I try to avoid shopping on Sundays if at all possible. “Day of rest” doesn’t exactly coincide with consumerism and mad crowds. But yesterday my dear mother left me a pleading note before she left for work, asking if I could pick up milk and bread. Who can say no to a pleading mother?
There’s a grocery store just down the street from my house, so on my way home from church, I pulled in and walked to the doors, realizing almost immediately that – argh! – the store only opened at noon and there were still some minutes to go. I contemplated leaving, but am so glad I decided to stay, because I then had the privilege of being part of a phenomenon I had no idea existed up until yesterday at 11h55.
At first it was just me and a scruffy looking guy waiting around outside the doors (his “beard” – aka his scary black scruff – definitely covered not only his face, his neck, and his chest, but I think started creeping around to the backs of his knees as well), and I was hit several times with that paranoid thought that the doors were actually open and I was just standing around like a fool, assuming they were locked. I surreptitiously crept closer to the automatic door. It did nothing automatic. I resumed my place a few paces away from El Scruff.
Then, three too-cool-for-school teenagers came, a guy and 2 girls, 2 of them obviously desperately in love and showing it in their over-pitched mockery and shoving of each other. Next a middle-aged man with three small children and a teenager with an obvious German accent, digital camera in hand, soaking up the touristic wonders of a Rexall parking lot. A harried woman in a business suit… an elderly woman led by her daughter… a disappointed twenty-something, dressed in gangsta gear and clearly wishing he could hook up with the German girl…
Before I knew it, a microcosm of society had gathered outside the store, and when the doors were finally unlocked by a resigned Sunday employee, the sighs of relief and shuffling of snow-caked boots was our version of a racous cheer.
Sunday shopping. If you’re ever feeling disonnected from society, there’s your cure.
p.s. I’m wearing leg-warmers today.