Last week, I went grocery shopping with my mother. I like shopping with my mom, but not necessarily grocery shopping. This is after years of hearing my mother say things like, “This will be just a small trip,” and then see her pull a list two miles long from her purse.
When I do go grocery shopping with Mom while on my breaks at home, I like to do as much as I can to expedite the process. Usually, we’ll split the list, and I’ll go speeding through the aisles and cramming my arms with as many groceries as I can.
On this trip, Mom gave me the toiletry items. After briefly studying my scrap of a list, I dashed to the toiletry aisle, shoving as many groceries into my arms as possible. At one point, a skeptical bystander asked, “…do you need any help?” I don’t like accepting help unless I really need it, so I politely thanked him and hurried away, even though toiletries were threatening to fall out of my arms.
I was halfway to my mother’s grocery basket when I realized that I’d have to stop; I was on the verge of dropping the toilet paper and paper towels. Finding a spot, I tried to set some items down in hopes of rearranging items in my arms.
It was at this point that Windex fell from my arms and crashed with elegance to the floor. Fluid. Went. Everywhere.
Like someone in shock, I could only stare at the fluid cascading around the floor. I stared at my mess for about ten seconds when I thought, Oh God, people are gonna fall and I’m going to get sued.
I placed my groceries down and hurried away to find a store employee. I’m usually all for the idea of cleaning my messes myself, but there was just too much fluid; I figured it’d be better to have someone mop it up before someone got hurt. Sure enough, as I was flagging down an employee, I nearly slipped from the Windex that I had stepped in.
I was very apologetic, and he luckily was very kind, rebuffing my offers for help and saying he had it taken care of. Someone walked by the mess, and I said urgently, “Wet floor! Don’t fall!” The shopper looked at me quizzically, and said, “Thank you.”
I was just about back to my mother’s basket, red-faced, when I heard the employee say over the intercom, “We’re going to need a clean-up on Aisle 2.”
“You hear that?” I said to my mother as I approached. “Oh, yeah. That was me.”
She laughed and said, “You know, you were the first person I thought of when I heard that. I thought to myself, ‘Nooooo, it can’t be Jenny.'”
Oh, but it was.