Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

Prance in the Out Door

I’m not sure why or how, but going to the grocery store has become one of my favorite things. It is very close to my house, so I can easily ride my bike if the weather is nice. More importantly, I’ve been shopping there long enough that I know pretty much where everything is. If I go to a different store I might be looking for the spicy sausage or jalapeno slices all day.

Who knows? The different store might not even have the spicy sausage I like. Don’t they know who I think I am?

It’s like dating someone new and getting used to the things they do differently than the previous person, although it’s much easier to ask a grocery store employee where the sausage is than trying to coax a new dating partner into things, I find.

“Listen, Cheryl, my previous Cheryl always woke up before me when I got drunk and got me a glass of water and a couple of Advils. So, you know… If you could think about that…”

At my grocery store, they have a camera pointed at the doors with a monitor clearly visible. I assume this is a theft deterrent as it’s a passive reminder that you’re on video in the store, but I use it to gauge how I look on the move in my clothes since I can see myself walking for a few steps on the way in. Usually in a mirror you can get a look at a few angles, but not an action shot. That’s valuable intel.

Have you ever seen video of yourself walking around in some clothes that you thought looked good on you, only to realize that they only looked good when you were still in the mirror? Now you know how to guard yourself against this problem. Go to the grocery store and prance around the exit for a while, craning your neck to look at the security monitor like I do.

I imagine that deep in the dark recesses of the store some guy is on his break, wondering why his Cheryl doesn’t sleep over more, when all of a sudden some idiot appears on monitor 3, twisting this way and that to examine his own ass in a pair of khaki shorts. It’s a misuse of store resources, I know, but I want to look my best.

Also, I’ve always thought it was good practice to park near the exit of a store rather than the entrance. That way you’ll be closer when you’re carrying a bunch of crap on the way out. I’ve short circuited that bit of wisdom entirely, however, by walking in the wrong way. The proper entrance also has a video monitor, but I think the lighting is slightly better in the out door.

After I’ve gotten a sense of how a particular outfit suits me, I grab up the plastic basket and get on with my shopping. Presumably, the guy in the back relaxes and goes back to enjoying his break, probably keeping a watchful eye on me as I seek out my favorite spicy meats.

I can’t blame him, but I’m not a security risk. I’m just vain and self-absorbed and they’re both completely legal.