supermarket: a tale of mean old ladies

I have just been into Waitrose very quickly, mainly to get bread because my husband has expressed his consternation that sometimes there is no bread in the whole house, and it makes him despair and weep a little on the inside, and so we raced in, all five of us, after a long and productive Monday morning at the Pirate Park annoying no one and actually behaving quite well, to get the bread that keeps Dad from Carb-Related-Sadness. But the boys were a bit shrieky when we went into the supermarket, because they HATE shopping, even for crusty posh Gail’s bread, and they were tired, and so all of them were making loud noises in which to ricochet around the tiled cold supermarket walls. And I knew we had to hurry because the noises were not going to get much quieter any time soon. So we go down the first aisle (THE FIRST AISLE) and some AWFUL DREADFUL HORRIBLE old cow of a woman marches straight up to me and says:

“Please do something about the noise that your children are making. It is a supermarket; CONTROL them for goodness sake!”

And I just do an inward sigh and I hold my tongue and I crouch down to them and ask them to be quiet because “THAT WOMAN” pointing and talking loudly “is very mad at you” and then we walk around and we most unserendipidously happen to tail her aisle for aisle and she is really mad and I am really embarrassed and then Barnaby starts to fling his scooter around and she marches up again and tells him to stop and that it is dangerous and that there are other people in the supermarket and he must behave and all the while I just blank her. Really, awesomely.  Like she is imaginary. Or she is just a small insignificant irritant like a persistent fruit midge. And I walked around and kept bloody well passing her or finding myself in the exactly the same part of the cheese aisle, reaching for the same packet of halloumi. It was all deeply uncomfortable for everyone involved, except for the troublemaking children who persisted in being LOUD, aisle after long echoing aisle.

We continued the awkward tailing of each other even at the checkout, but it all became simply too much for her to bear and so she took her self-righteousness and her trolley and her air of  disgust and hid in the wine department. I then loudly told the checkout staff (who LOVE me and the boys, I promise, probably because we startle them awake and our charming antics involving the tossing of blueberry punnets and the squashing of yoghurt pots are endlessly amusing) all about her mean comments and the various sisterhood behind me were all wide-eyed with empathy when I explained what she said. We then (of course) found ourselves at the same traffic light outside. But we each looked into middle distance and I refrained from telling her to have a lovely day in my most sarky voice. Then I followed her home.

Nutty? Yes! The actions of the unhinged? For SHO’! But she was mean, and you can’t cross me. Or you will get shrieking children follow you to your door.


A (Less-Mental) List Of Week 2, School Holidays Of No Plans And Bravely Winging It

1. We have been to the Lido, we have played with the hose in the garden, we have been yelled out twice by another old cow in the third story who leans out of the window screeching at the oblivious children who were variously watering some steps/touching dead leaves lying unloved on the grass to “STOP! STOP doing that! Get Your MOTHER here NOW!” while I cower behind the picnic tables waiting for her to stop.

2. We have been out to the Kensington Roof Gardens  where they do actually have pink flamingoes living seven stories above Kensington High Street in a garden which  has uneven paths and odd little bridges over strange little streams. How do I know the bit about the uneven paths? It is because I wore these:

Lovely new Stella McCartney wedges. Impossible to walk in, and very possible to make you fall over, twice. In the gardens, seven stories up in the air, on a still Tuesday summer night in the capital. The Wither Hills Estate marathon didn’t help much. Anyhoo. I hardy felt the gouged knee at the time.

3. Susan and I have progressed rather nicely with our Secret Genius Project and we are through to the semifinalist round of an industry competition. We are pitching to some safety experts in a ten minute prototype-less-but-heavy-on-the-powerpoint-presentation in three weeks. A bit like Dragon’s Den, but without the making-us-weep part. Probably. WHAT will I do with my HAIR???

4.I have branched out in my vegetable baking cannon to include Beetroot Brownie. It was a little bit like someone had made a perfectly normal and delicious brownie, promptly buried it unwrapped in the garden, only to retrieve it weeks later, brushing off the obvious clumps of mud, presenting it with a loving flourish. Unexpectedly, the children loved it. MORE CHOCOLATEY SOIL! MORE CHOCOLATEY SOIL! they clamoured. It was a win, more or less.

5. Noah has relinquished his cuddle blanket. It started off as a very intricate, lovingly woven blanket for the Baby Barnaby, was claimed by Noah, and was taken to bed for years. It looked like this:

It has gone to the Great Cuddle Blanket Resting Place In The Sky. R.I.P.

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11 Responses to supermarket: a tale of mean old ladies

  1. Broot says:

    Heh that’s what my blanket looked like when my mother made me get rid of it. What a mean lady in the supermarket!!

  2. Betty M says:

    Not one but two horrid old ladies? My sympathies. Sometimes I hate the holidays!

  3. Patience says:

    So funny! Beetroot brownies? Really? Are you going to share the recipe?
    I hate how supermarkets force you to run into the same obnoxious people over and over. They ought to have some sort of alternative pathway system, like on a second level, that you can use if you’re trying to escape someone. My daughters babysit for a woman who hates me (unjustly) and at the supermarket I saw her hurriedly steer her cart out of the aisle I was in, but even so the progression of our shopping forced us to meet in the dog food aisle where we had to pretend to be glad to see each other.

  4. Jane says:

    Maybe she thought they were potential looters/hoodlums/rioters? (Hope ’tis not happening in your neighbourhood!? Thinking of you and crossing fingers)

  5. Kerry says:

    I am aghast at the cronies you encounter. What a cow. Hilarious that you followed her home! I love it.

  6. What a vile old piece of baggage. And the blankie’s seen better days too.

  7. alison cross says:

    Hoping that you’re all ok down in London during this ongoing Unpleasantness. You could always use Blankie to lasso the odd looter that ventures down your road. And then just let the kids crayon him to death. It’s what *I’d* do 😀

    Ali x

  8. bronwyn says:

    All i say even if yoru boys are making noise just remind these snarky sad lonely people that at although you agree yes the boys are loud they are after all boys, they a making happy noises and unless she wants to hear their grumpy noises she best leave it alone.
    Had the same thing happen to a degree my boys were outside in the pool happy squeals of delight old hag neighbour asks that they keep there noise down as it was disrupting coro……….hmmm lady my kids are happy and outside i will not be asking them to come in side and be grumpy, that would not be good for me. Heres an idea shut yoru friggin door and turn the volume up. Pleased to
    say all 4 of the boys were allowed to swim till half eight that night with the loud sounds of delight being heard through the neighbourhood.

  9. Cath says:

    Also: I neeeeeeed the beetroot brownie recipe. I have 2 beetroot in the crisper becoming less crisp by the moment.

  10. Gem says:

    Hi my dear
    Met you in the garden yesterday when I visited Kerry. LOVE your blog and am now a follower!
    This supermarket story made me laugh out loud. You write it so well.
    LOVE IT!!!!
    Check my blog out sometime.
    Good to meet you and your brood of “bad-ass” boys (at least they aren’t boring. My boy has learnt to pinch me today to get attention. And hard…….yeesh!)
    Gem xx

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