Last night after work, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few things on my way home. The place was post-work packed.
I was wearing a dress with a bit of a busy print, and loud, clacking heels, so I wasn’t really a shrinking violet. But it wasn’t a big deal to be a bit over-dressed for grocery shopping – I was just running in and running out as quickly as I could.
I go to the produce section and fill my cart with a few items, then I remember that Chris asked me to get fruit. So I went over to the selection of apples, which had apparently just been refilled, as they were piled high. High as in like two dozen levels of red, shiny apples. With a plastic bag in my hand, I reached out and grabbed an apple. And then another.
And then I reached for a third.
Which must have been precariously placed.
As every apple in the stack came tumbling towards me. Like in a cartoon.
“OOOOH!” I yelled, whipping my arms around like a windmill in effort to stop the avalanche.
“OOOOH!” I yelled, as I pressed myself against the side of the shelving to keep the apples from hitting the floor, letting them pile up against me instead.
“OOOOH!” I yelled as the apples created a slope against my body and then starting falling faster from the tower, rocketing off my shoulder and flying high into the air.
“OOOOH!” The woman a few feet away yelled, as an apple ricocheted off the shelving and landed in her cart.
I was dying of embarrassment. The apples were hitting the floor with a loud thunk and people were staring and the grocery store produce guys were running over, trying to help, but their laughter rendered them useless.
“Oh my God, please make this stop. Please, can you just make the apples stop their onslaught!” I pleaded, my arms filled with fruit.
The produce guy closest to me tried to stem the flow of apples, but it was fruitless. These apples were powered by inertia and determined to make a spectacle of me.
“Miss, you need to step away from the apples so we can clean them up. Can you move back a few steps?”
“If I move, all the ones I’m holding will fall. And then I will die of shame.” I tried to talk without moving my mouth, as to not further enrage the apples.
The produce guy tried to hide his laughter. “Miss, step away from the apples. I’m ready to deal with them. In three … two … one …”
I moved back and all the apples I was holding in my arms tumbled to the ground with a SMACK. A sea of large, red marbles on the tile floor. My face was as red as an … well, you can guess.
“Can I help you clean up? Or can I go? Can I just walk away and pretend this didn’t happen?”
“Run, lady. You might want to run.”
I fumbled for my purse and my grocery cart and tried to eek away gracefully (as gracefully as one can, with loud heels and a noticeable dress), turning my ankle on an apple only once. People were smirking and laughing, and one old man started to applaud.
I left the grocery store, my face on fire and laughing to myself. I called my mother from my car and told her the story through my embarrassment and tears of laughter.
“I think I’m channeling Grammie,” I said.
“Oh Kerri … you’re right,” my mother laughed. “Grammie was known for wearing platform shoes in the grocery store and falling over at the deli counter. And you know what? I wore platform shoes to the deli counter when I was your age and I fell over, too! It’s hereditary!”
Note to self: Do not buy platform shoes.
*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*