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Little White (Grocery) Lies

At Trader Joe’s yesterday, a friendly checker asked  if I had any fun plans for the weekend. Hmmm… this is a cause for concern.

The checkers at the big chain store near my house always ask this question. And sometimes the person bagging the groceries asks it as well. And if you’re crazy enough to let someone help you with a big bunch of bags on a rainy day, he or she asks you again.

I know they’re being wonderfully nice, and I’ve made my peace with it at the regular grocery store. I’m just not sure I’ve got enough “material” to cover a second store as well.

What do I mean by material? Well, I rarely tell the truth in this situation. For one thing, my idea of a “fun plan” is radically different from most normal people. Maybe I’ve been saving up episodes of The Universe so I can watch them all at one time – Jupiter, solar winds, black holes, binary stars, the whole smorgasbord.

Or I’m making notes for a new book – fun to me, but tough to explain in 30 seconds.

Or this weekend, for example, where I can’t wait to review the copyedited manuscript for my new YA book. Exciting to me because it signals how close it is to release day. But “fun”? Not really.

(Or the very worst, when my big plan is to put the groceries away and then collapse on a sofa, because I usually do the grocery shopping at the very end of a very long string of errands.)

The truth is, I really want to provide an entertaining response. So unless I can quickly think of a popular movie title and pretend we’re going to see it, I usually make something up. Like “we’re test driving cars” (with the inevitable follow-up question: “which kind?” Answer: “a Mustang”) Or I’ll say we’re going to the beach. We do that about three times a year, but in my grocery-shopping persona, it’s more like 20 times a year, since it’s practically the go-to answer.

I don’t really consider this lying. My husband thinks it is. Plus, he thinks it’s crazy, especially when I embroil him in it.

But in any case, I can’t go through this at Trader’s as well. I love them, but no. Just no.

So, do you have any fun plans for this weekend?J Or any made-up ones I can use the next time I need something from TJ’s?



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 4th, 2012 09:39 pm (UTC)
I think that sort of thing is an absolutely reasonable thing to say to checkers at the grocery store. I think the key idea you're missing is not saying you're going to movies, but actually stealing the plot lines *from* movies as your weekend plans:

Oh, I'm planning on completing my Vigilante Studies at a remote temple, which I'll then burn down before rescuing my mentor and returning home to fight crime.

This weekend? Well, my sister's been kidnapped so I'm leaving my day job of writing romance novels and flying to Columbia to rescue her. I expect to be swept off my feet and forced to recover an emerald the size of my fist while I'm doing it.

Oh, I don't know, but I'm starting to suspect my husband is a contract killer and it's vitally important I prevent him from discovering I'm the competition, so I'll probably have to hunt him down myself. I suppose it'll put the spice back in our marriage, though. How about you?

Like that. :)
Mar. 5th, 2012 12:37 am (UTC)
You are definitely brilliant. Be the movie, right? Now you've got me thinking. I always wanted to be in Witness Protection, so maybe there's something there. Meanwhile, I think I need to change the title of the post from "little white grocery lies" to "whopper grocery lies"!
Mar. 5th, 2012 08:30 am (UTC)
Re: Brilliant!
*laughs* The most fun part will be seeing who recognizes which movies you're plotting to particpate in that weekend! :)
Apr. 29th, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
If you say "funeral", you'll generally just get a sympathetic "Aw, I'm sorry to hear that." Generally, that's a show stopper.
Apr. 29th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
Genius! Now let's see if I have the guts to try it. I'm a little superstitious, so for example, I won't call-in sick to work if I'm not sick, for fear of bringing sickness on. I actually got stomach flu that way once. The power of suggestion. On the other hand, I'm desperate now that Trader's is piling on, so I'll definitely give it some thought. Thanks!

Apr. 30th, 2012 10:07 am (UTC)
Go home, dig a hole, or set a miniscule funeral pyre, put a "worry" in it and have a funeral.Say a few words about how that particular worry or habit served you in the past, but how it has moved onto a better place. That way you weren't lying, exactly, and it might be a cathartic activity.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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