Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The door is not always open

Grocery shopping in our town is interesting. I can always guarantee I'll run into someone I know. If it's not a student of mine or a fellow teacher, it will be someone from Mr. Awesome's world of grad school. If Mr. Awesome is with me, one of his former college students will recognize him and (incorrectly, albeit not for much longer) call him Dr. or Professor.

Also, you know how most grocery stores have two entrances on either side of the store? Depending on the layout of your local store you can either come in by the veggies/produce section or by the bakery/deli. Well when Mr. Awesome and I moved here so he could start grad school eons ago, we discovered that in small town USA, both doors are not always open. Perhaps you are reading this and thinking "of course not!" but to us and our urban tendencies, we found this shocking. This is about how the conversation went hundreds of years ago when we moved here and discovered the sometimes closed door phenomenon.

"How come the other door is closed?" we asked the first time we encountered this. The store clerk looked at us like we were crazy. We looked at him like he was crazy.
"Uhh... it always closes after 7:00pm." We looked at each other in utter disbelief. The store clerk looked at us like we were freaks for asking such an offensive question.
"Is there any particular reason?"
"Dunno. It's always been done that way. Cuts back on shoplifting I suppose."

So there you have the backstory as to why tonight, when, at 7:15, I went to the store to pick up some much needed cheese for tonight's meal, the door was closed. And even after several years of trying to remember to park near the other door, I was highly annoyed.

I personally don't think it has anything to do with shoplifting or tradition. I think it's because when small town folks make a run to the store in the evening after 7:00pm they want to feel like they're doing something exciting. I can imagine their conversations.

-OOOH I bought milk at 8:00 on a school night!
-Oh Sarah you'll never believe what happened, it was so annoying I had to buy milk last night because I forgot it at the store on Saturday. Can you believe it?
-Ugh, honey, we're out of eggs, can you run to the store? No way! It's too late. 

Can you imagine what they must say about Mr. Awesome and I when we decide we need to buy discounted Easter candy, a bottle of wine, a six pack of beer, and toilet paper at 7:45 on a Monday?

I think it's time to move.

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