Apr 12, 2009

On Late Night Grocery Shopping, Cell Phones, and Laziness

My wife and I needed to visit the grocery store last night for some items she needed for Easter dinner today. I prefer to hit the Kroger's on Secor at Monroe, which is closer to our house, but my wife prefers the Kroger's at Miracle Mile (Laskey at Jackman) for a reason too lengthy to disclose in this post.

Yes, Toledo is like that: Kroger must control 50 percent of the grocery market, and for many folks, the decision on where to shop boils down to a choice between Kroger's, a grocery chain that also features items such as outdoor supplies and office furniture.

Anyways, late night shopping always brings out the strangest folks, and the store at Miracle Mile is located where people from almost all walks of life will visit. There are some expensive homes up near Alexis, as well as lower-income housing complexes like the apartments at Brooke Park and those at Larchmont Gardens.

Last night was a night where the store was populated by the type of folks who will spend $15,000 to trick out a 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass while living in a rusty trailer or a roach-infested apartment. You know the kind: baggy expensive velour track suits, $200 tennis shoes, and lots of hair grease.

And that's just the women.

Anyways, while shopping and people-watching, I saw a mother with three kids walking along the cereal aisle. The children were pulling a dozen varieties of cereals off the shelves, while the mother talked on her cell phone and shook her head at their sugary choices. She leaned heavily on her shopping cart, being quite large in girth and perhaps fatigued from a long day of TV watching.

OK, that was a bit mean, since I have not walked a mile in her forest green Timberlands, but trust me on this part. She paused from her conversation to make the following request of her daughter, who appeared to be about 10 years of age:

"SKYLAR! Reach around and pull up my pants. They falling down." (Note: requisite auxiliary verb omitted in original dialogue)

Not missing a beat, she returned to her phone conversation and cart-leaning, and her daughter did in fact hoist up the spandex-waisted track suit over the woman's hefty hips before returning to her cereal selections.

It must be love. If one of my relatives (at least, those not with a relevant disability) asked me to pull up their pants, I would have been irritated and told the lazy sot to put down the cell phone and lift her own clothing.

And what kind of name is "Skylar," anyways? Yeah, I know: "Tyler" plus "sky," but I guess I am just reaching the age where I am growing weary of incessant individualism.

Or maybe I am just a cranky curmudgeon who needs to chill out.


Molly said...

The world needs its share of curmudgeons too! Although seeing some mom tell her kid to pull up her pants for her might make me head to a blog in amazement too.
Still, Schulyer is another in a long list of formerly boy names that have been misspelled and changed to girl names. You have to pity the poor boys who had these names before they showed up on a soap opera or something and became trendy.

historymike said...

Glad I am not the only one who finds requests for pants-pulling to a bit weird, Molly.

microdot said...

That was my trash moment of the day...
Some people do Zen, I do white trash.
Thank you, Mike.
You know, it's weird, I am sitting here on another continent but I know what you mean about the two Krogers and I would have gone to the one at Miracle Mile also.
I think they do a much more interesting presentaion of junk food.

Tim Higgins said...


This posting says so much about the life these days that its scary. Sugar, cell phones, laziness, obesity ... it is a true cornucopia of today's "American Way".

As one curmudgeon to another, let me congratulate you on putting so much into perspective so succinctly.

Anonymous said...

Now Mikey admit it, aren't you really glad that Skylar did as his mom requested? You were spared a far most ghastly sight, which might have not only retarded your dissertating capacity, but even permanently blinded you.

Next time try Safeway or the American Food Center.

dr-exmedic said...

Giant Eagle is all I have to say....

Helenwheales said...

I wonder what time you ventured into the fourth dimension--Kroger after hours?

I was at MM Kroger about 11 pm Saturday night...To think Helenwheales may have passed History Mike in the aisles...

I had no child with me, so I wore a belt.

I also missed Skylar, but I did see a child throw a temper tantrum in the frozen food aisle because his mother refused him a TVDinner. The child threw it and shouted, "Why do we have to be poor? It's not fair." I was planning to blog about that...

We have to choose between Miracle Mile and Alexis Rd. Kroger stores. The Alexis Rd. store is popularly known as White Trash Kroger, and the Target next door is known by the same modifier.(NOTE: I did not create, nor do I use, this moniker). I think the clientele is just as fun at Miracle Mile.

historymike said...


Glad I could fill your white trash quota. I wouldn't want you to go into WT withdrawal.

historymike said...

Tim Higgins:

If this is the American Way, God help us, or at least point me to the life rafts.

historymike said...


Yes, if the pants fell lower, I might have been permanently scarred by the pasty-white flabbery. Good point.

historymike said...


We were there around ther same time, and you are correct about Kroger after-hours being otherworldly. Lots of strange peeps, myself included, roaming about the store.

I do not spend time at the other Kroger you mentioned, though I used to be in the pizza business out that way, so I know the clientele well.

historymike said...

Dr. ex-medic:

Toledo does have a few Meijer's and Giant Eagle locations scattered around the suburban fringes, as you noted, but if someone in West Toledo or central city wants to make a quick grocery run, it is hardly worthwhile to spend the extra 15 minutes each way to get to a Kroger alternative.

Cheryl's Office said...

If you need help with office furniture, these guys discount office furniture up to 70% to save you time and money as you furnish your executive office, conference room, computer workstations, ergonomic office chairs, mail room, and reception desk.