Reading today’s grocery store story (http://www.etiquettehell.com/?p=3759) reminded me of my own grocery store horror story.
It is important to note for this story that I am a large woman (5’4” and 330lbs).
About 3 years ago I was in the grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving.
In the bakery section there were two pumpkin pies in the cooler plus an entire 4 shelf rack of pumpkin pies sitting next to the cooler.
When I came arrived in the section, there were two people in front of the rack grabbing their own pies, so I grabbed the two pies out of the cooler.
Almost immediately woman came charging toward me and started yelling, “Look at you! You don’t need any pie! Give me those pies! My family needs those pies!” She then actually started to reach into my cart to grab them.
I pulled my cart away and said, “There are more pies right there”, pointing towards the rack of pies.
She stopped trying to grab the pies in my cart but said, “I’m just trying to look out for your health, dear. You really don’t need one pie, much less two. You should grab some nice fruit for dessert instead.”
She then grabbed a pie off the rack and wondered away.
I wish I had thought of something appropriately cutting to say to her, but mostly I was just trying to pick my jaw up off the floor. 0408-13
I’ve had that happen to me once. I was 7 months or so pregnant with Dear Son and while in the frozen food aisle of our local grocery store one day, I had put two cartons of ice cream in my cart only to have a total stranger, a busybody, scold me for my food choices, reach into my cart and actually remove the ice cream and put it back in the freezer. The interesting assumption about her actions was that the ice cream was for me. I dislike ice cream and rarely eat it. It was for my husband.
The problem with this kind of encounter is that it catches you so off guard and there is no decisive comeback that springs instantly to mind. The belief that they have a god-given, entitled right to dictate your eating choices is just mind blowing sometimes. The greedy shopper in this story cleverly used a vile guilt manipulative tactic to deprive another customer of a product she thought had run out. No pies left? Attack the overweight customer to shame them into relinquishing one of the prized pies using the OP’s possible insecurities about her weight to busybody shopper’s own advantage.
But while that is egregious enough, it’s the actual trespass into the grocery cart as if they have a right to physically manipulate your buying choices that astounds. Dear OP, at the first transgression into your cart, I would have also stopped her with, “Excuse me? (Firmly said) What on earth do you think you are doing?”
“I need pies for my family and you don’t.”
“Your lack of holiday meal planning and shopping does not constitute an emergency on my part.” In other words, if someone chooses to not bake and waits until the last minute to shop for a holiday meal, the rest of the world is under no obligation to deem this an emergency they must somehow, willingly or unwillingly, resolve for you. (This really should be another standard Ehell phrase everyone memorizes to use. Don’t get pulled into someone’s self contrived drama just because they lacked the foresight to plan well.)
“You are fat and don’t need them.”
“You are presumptuous and rude. Have a nice holiday! “