Supermarket Etiquette, or How NOT to Act in One

A few years back, I published a similar post about strange and weird (and sometimes disgusting) things some people do in supermarkets. As I’ve been seeing more and more of this lately, I resurrected this post.

I think that we should establish some rules of etiquette about supermarket behavior. There are definitely some folks out there who don’t seem to understand that they actually have to share space with the rest of us. That isn’t so bad if you are someplace where you can get away from them, but difficult if you are navigating the supermarket aisles.

Here are a few reminders I would love to see posted in huge letters in every aisle:

  • Do not park your cart sideways right in the dang middle of the aisle.
  • Do not stand like a lox in front of the grapes, staring into space and dreamily pawing over the produce––other people would like to buy some grapes, too.
  • The supermarket is a lot like the highway––stay in your own lane, and watch out for other drivers.
  • If you feel you must scratch your privates in public, please don’t continue touching things. Go home. NOW.
  • When you put your purchases on the conveyor belt, do NOT line them up one at a time in a straight line that goes from where you’re standing to East Omaha (seriously––I was behind a man who did just that––one item at a time in a line that went on for several feet).
  • If you cause a potato avalanche, pick them up––don’t just walk away as if you didn’t do it––we all saw you.
  • If you see me pick up an eggplant and put it in my cart, don’t say “Ewwww! I hate those!” Because 1) I didn’t ask your opinion, 2) you’re not going to eat it, and 3) I don’t care what you think, and finally 4) shut up.
  • Please, PLEASE keep your children in check. If they don’t fit in the cart, don’t let them wander around like grazing sheep. The rest of us are shopping and are not responsible for watching where your kids are or what they are getting into.

This isn’t strictly an etiquette issue, but just an observation: if you feel you must walk around the supermarket with earbuds in, talking seemingly to NO ONE, you look crazy. Just sayin’.

Shopping in a supermarket, especially right before a major holiday or right before a storm is a lot like planning a battle. You plan your strategy so that you get to your objective (i.e., leaving the store with everything you wanted to get with no bloodshed or loss of troops) quickly and efficiently.

Once home with all groceries put away, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that you won the supermarket battle—this time. Victory is yours!

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