Unless this is your first time here, it probably goes without saying that I typically find a way to make light of awkward situations, so I very rarely get truly embarrassed.
But last Tuesday…
My kids were at a play date so I decided to pop over to Hyvee and pick up stuff to cook for dinner. I went to the meat counter where there was a young man ready to help me. I pointed to the (unusually large) chicken breasts and as he picked them up to weigh them, he innocently asked, “How do you like these?” And by some sort of comedic reflex, I dramatically and somewhat theatrically shouted “HOW DARE YOU!” Heads turned. His mouth fell open as he stammered “I’m sorry!” People were still staring as a wave of mortification swept over me. I felt horrible and replied, “Oh-my-god, no I’m sorry! That was so inappropriate of me, I have no idea why I just did that!” Internally it was slowly setting in that I’d made a huge scene and can probably never return and as he handed me the chicken and said, “Have a nice day, ” I blurted out, “Bye forever” and then just sort of slowly turned and walked away.
Flustered in the parking lot, I called my bestie at work and it made me feel better to hear her laughing hysterically about it. Yet from a practical sense, it’s my favorite grocery store and now I’ve made it a whole thing.
6 days later…
I dropped off my preschooler and headed over to Sprouts to buy groceries. Everyone was smiling and friendly. Everything I wanted was on sale. I got 6 limes for one dollar. LARA bars were on special for 88 cents! I grabbed handfuls of them. I was on top of the world, and fired off a quick text to my husband just to revel in how much I was crushing this day.
The only problem is that I wanted to make meatloaf and our Sprouts doesn’t sell sausage with actual meat in it. Feeling generally optimistic about the universe, I decided to swing by Hyvee on the way home. I picked up a few canned items, then when the coast was clear behind the meat counter, I stealthily whipped my cart around to go an aisle over for chili sauce and THE CHICKEN BREAST GUY WAS RIGHT THERE stocking the frozen foods section! He looked up and kind of stared and I saw the recognition in his eyes. I knew I looked completely disheveled and insane and I did that thing where you just hold your breath for a beat like if you don’t blink, no one can see you. Then I speed-walked (sped-walked?) straight past him into an aisle I didn’t even need to be in but it didn’t matter at that point because I couldn’t read any of the labels or remember what I’d come to buy amidst my panic sweat and pounding heart because NOW I’M THE INAPPROPRIATE MEAT LADY AT HYVEE. I hastily took off my big winter coat to cool myself down, which is when I realized I hadn’t planned to go anywhere after preschool drop off and was not wearing a bra so NOW I’M THE BRA-LESS INAPPROPRIATE MEAT LADY SHOPPING FOR SAUSAGE AT HYVEE!
I still needed chili sauce. I went around the front of the store but when I came up the ketchup aisle I could see him out of the corner of my eye, watching me from behind the meat counter. I was so aware of how weird I was being that it made me be even weirder and by the time I made it to the breakfast meat section, I was on the verge of a complete breakdown. As I tossed the Jimmy Dean hot sausage into my cart I did a huge sigh and just whimpered out this super defeated, “Oh god,” accidentally catching the attention of the cheese counter lady. Just then, my husband called and I picked up and said, “I’m at Hyvee,” and hearing the panic in my voice he said knowingly, “Oh god,” and then through laughter, “Why didn’t you just go to Price Chopper?” As I weaved past some old people and a stock boy in the dairy aisle with my body going into anxiety attack mode, I started loudly dry heaving. I briefly considered sitting down on the floor in front of the yogurts and putting my head between my knees, but my husband was still on the phone cheering, “You’re almost to the bathroom by the pharmacy! You can make it!“
When I got into my car, my hands were still shaking. I went home and texted my husband again to reassure him I was safe. When I scrolled up in the message, I was actually impressed how succinctly it captured the events du jour.
I realize this all sounds insane to someone who’s never experienced an anxiety attack and I guess technically (clinically?) it is. I’m now in my bed typing this next to my uncertified emotional support dog, Mr. Biffles, who is terrible at his job and adding insult to injury by snacking on a lacy pink thong.
But anyway, what I was going to tell you guys is make sure to set your DVR so you can catch me on KC Live this Thursday morning on KSHB between 10-11am! I will be playing the role of normal adult.