Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Thanksgiving Memory

This was an event that happened to me last Thanksgiving when I attempted to go grocery shopping the day before. I posted this in my LJ at the time. I was re reading it and decided that it was worthy of posting here.

November 29th 2010:

I discovered this past week that if you wish to lose faith in humanity that all you need to do is go to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving.

Typically I am a smart human and do all of my Thanksgiving shopping well in advance. If the item is not perishable it is at the latest purchased the Friday before the big day. If it is fresh produce or the like, I try and get it as early as possible, so as to avoid the crazed crowds in the store.

This year I was not making Thanksgiving dinner. The plan was to head down to my parents house for the first time in forever. My mother left me a slightly incoherent text on Wednesday afternoon which said she had forgotten cool whip and bell peppers at the store, but there was no way in hell she was going back there, and we would suffer without. Me being the good daughter I told her I would grab some before we left Dallas.

Good intentions make me a foolish mortal.

So after I got out of the office early I headed to my local Kroger, and while the parking lot was a little full for 3:30 on a Wednesday, it was not too bad. I found a decent parking spot and hurried in. There were no hand baskets, only one lonely cart, so I snatched it up. Sure I was only there for bell peppers and cool whip, but at the last moment I decided to get stuff for Jessie to make crawfish pie for my parents as well, so I needed something.

The produce and bread section were almost empty of people, so I swooped in and grabbed my bell peppers without any incident at all. It was like any other grocery trip really. I was starting to think the pre Thanksgiving grocery hysteria had somehow magically missed my Kroger.

Then I tried to go further into the store. The top end of the aisles was blocked completely. Our Kroger is set up with the dairy section at the end of the aisles of canned food, and apparently everyone was needing something there. It was intimidating just looking at it, so I hooked down the chip aisle intent on using the short cut though to get across to pasta and back up to the end section to get down to frozen foods.
It was a good plan until I got blocked in by a man who had half parked his cart in the middle of the aisle while he stood looking intently at a display of stuffing. His feet were spread, his arms to his side and slightly elevated, his shoulders rolled forward, a look of intense concentration on his face; I honestly thought at any moment he was going to tackle the wild Stove Top Stuffing before it escaped.

I tried to back up but there was suddenly a backflow of shoppers from the canned vegetable aisle, and so I was stuck until someone moved so I patiently waited.

That is when I heard it.

"Those are MY french fried onions!"
The woman's voice was irate and she was not being quiet at all. I turned over my shoulder to see what was happening.

Two women stood at the end of the canned food aisle, both with carts overflowing with their shopping bounty. The woman who had spoken was standing with one hand gesturing wildly, the other planted on her hip. The second woman was standing, protectively clutching a can of French's French Fried Onion's to her chest, you know the fried oniony bits you put in green bean casserole.

Apparently woman A had been standing in front of the onions, and woman B grabbed the can first. Also this was the last can in the store.
The conversation, or argument as it turned into quickly went like this:

Woman A: Those are MY french fried onions.

Woman B: No they are mine, I got to them first.

Woman A: I was about to take that can, you cut in front of me!

Woman B: You were just standing there. You weren't reaching for them or anything. How was I supposed to know you wanted them?

Woman A: Well I was looking for other things too, I have a lot of things on my list. I was going to get those.

Woman B: Well you should have gotten them faster then.

Woman A: But I NEED those onions.

Woman B: Well so do I.

Woman A: But they are on my list (thrusts list at Woman B)

Woman B: They are on my list too (thrusts her list toward Woman A)

Woman A (Voice getting much louder) : I NEED those. They are MY French Fried Onions!!

Woman B (also getting louder): No they are mine!

Woman A: Those are the last french fried onions in the store, maybe the city and I need them.

Random shopper A: You know you don't need those. Just go over to the frozen food section, buy frozen onion rings, cook them until they are really dry and use them instead. They are actually better.

Random shopper B: Or Funyons work too. Sounds gross but it works.

Woman A (Now practically shouting): NO!! My recipe calls for french fried onions and that is what I need. THOSE ARE MY ONIONS!!!

That was about the time the fearless Stuffing hunter in front of me had managed to wrestle down his prey and move his cart enough so I could scoot by, so I hauled out of there before things got really ugly. In my mind after I left, the other holiday shoppers made a makeshift ring with their carts, and an angry housewife cage fight took place, to which the winner took the french fried onions, and the loser was relegated to finding Funyons.

And people wonder why holidays get to me.

I found it a sad state of affairs that people would almost come to blows, and hysterical public displays over something as silly as french fried onions. I mean I know Thanksgiving is a big deal, and bigger to some than others, but it is just dinner. The day is not about the food. I mean don't get me wrong, it is about gorging yourself on tasty tasty morsels, but the ACTUAL point of the day is the people and things you are thankful for. Spending time with loved ones and all that jazz. The food is a pleasant bonus. And while we all like things to be just right, and as we pictured, sometimes you have to make the Funyons work for you.

This is how our society is going to end. Not from weapons of mass destruction, or form terrorists, or disease.
No the end of our society is going to be angry housewives and there blood lust for French Fried Onions.


  1. I think we only get such ugliness here if it snows more than two days in a row!

    Happy Thanksgiving :-)

  2. I was in Wal-Mart the other day and saw a whole pallet of french fried onions and thought of this story..