I have tried to write about this stressful experience 3 times. I could never complete the story and organize my jumbled thoughts. That's how much this experience rattled me. I tried to make it funny, but I'm not sure I succeeded. However, I am finally able to piece the events to together to make some sort of sense to me. I wrote most of this on Friday, March 13. I'm not sure I captured the energy that true panic buying creates. But this is as close as I could come for now. I'm doing this just to get it in writing....for me.
Feel free to read or not, I'm OK either way. I know you have a life.
Thursday, March 12, I truly was just trying to get errands done...normal weekly errands. I took a list and everything so I would stay focused. I thought I would beat the weekend rush and help Ken so he wouldn't have to spend his weekend out and about. I had a plan. I ordered just a few groceries from Kroger online Wednesday night. These were items that I couldn't get at TJ's or Costco. I just bought a few things we needed...no more than $50 worth. They gave me a noon to 1 pm pick up. PERFECT! I figured I'd get started early Thursday morning, and get TJ's and Costco done. Then I would quickly get the groceries at Kroger right at noon and get home soon after. Easy Peasy.
9 am - My first stop: Trader Joe's. YAY, ME! I should easily meet that goal to get through my errands by noon and get home to work on taxes. I am so cute when I'm naive....and stupid.
I knew TJ's was too busy for a Thursday morning, but it was manageable. I got out of there in about 30 minutes or so. I am killing this errand thing....again, YAY, ME!
9:45 am - When I pulled up to get gas at Costco and saw lines like it was a Saturday afternoon, I knew Costco was gonna be something to see. It did not disappoint. I was still in good spirits with my head on straight.
10:11 am - I hit the Costco portico and noticed THERE WERE NO CARTS! The supply to the right was dwindling quickly, so I grabbed one. Let the games begin.
When I see the abundance of human flesh, I knew I may be out of my depth here. I don't handle crowds as well as I used to. When I realize I need to find a place to pull off and call Ken, who is working from home on Thursday. I need to get some perspective AND to see what else was on the Costco list that he had made. Since I am there, let me get it all now so I never have to come back here. Seriously, I think I may send Ken from now on.
I add this little item because I want it noted that I had an accomplice on the phone that helped me overbuy. HOWEVER, most is my fault.
That sets up the pictures pretty well.......
The guy in charge of guarding the toilet paper at Costco (that is now his job) said they would be sold out at 2 pm. I was taking these pictures at 10:15 am. They were already sold out of paper towels and said they are not even sure when they will get any more stock. He actually said that the factories can't keep up with demand. WTF?!
See that water tower next to and behind that guy who doesn't know how to use a face mask (far right)? I bought bottled water. I DON'T DRINK BOTTLED WATER ANYMORE. I HAVE FILTERED WATER.
11:30 am - After I fill my cart with all the crap, including dog drugs we were out of, I get in line. The Costco associates are very efficient and friendly, but it still takes 1 hour to pay and leave. While waiting I start chatting with women in front of me and behind me. We are all amazed by this experience. We bounce around theories of why it is SO out of hand. Best we could figure is the combination of Corona virus AND the Super Tuesday Nashville tornadoes has EVERYONE on edge and panicked. In addition, Wednesday night's disaster aka: Trump's Oval Office "Speech" did NOT reassure anyone. As a matter of fact, more folks are more stressed and that display MADE EVERYTHING WORSE!!! And this is a RED state.
The line I picked was one of the lines that was near the bakery. I figured that was easier on the eyes and nose....DANGER MARLA!! DANGER!!! I bought a batch of cookies. THEY WERE RIGHT THERE!!! I don't eat those cookies at all anymore. But there they were, in my cart, as if I was participating in some magic trick. How the hell did my hands do that? I think they levitated mysteriously and landed in my cart....she thinks while totally expelling all responsibility for being a crazy ass.
But wait....don't you want some of that delicious rosemary & olive oil bread fresh from the bakery? You are standing right next to it too? It's calling you. Get it.. GET it....GET IT!!!!
It landed in my basket too. Did I happen to mention that I bought a ton of different kinds of bread at Trader Joe's earlier that day.
As stated before many times in many ways....I have me some issues.
When I finally get close to the check-out, the lady I had been chatting with pointed to a display of fancy ass hand soap and told me how great that fancy looking hand soap really is. She urges me to buy it. It is wonderful, she tells me. It sells for over $30 on Amazon, she tells me. You will LOVE it, she tells me. BUT I DON'T NEED HAND SOAP! I just bought refill hand soap last week. But she told me to do it, so I did it. I am so weak and easy to manipulate. I just do what I'm told. Baaaaaa, goes the sheep.
