Lately I have observed some of dependable rules that define the people who frequent those multipurpose supermarkets that sell everything from hardware to yogurt. Generally I am a leisurely shopper unless I am on a time schedule. I enjoy the trip and don't shy away from the casual conversations with strangers. Maybe if Mighty and Minnie had a better vocabularies-------.
I find it interesting how even brief eye contact between strangers in the aisles will bring smiles, greetings and start conversations. The product reviews offered are helpful, the weather griping cathartic, and the funny, cart pushing comedian is a real treat.
Sorry ladies but for me at least, men more often fit the latter category. I will often be rescued by a nice tall chap as I stretch but can only brush the item I want with my finger tips. Gallantly they will easily reach for what I need. That usually brings out the usual "runt" jokes. Generally however, even in just casual chat, men just seem to be funnier.
The people you meet in each department seem to have definite personalities and conversation paths that are associated with that department. Sometime people are chameleon like by conforming to each department as they tour the store. Kind of like, "when in Rome----." I'm pretty much one of those.
The confident folks are the ones you meet in the hardware or automotive departments. They are the, 'I can do it myself ' types. Sometimes I will run into a newbie to home repair or gasoline additives who is tentative and will actually pose questions to this white haired old lady. I must look like a salesperson. NEVER is it a man who questions me. I think that falls into the "asking directions" category. Sorry guys, but remember--- you are funnier.
In the health department, I either run into the quizzical, "Does that really work" types or the ones who are sure they know better and wish to correct my choice. "Brand Y is much better," they inform me. I am open to either type.
Clothing sections also brings out the different types. Some will cheerfully volunteer, "My what a pretty color." Some moan about why styles they like have become obsolete when they try to buy more of the same. This crops up in the bra section a lot. I can only agree.
Others furtively try to hide the fact that they are looking in the 2X blouse section and try to distract you with chatter before you can see that. Those in the " extra small" section seldom speak at all. They are quite smug about their size and just wear superior smiles. I can almost remember those days.
The food part of the store brings out a variety of folks.
The meat section is a hang out for those defiant ones whom you can almost hear the song in their head as they look at the neat packages of flesh. "If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right." The conversations there usually centers on the quality of the meats, the benefits of meats, or about the BBQ they are planning but don't bother to invite you. I get that same lack of invitation at the deli counter.
The salty snack aisle has the "I know exactly what I want" folks as they zero in on their favorite. I see little perusing or conversing. It is like they don't want to be seen hanging out there. It is a quiet aisle, just grab and go. Same goes for the candy section and baking aisles. A lot of these folks try to look like they got there by mistake and are just passing though.
Dairy aisle does have a lot of perusing and questions about whether what I have in my hand is tasty. Especially in the yogurt section. People are looking for flavor here. Everyone just assumes that all brands of yogurt are good for us and it will do magic for our bodies as long as those little live cultures reside in the container. Wanting to see an actual photo of those "live active cultures," Google gave me this.
|Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Ok, that is not as scary as I thought it would be. At least they don't have legs.|
The produce section features a variety of folks. There are some very thin, pinched looking vegan sorts who will volunteer recipes for eggplant. Mostly there are the more well rounded looking sorts trying to counteract all the bad stuff they previously put in their carts. They put the kale,apples, tomatoes and Romaine next to the yogurt to hide the chips and ice cream. Surely good will triumph over evil.
Oddly, produce is usually where I run into a lot of my friends. Most of my friends are gardeners and just like fruits and veggies but can't grow everything. They don't fit into the thin, pinched looking category--- nor do I. Maybe some day?
I quite enjoy these brief little vignettes offered by total strangers whenever I hit the supermarket. They make shopping less of a chore and more of a social event. Also should be noted that the majority of the talkers I encounter are retirees. We do have more time. Younger folks are most often in a time crunch.
I did have a rather depressing encounter just yesterday but I will save that for another post. It was too much of a downer for this post.
Do you enjoy supermarket stranger encounters or are you in a hurry, perhaps have a life, maybe you are luckily a thin size XS or do the attempts of others to engage you just annoy?