All Ours

Grocery shopping for 8 people is kind of a pain in the ass. By the time I’ve made it to the far side of the store- the produce department- I end up carrying a bag of apples and a couple of clam shell containers of spinach because there’s no space in my cart.

At least two other customers per grocery store trip say something like “Whoa! Glad that’s not my cart!” Or “My goodness! Are you feeding a small army?” I just smile and say “Yeah, well, 6 growing kids.”

In the check-out lanes, people always avoid getting in line behind me. They’ll head in my direction, see my cart, roll their eyes and fall in line behind someone who ran in only for light bulbs and dog food. I always feel a little sheepish and guilty- like I should be shopping in Catholics-only grocery store full of other Moms and Dad’s who have a thousand kids. They would ‘get it’ and we could chat about our favorite Saint while we wait the half an hour it takes for our food, toilet paper and juice boxes to be rung up.

This weekend, I did my usual, weekly shopping trip. I ended up in a lane behind a woman, dressed-to-the-nines, who was buying several bottles of wine and a container of stuffed olives. She looked back at my cart as I was unloading it onto the belt and said “I sure am glad I got in front of you, honey!”

Me: “Yeah…it’s a lot of stuff.”

Lady: “Are you buying for a camp or vacation bible school or something?”

Me: “No, M’am. It’s just my regular shopping trip. It’s me, my husband and 6 kids. Plus, two dogs and a kitten.”

Lady: “My heavens! Are they all your children?”

Me: “Like, are they our children ‘together’?”

Lady: “Yes, are any of them step-children?”

Me: “No, M’am. They’re all mine and my husband’s.”

Lady: “Did you mean to have so many children?”

Me: “Well, uh, yes.”

Lady: “So I guess you know what causes them by now!” (laughing heartily)

Me: “Yep! That’s the fun part. If you met my husband, you’d understand.”

Lady: “Well, I hope you’re done now…the rest of us need food, too!” (laughing heartily)

Me: “I’ll be sure that any additional kids don’t eat an over abundance of grapes so as not to interfere with your apparent wine dependency, how about that, you nosy twit?”

I didn’t really say that because I’m a lady but, damn, I wanted to.

Instead, with a raised brow, slight smirk and tilt of my head, I said “Uh huh. Have a nice day”. She understood that I was shutting her down like a rusty Ferris wheel and quickly looked forward and never looked back.

Sometimes a polite but pithy response is the most effective way to deal with massive wankers.

Then I cried a little on the inside when the cashier told me the total for the groceries to feed our small, beloved army.

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