumblebee or Chicken of the Sea. If you move your cart ahead a bit, diagonally across, other shoppers will be able to weave through.
7. During holiday peak hours, you should only be shopping for the items you need for the season's dinner and staple foods for you and your guests. You should have already stocked up on the non-perishables that you know you always need: toilet paper, tampons, pet food, shampoo, vitamins, batteries, Gas-X, and beer.
8. This is NOT the time to purchase lottery tickets or money orders.
9. Nor is it the time to catch up with your PTA friend in the canned vegetable aisle.
10. Don't even THINK about writing a check.