Some days I just have to laugh at myself.
Today was the first time I have stepped foot inside of a grocery store since March 31 (I know, right?). I have been fortunate the past month that my husband graciously runs all our errands, allowing me the freedom to stay home in safety. But I was determined to be a brave soul and go out into the world… of Albertsons.
My mask was on, I had a tiny squirt bottle of rubbing alcohol in my sweater pocket, and I gathered hand wipes at the entrance—I was all set. I began to systematically work my way through the store, aisle by aisle, maintaining my two-cart lengths at every turn.
That’s when I saw the bright red “one-way” arrow sticker on the floor.
Wait, what? I vaguely remembered my mother-in-law mentioning something about one-ways in her store, but it never dawned on me to check my store! So the whole time I was breaking social distancing rules by traveling down the aisles the WRONG WAY, and no one said anything (which I was actually grateful for).
I did, however, know that there was only one checkout line. So with the last item in my cart, I headed to the vacant paper product row and took my place on the very last 6-feet-apart square. Patiently inching my way forward, I was finally up next for a register.
And that’s when I looked down the card aisle.
One of the main reasons I was venturing out was to get cards for an upcoming holiday. But I never put “cards” on my shopping list because I was going to magically remember. Well, I remembered, but only AFTER waiting in the checkout line. So, I got out of the line and proceeded down the aisle. Of course half-way down I realized I was traveling the wrong way… again!
I seriously need to venture out a little more.
I have been pretty content in my cocoon, but today taught me that I need to engage with society. I was just surprised at how much things have changed. I don’t watch the news, intentionally. I don’t interact with a lot of social media, so beyond masks and 6-feet of distance, I didn’t know all the grocery store protocols. I certainly do now!
Beyond learning the new social norms, today was also about conquering fear. I have been apprehensive about everything, but I can’t allow fear to control me. So despite anxious feelings, I went to the store… just like many other people do every day. I survived. And while I was there, my faux pas’ lightened the mood and reminded me that I am going to be just fine… and laughter is the best medicine.