A Woman Shamed Me at the Grocery Store For Not Following COVID Rules

Michelle Jaqua

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It's been a long week. My husband has had a medical emergency with three emergency room visits over the past five days. Last night was the third visit, and we are both tired and weary with very little sleep.

I decided to go to the grocery store for some essentials. Months ago, my neighborhood store placed arrows on the floor showing the direction of which way you should be driving your cart due to COVID-19. Not only is the idea impractical because people (including myself) don't weave in and out of each aisle, but it's also ineffective, and most everyone ignores the floor maze.

Here I was, sleep-deprived and worried more about my husband than the signs, which I typically ignore anyway. I filled his medicine at the pharmacy and was looking for some of his favorite cereal, pushing my cart. I stopped towards the far end of the aisle, picked out a box, and started moving forward again. Looking up, a woman was standing at the end of the row facing me.

Her frame took up the entire aisle, and she was looking straight at me.

"You're going the wrong way," she said. I thought she was kidding. I laughed at her.

"The arrow on the floor is going this way," she said as she pointed in front of her. She didn't move. She wouldn't let me by. I think she wanted me to turn around and go back the way I came instead of walking forward three more feet.

As she stood there I looked at her without saying anything. Even with my required mask on, I hoped she could see me giving her the stink eye.

"There are rules, you know. The arrows are going the opposite way," she said.

"I can see that," I said to her, "Yeah, thanks for letting me know." I started pushing my cart forward, ready to run into her cart if she didn't let me through. I wasn't having any of this today. I had more important things to do in my life than deal with the grocery aisle police.

As she passed me, I ALMOST said to her, "Thanks, Karen." But I bit my tongue.

So I'll say it now. Thanks, Karen, for being a completely useless piece of...nevermind.

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I write about local food and beverage spots, adventures and events, and updated happenings worth knowing. I may even throw in a little history for the fun of it! I also write about relationships and recovery from abuse and domestic violence. Subscribe to my page and get my info in your email.

Lake Oswego, OR
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