New Jersey is the state with the greatest population density in the U.S. At no point is this more clear then when I grocery shop in advance of a holiday. Which is what I did this morning. I'm experienced at this particular form of adventure and I knew that things could get crazy. So I headed out to my local Wegman's at 9 am, not to beat the crowds, per se, but to at least have a reasonable chance of surviving the insanity. I brought my list and a plan. I was determined to roll with the punches.
You laugh, but this is New Jersey, and punches may very well occur.
What I noticed was an odd combination of shoppers. The people wearing blue jeans, sweatshirts, and sneakers made sense. We've had a great deal of cold of late. There are still piles of snow in most parking lots. But not so much cold that one needed a heavy parka and fur hat like one man I saw. It wasn't clear to me if he was going grocery shopping or heading out on a North Pole expedition. Perhaps both?
It's New Year's Eve and a certain amount of festive dressing may be in order. But it was 9 am when I was at the store and I fear that the woman in stiletto heels and leather pants will be chafed and uncomfortable long before she's done celebrating.
And could someone please explain to me why people must come to the market wearing their horse-riding pants and leather boots? I always expect them to draw out their whip to move the congested chip and pretzel aisle traffic along. Alas, though they are dressed for such behavior, they never fail to disappoint. It's a wonder that I'm not still stuck behind that woman who couldn't decide between Doritos or Tostitos and stopped her cart in the middle of the aisle to whip out her cell phone and seek guidance on the pressing tortilla chip issue.
I safely escaped, with plenty of supplies for the New Year. I even scored some Poptarts for JT, who will surely be grateful that I survived (though only because I brought the Poptarts home). I don't mind admitting that it was touch-and-go at times.