Crying Lady in Aisle 4

I had a less than stellar moment yesterday. After teaching three yoga classes back to back I thought it would be a good idea to stop by Trader Joe’s on my way home. If you have ever been to the Trader Joe’s in Union Square on a weekend afternoon you know the utter insanity. Two lines snake their ways along the perimeter of the store from the entrance all the way to the registers. People shopping in pairs tag team, one standing on line with an empty cart while the other runs around the store collecting items from the center aisles. Single shoppers, like myself yesterday, snag what they need from the center aisles then pick the line that will pass by the majority of the remaining items on their shopping lists.

Let me preface the next part of this saga by saying I do not do well with low blood sugar. I repeat, I do not do well with low blood sugar. I get angry, sad, frustrated, impatient, and believe the world is ending – all at the same time. For this precise reason I almost always have snacks on me. On this day however, I made the fatal errors of having no snacks in my bag and going grocery shopping hungry and tired. In hindsight I should have opened the bag of sesame sticks or flax seed chips I had in my cart and started nibbling away like so many of my fellow shoppers on line. Even the raw celery probably would have helped prevent what came next.

I found myself behind a very young, 20 at the oldest, couple from the midwest. The guy stood on line while the girl ran around the store grabbing items on their list. They were so full of puppy love and hope and innocence and stupid nick names for each other I hated them while feeling sorry for my single self. Just as I was looking at the guy scanning the store with a deer-in-the-headlights look only those new to the city still have I felt my entire body reverberate from a cart being pushed into the backs of my legs. I glanced back to see a tiny Asian woman behind me. She said nothing after slamming her cart into me with way more strength and force than a 90 pound woman should have – not the first, second, third, or fourth time she crushed the back of my aching legs with her metal cart. Somewhere after the free sample, which mercifully was vegan, and before the beer I lost it. I started crying out of nowhere.

I became the crazy crying woman with a cart full of fresh produce and butter. Store employees asked me to move as they carted large boxes past me. People in the adjacent line stared long enough to make sure they were correctly seeing a woman crying moments before hitting the front of the line then busily engaged in grabbing something off the shelves near them or rearranging the contents of their carts. The Asian woman behind me kept ramming her cart into me as hard as she possible could every time we inched forward. The young couple ahead ushered me to cut them in line as we approached the front of the line. They clearly failed to understand the victory of reaching the front of the Trader Joe’s line on a Saturday afternoon. They also had not been in New York City long enough to know that when someone starts randomly crying in public you politely look away and carry on as usual.

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About djunapassman

I teach yoga, write, and edit. I live in a Brooklyn neighborhood that is changing faster than I can, or care to, keep up with. Manhattan still beckons me to her island a few subways stops away, reminding me of when I lived amongst her daily hustle and bustle.
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