Wanted: Personal Shopper

It was definitely an odd day today as I headed off to the supermarket after finishing a ton of work. After being sick for almost a week from touching the shopping cart handle and then touching my mouth, I came across a dilemma in the produce aisle: opening the baggies. I swear to you, with my intense OCD, I still sometimes touch my tongue to open those plastic bags up. They're impossible. But after this wild week of sickness and hospitalization --- hell. to. the. no. I saw bright red vine tomatoes and immediately fled to them. I ripped off a bag and yes, started to fiddle with the opening. I'm literally praying in my mind, "C'mon, just open. Open... Open!!!" Some guy across the vegetable stand saw me struggling and said, "They sure make it hard for us." Another gentleman standing near me said, "Here, let me get that for you." He opened it effortlessly. I say my 'thank yous' and rush off like a bat outa' hell into the next aisle. Moments later, I find myself trying to reach for the seltzer that was on sale, and of course it had to be on the top shelf. I'm short, so... "Here, let me get that for you," the same man who helped me at the produce section. We both start laughing and I said, "Can you just follow me around so I don't run into anymore problems today?"

The pressure's on.

Stopping at the deli counter is always annoying. There's always some little old lady requesting 20 pounds of cold cuts one by one. "Anything else, ma'am?" And the lady will say, "Yes, and I'll have a pound of your domestic ham now." She has about 5 more to go. That's not the worst part. When it's my turn to get up to the deli counter, the guys slicing the meat always insists on me taking the first cut. "Here, have a slice." I always say no thank you, but they keep dangling the goddamn thing as if it was mandatory. "This thin enough, here try it!" --- "No, I'm good thank you." The meat is still hanging off from his rubber glove on some sort of cooking sheet. "Really, I'm good."  They all start laughing. I'm not sure if they do this on me on purpose because they know I have OCD, or if they push their meat on every single woman. Hmm. I  might want to rephrase that.

The best is the checkout line. There's about ten people waiting with you bored to death and you're trying not to give eye contact or make a spectacle of yourself. My cart was a bit confusing today. Here I have cold cuts, organic salads, veggies, salmon, Weight Watcher dinners (I wanted to try out) and then there's homemade chocolate chip cookies, frozen french fries, cheeses, hot cocoa and beer. What the...? I would simply use the excuse, "Oh I have kids at home who love these cookies and french fries." But no one asks. They just stare at you like, "Really?" So there I am looking at the conveyer belt with fear. There's a lady in front of me plopping down her raw chicken breasts and other miscellaneous meats all over the belt. Completely normal and acceptable. But in my mind I'm like, "Where's my antibacterial gel?!?!" Then I saw right near the gum and candy that there was an antibacterial gel dispenser. I pressed the lever furiously. Nothing. Not one drop left. I felt helpless and defeated. And no one ever bags for you anymore. If you do get a bagger it has to be completely empty - like at 6am. To top this lovely experience off, when the cashier went to put my frozen bag of french fries into a bag, they all fell out one by one onto the floor. Guess who was behind me? "Not an easy shopping day for you, eh?"

I'm off to shower in Purell.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!