If ever there comes a time in my life when I get bored, I will certainly go to the grocery store. It’s one of the most entertaining places because it’s full of people, all kinds of people. For me the most interesting place to grocery shop is the Walmart Super Center. I used to feel so guilty shopping for groceries there. Our friend who owned the local grocery sold to a large chain so now I don’t feel like I’m cheating on our friendship if I go to the Super Center.

At any grocery store people are usually either in a hurry to pick up a few things or working on a long list. I have learned not to dare think it’s possible to dash in and not see anyone you know. It just won’t happen so I always try to at least brush my hair before I go in.

When I was about two weeks from giving birth to Jill, I took three year old Travis for a dash-in trip to K Mart for a loaf of bread. He was standing right beside me but when I looked down he was gone. At the same time panic grabbed my throat, a voice came over the speaker system, “Will Suzette please come to the customer service desk. Travis says you are lost.”

When I got to the service counter, which was only 20 feet away from the bread display, the clerk bragged how well Travis had given his information. “After seeing you, I now understand why he said, ‘Just like a clown,’ when we asked him what you looked like,” she laughed.

Obviously tact was not a section of the employee training handbook. Relieved to have Travis propped on my very large belly and trying to let the comment slide, I headed to the door with my bread trying to figure out how so many people I knew could be in K Mart at the same time. Naturally, they all had come to the service desk to make sure I had found the child I’d lost. I’m certain they were silently questioning my ability to take care of a third one.

Oh the experiences you have pushing a shopping cart. You learn more than you can in a library full of books. I once met a girl who became a lifelong friend by the asparagus in the produce department. I received some of the wisest counsel ever in the pasta aisle between the rigatoni and spaghetti. I learned an extremely valuable life lesson from the dairy case. And on the heels of experiencing a split second of panic, I learned my son thought I looked like Bozo on the Wonder Bread package … even with brushed hair.

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