Oopsy Daisy at the Kroger Marketplace

I was talking to Grandma recently, and she was expressing her concerns about the lapses in her memory. We discussed the plethora of problems associated with aging—memory loss, aches and pains (I told her I was headed off to physical therapy this week), wrinkles, and weight gain. I could continue, but this list is depressing enough.

This brings me to another story about Dad and me. Earlier this week, we headed to Kroger for a few items. We wanted to get two more of those super cool smiley face sponges which we first saw on Shark Tank, some batteries, and soap.

For those of you no longer living in the area, I must explain that our new Kroger, known as a Kroger Marketplace, is HUGE. Besides food, you can purchase anything from a new toilet seat if you are not looking for a huge variety of choices, expensive wine, toys, underwear, and a limited supply of furniture. And, it has a decent-sized food court. I told my book club we should consider having our meeting there one month. It’s just great.

So after we got some coffee at Starbucks, a juice box for Bryce, and 2 slices of cake, we sat down to enjoy a pre-shopping snack. Bryce picked up his cake, turned it over, and announced, “I don’t like skin.” I explained to him that I was positive he would just love the skin on the perimeter of his marble cake and then went on to tell him that the real name of the “skin” was “icing.” Needless to say, he enjoyed his chocolate skin and even asked to eat ours.

We then set out to locate the soap and sponges, and given the size of the store, I decided to swing by customer service first. The cheery woman behind the counter sent us to aisle #40 for the sponges and then handed us a directory for the remaining purchases, which were allegedly all in the same vicinity.

Dad found the batteries without a hitch while I went to the next aisle looking for the sponges. After Bryce chose a pink and a blue happy face (orange was definitely not permitted for this Clemson-hating family), I studied the directory, located “soap, bar” and informed Dad that we needed to go to aisle #3. He sighed and complained that we should have read the list before heading all the way to aisle #40, but we had no choice except to turn around and go back in the direction of the lower-numbered aisles.

We discovered that for some peculiar reason, the numbers began at “10.” Noticing our confusion, we were approached by a Kroger employee. When I asked her to help us find aisle #3, she walked us back in the direction of #40. Dad gave me a smug look because he was postive that bar soap was someone in the area of the sponges, and  then the Kroger woman and I discussed the fact that this would never, ever happen if a woman had designed the floor-plan.

As we continued on our adventure, I wondered what the heck this woman was thinking about, because I was observing the numbers continuing to increase. How would we ever find aisle #3 by heading in this direction?

You are all probably confused why I began this long-winded tale by discussing the woes of aging. It turns out, that at the end of the very high-numbered aisles, are some rows organized by letters. I turned to Kroger Lady with a puzzled glance, and then said, “But we are looking for #3.”

I handed her the directory, and pointed to “soap, bar.” She then laughed and said, “That is not a number 3, but a letter J!”

Oh, my poor old eyes! And that, girls, is another side effect of aging—the inability to read small print. Boy, did Dad have a good laugh at my expense. We left the store still not knowing where the aisles #1 through aisle #9 were located. That will be another Kroger adventure.


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