A normal person could have abandoned the cart and left at any time in this "adventure". I believe I have established that there is nothing normal about me. I was compelled to get this stuff bought so I was DONE and we were ready to hunker down. However, now that I think about it and have the perspective of time, I only spent about 30 minutes dodging and weaving through the sea of flesh gathering all those questionable items in my cart. That isn't half bad. But it felt like a MARATHON.
Those last minute purchases like unneeded cookies, COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF BREAD, and hand soap are the true signs of a weak mind. There I am gathering more purchases while waiting in line....to purchase! WTF is wrong with me?
I have never been in a panic buying situation like this. This wasn't the "snow day" bread, egg and milk chaos we are used to here in the South. No, this was something otherworldly. The energy all around me turned me into a zombie fool. Ken is never gonna let me live it down. $467 later (Costco receipt), I have more drugs, food, toilet paper, AND HAND SOAP than I will need in a month of Sundays! Well, that is normally the case. These are not normal times.
My God, I became part of the mob mentality I've read about! The same mentality I thought I was strong enough to step out of. I was wrong. I am weak.
The picture on the left is the line. Notice how it is double backed. 1 hour wait to get out.
The middle picture was more tomato soup than I've ever seen in my lifetime. Yes, I got a pack. Yes, I suck....but we really were out of it at the house AND we have established that I do suck ;-)
The last picture of the guy and the violin has a story. It is another long ass story. The whole fucking day was a long ass story.
12:30 pm - I arrived home to unload the shit ton of Costco Crap and TJ frozen food AND BREAD....SO MUCH FUCKING BREAD!!! God, I have issues! So much for that quaint noon goal. I still had to do the pick-up at Kroger by 1 pm. I am panting and sweating like a pig after unloading the car. Out of breath, I get in the car to go get the tiny bit of groceries from Kroger. Yes, in retrospect, I didn't need to buy anything from Kroger. But I did it the night before the apocalypse, and they were paid for so I had to get them. I drive up (still panting) and they tell me I have to come back after 2 pm. They are too busy.
OF COURSE THEY ARE! Why would they be any different?
Now here is where I have lost my fucking mind....yeah, I know I already had by this time. But since I had time to kill, and I'm already a crazy ass old woman, I went back to TJ's to pick up the ONE ITEM I WENT THERE FOR AND FORGOT! By this time the whole day is shot because my psyche is gone, so I might as well drive BACK to get items I don't need.
1:15 pm - I get to TJ's AGAIN and I'm looking for the sweet potato fries that we love. That's all. Just frozen sweet potato fries. However, their frozen vegetables and frozen food is GONE. The shelves are bare. It was all there this morning, but by 1:15...it's gone. However, I did learn about the times that the store is stocked. I'll share when I remember it.
So I went home. I unloaded more groceries that I left in a rush. Ken's on the phone with co-workers who can't figure out how to work outside the office.
3:15 pm - I took the dogs to Kroger to get them out of Ken's hair. They were bored and WTF, might as well go to Kroger with me.
3:30 pm - On this second try to pick up the Kroger groceries, all the parking bays under the awnings are filled save one spot. When I pull up I hear this LOUD ASS violin music. I could barely hear the guy on the intercom thing. Being that I was 2 deep in one of those Kroger shelters, I couldn't see where the music was coming from. I thought Kroger was piping it in to calm everyone down since it took them forever to get to my car. But this music, for me, had the opposite effect. The dogs were whining, I was gritting my teeth, hoping the delivery person would just COME ALREADY! By the time I heard the whining rendition of Bruno Mars' "Bring you flowers", I was ready to kill. There is a reason they don't need to give folks like me guns ;-) Finally, the guy gets there with my stuff. I get out of the car. When I stand, I realize it was actual live music from an electric violin. I felt a little bad about thinking all that awful stuff. He was good, and down on his luck. But I left in silence and no, I didn't give him any money. I was spent....in more ways than one.
4:15 pm - I was finally back home for good. I invented the *Coronapolitan cocktail. I drank. We ate. I bitched and moaned.
Then it was Friday.
That is all.
12 - 16 oz glass
Fill 1/2 way with ice
To That add fresh juice of 1/2 lime
1 - 2 oz Absolut Citron Vodka (or vodka of your choice)
Pour POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice over all to the tippy top of the glass.
All the Vitamin C and Antioxidants you need for a day PLUS enough vodka to help you start melting your woes away.
I also found that adding 1/2 POM and 1/2 Canada Dry Diet Ginger Ale instead of all the POM is also deliciously refreshing.
You are welcome.