My adventures in grocery shopping with Wendy span back over 10 years. In the early 90s in Key West we stalked a group of innocent Mexican men (who we referred to as “the gringos”). I think we pretended that they were after us and we sort of ran away from them. Then there they would be right next to us in the frozen food isle – surely they were following us! They weren’t really. But it was more fun to have an adventure at the grocery store than to just shop. We couldn’t understand what they were saying, so we pretended that they were plotting to get us.
Then there was the incident with the case of Diet Coke on the bottom of the cart. Let’s just say that this was before the days of low mirrors and astute cashiers and Wendy decided not to mention what was at the bottom of the cart, I was so nervous I had to walk away from the scene.
Fast forward 10+ years and the game is still on. My first trip to the grocery store with Wendy yielded a box of “Lady Lax” which she had slipped into my cart. Unfortunately I didn’t realize it until I got home and was unpacking my bags. On another occasion, I found myself unbagging “Vagisil” which again, she had slipped into my cart when I wasn’t looking. I vowed to not let her sneak anything else into my cart again! On our next excursion to Walmart, she had put an ugly scarf in my cart, “Ha ha!” I had caught her and I smiled smartly, “Nice try Wendy”…when I got home, I realized that she had upped her game. The scarf was a ploy to get my attention away from the men’s small bikini underwear that she had snuck into my cart. The kicker is that when I went to return them, the male cashier asked me what the reason for return was and Wendy piped in saying, “they were too small” (mind you, these were men’s size small bikini underwear – and most of you have seen my husband!).
There are several games we still play when out in public, like pretending we’re not together and then acting really rude to each other, like “Excuse me Miss, there are other people in the grocery store that would like to get through this isle, would you mind moving your cart?!” Or “You have a fine buttocks, do you work out?”, or sometimes Wendy will hold up two bottles of water and I'll say "Nice Jugs" or two melons and I'll say "Nice Melons". Or sometimes when we’re in line and one person starts talking to the other, one of us might say, “Do I know you?” or “Are you following me?”, or if it’s Target and we’ve spent a lot of money, we might mention to the cashier that we’ll probably get beat when we get home – those comments usually make the cashier feel a little uncomfortable.
So last night we were at the grocery store. We were in the health care isle, I was engrossed in selecting lotion, when I hear, “Erin, have you tried these condoms?” I look over to Wendy who is standing about 20 feet down the isle in the “protection” section, which just so happens to be next to the “feminine hygiene” section – where there is a man looking at tampons. “Huh?” I stutter nervously. “Have you tried these condoms?” I look at her in disbelief, the man holding the box of tampons also looks at her. "I'm serious" she says. “They’re grrreeaaatt!” she exclaims with a little giggle and then carts off leaving me standing there with the guy who is nervously holding a box of tampons. He says “since we’re on the topic, can you guys help me find the right ones?” He shows me the note that his lady must’ve written for him and says, “I need the blue box with the plastic applicator…is this the right one?” Still in a daze, I point him to the proper tampons and exit the isle in the quickest way possible.