Saturday, August 2, 2008

In a Mommy Moment Redux

Originally posted about four months ago, this episode haunts me. Every time I go to the store I check my purse about 25 times on the way, just to make sure. OCD, thy name is Cara.

I had my first truly ditzy mommy moment yesterday. Mondays are generally grocery store day, give or take three days, and so I bundled the child up and off we went. We have four grocery stores within about 2 minutes of our house and I go through phases where one is my favorite and I will go to it all the time. But then something will happen, they stop carrying Campbell's Supper Bakes(gasp!), for instance, and we will break up. Amicably, of course, because I might want to take them back. Safeway is my grocery store du jour.

Sophie had just woken up from a nap when we left, so I knew we had a good solid hour, maybe even two, before the cranks set in. We wandered through all of the aisles, grabbing things we didn't need and generally had a pleasant shopping experience. Sophie looked around, wide-eyed, and gurgled the whole time. When we got to the check-out, I politely let both a man and a woman, who each had only one or two things, go ahead of me. I was feeling terribly magnanimous, sort of like that give it back commercial. You know, where people do something nice and someone sees them do it and they do something nice and so on. I wanted to start that chain.

I finally get to the conveyor belt and laid out all of my food. The checker starts ringing things up and I reach into my purse to grab my wallet so I can scan my Safeway card, but its not there. And that's when I realize that, horror of horrors, I have forgotten my wallet. I stand there sheepishly for a moment, watching him run items across the scanner, and then I check my purse again. Maybe I've overlooked it and it is in there. But, no. Plenty of diapers, but no wallet.

I tell the kid how sorry I am but I've forgotten my wallet and he looks at me like I'm the biggest moron ever. It was obvious even before this that here was a person who was not happy. Whether it was just the job or it extended beyond to a general dissatisfaction with life, I can't say. I ask him if we could just put the stuff to the side and I could run home and come right back. He doesn't say anything, just starts putting everything back in the cart. Despite my urge to tell him where he could stick his bad attitude, I continue to apologize profusely saying I've never done this before, I just switched purses and so on. Another checker/bagger comes by and starts helping us re-load the cart and he tells me that they'll put the cart over to the side for me. He says not to worry, it happens all the time.

The worst part is that I hadn't really dressed up for this outing. I had showered, but had just allowed my hair to air dry, had no make-up on and I don't think my clothes really matched. So I couldn't even be the cute, dumb girl. I seriously contemplated not going back and just moving on to the next grocery store, but my conscience got the better of me and back we went. I wish I could say the kid was nicer the second time around but he wasn't. However, the bagger and the other checker who had witnessed the event were surprised and happy to see me back. I know I'm going to feel goofy the next time I go there, maybe it's time for a switch.

The moral of the story is never forget to wear mascara, because you're going to do stupid things, but its much better to look good and feel stupid than to feel stupid and look bad while you're at it.


  1. I've done that! I felt like such an arse.

  2. "...its much better to look good and feel stupid than to feel stupid and look bad..."

    You are a riot--so funny and it's SO TRUE. This is only somewhat related, but often if I'm running to the store or the pool or some place quick, I often don't wear make-up or anything more fancy than gym clothes. And wouldn't you know it, that is ALWAYS when I run into a neighbor, a parent of one of my kids' friends, or some hot dad--never when I am made up and have my hair done! Every time that happens I vow to never again leave the house in anything less than my personal best condition, but alas, I DO. (sigh)

  3. Did that once. Only not at a grocery store, but at a department store. Fortunately, my husband's office was just around the corner, so I asked to cashier (after she had already rung me up) to just hold a moment while I phoned my hubby to come bail me out. Fortunately, the cashier was very kind about it.

    This post also reminded me of a recent trip to the local Stuff Mart. My kids are typically pretty well behaved. This particular time, however, my son started screaming and whining halfway through the shopping visit until we got through the check out. I was mortified. He wouldn't stop. People stared at us and whispered and gave us dirty looks. The cashier suggested "someone needs a nap" to which I responded, "Yeah! ME!"

    I can't avoid the store. It's the only Stuff Mart within a short radius of us. I have, however, avoided that particular cashier. And every time I've walked in the store since THAT day, I have felt certain there are people in the store who recognize me and "tsk tsk" to themselves and shake their heads and mumble, "There goes THAT mom! The one with the unruly kids, which she cannot seem to control."

    I want to scream at them that my kids are not always out of control, how the bagger at the Food Mart down the road regularly comments how WELL behaved my kids are, and that I really don't suck as a mom (most of the time, anyway)!

  4. I did that at blockbuster last week. Mady on one side, 4 movies on the other side, wallet at home on dining room table.

    Ever try shopping at Wegman's? A bit of a drive for you, but I think you might be pleasantly surprised. Before they opened one up in MD, I used to drive to VA to shop at the one down there ;) Crazy, I know...but it was such a staple to my life in NY. No other grocery store has my heart.

  5. ooooh ... I do that all the time. But I am a blonde in California, so they're used to people like me.

  6. "its much better to look good and feel stupid than to feel stupid and look bad while you're at it." You're so funny!


Give me some sugar, baby!