Public Akwardness

By
The grocery store can be a very stressful place. Searching isle after isle for the right brand of macaroni noodles, navigating your grocery cart with one crooked wheel, and trying to pay can turn your every day errands into a frustrating experience. We have all been in the situation where the store has two lanes open with tons of customers and you are forced to stand in line. While standing in line, several things can happen. You meet strange strangers, and subconsciously judge them by what is in their cart.

Just the other day I was forced to stand in a never ending line at the grocery store. Behind me was a mom and her daughter, in front of me a man in his twenties, and at the very front of the line there was a buy-everything-at-once-to-stock-up shopper. While waiting in line, I looked around to observe my surroundings, and each time I turned around the mom standing behind me would give me a suspicious glare and keep her young daughter right next to her. What did I look like, a hooker? The awkwardness grew even more when somewhere down the line a man pulled out his cell phone and started broadcasting the news of some old pal of his to the entire Food Lion. He had one of those deep voices that you could fee vibrate every time he spoke; so annoying. The mom behind me had her cart full of sugar free, protein filled, whole grain, disgusting products for her and her family. She seemed to be one of those health-crazed maniacs. Even when you see a cart sitting there you can tell so much about the person who it belongs to. It can be filled with TV dinners and sodas, or all organic items. The personality, or weight, of whoever's cart it is, is very obvious. Then in front of me stood Mr. Get Ready To Party. The basket he carried was filled with bags of potato chips, beer, and to top it off, a pack of condoms. Making eye contact with him and my mom also noticing the condoms increased the awkwardness . That's another thing, eye contact. It is already weird enough being able to tell a person's personality by what inhabits their grocery cart, but then when they see you scanning their belongings while just looking around, makes it even worse! Finally you will get your turn at the check-out counter.

I stood behind my mom in line while she paid for the groceries. I myself was buying some candy and a card for my friend's birthday. The mom still stood behind me now scolding her daughter for asking what was for dinner, and I could still feel her eyes looking over me like a security guard watching a person about to rob a bank. I at the time did not want to use my debit card to pay for some candy and a card, so I pulled out my wallet and planned to pay in cash. The cashier told me, "5.47" and I pulled out a five dollar bill. Then, the uncomfortable feeling came over me. Should I just give her six dollars and keep the change, or count out the change that was bulging from my wallet? I really wanted to get rid of some of my change, but the pressure was too great! I couldn't take it anymore!! I gave the cashier six dollars. I absolutely cannot stand the impatience of some people when someone is trying to count out change. Now in some cases, people do take too long to count it, but give them a break. It is ridiculous how stressful it can be just to stand in a line. Being in public with strangers can create horribly strange moments.

Stores are the most common places where you will run into people that you don't know. But besides standing in line to pay, stores also have another very stressful place; the dressing rooms. You go back there to try on your jeans, and the door is locked. Is there someone in there? Are you just too weak to open the door? Then you have to walk back out and stand there annoyed until some sales person comes up and asks you if you would like a dressing room to be unlocked for you. YES YOU WOULD LIKE A DRESSING ROOM! You weren't standing there with a large pile of clothes just for fun! Then there is the instance when you are shopping on a day after a holiday, and there are giant mobs of people. Of course, mobs are a whole new level of annoyance, but you would think stores would be prepared for a rush of people, but they never are. The line just to try something on gets longer than the line to pay is. You have to stand there and listen to every individual complain about how long the line is. No duh the line is long! Everyone else already knows that the line is long because they are standing in it too. Once again, while standing in line, just like at the grocery store, you learn things about each person.

There seems to be a new trend of not wearing pants going around this year. Girls everywhere are falling under the pressure of buying long shirts and tights to wear with them. Let me say this to all my fellow teenage girls, LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS! Yes the signs everywhere say no shirt, no shoes, no service, but pants ARE implied. Maybe our country is not smart enough to know this. I will not fall under the pressure of wearing no pants. Of course everyone judges people by what they wear, or what they see in the store, so then that makes you wonder what everyone is thinking of you. Once again, more public awkwardness. Being thrown into a large group of strangers in a crowded area is not something the normal person would enjoy.


I write this not just to complain about the stupidity of many people, but to talk about how people act in public. Can you really tell how someone is by judging what they buy, what they wear, and how they behave waiting for a table? I say there should be a study done on this. People are so wary of each other these days, why are we all so self conscious? People need to act realistically in public, and not tell people their life story.





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