Excuse me for breeding and cluttering up your world

The other day (I started this post the day of, but never found time to finish it) my three youngest daughters and I were at the grocery store, and I’m trying as usual to keep them from getting in people’s way. When they temporarily block other shoppers’ paths, most people smile indulgently and say it’s okay. Most.

So this last shopping trip they were standing where a woman wanted to push her basket, so I told them to move to the side so she could pass, which they immediately did. The woman’s lips were tightly pursed, and she was positively glowering at the children. Ignoring this, since who knows what kind of bad day she may have been having, I smiled at her and said, “I’m sorry.” She hesitated, as though deciding whether to say something, all the time looking grimly past me, refusing to make eye contact. Finally, after a most uncomfortable silence, she sort of huffed and stalked off without saying anything.

In some ways Santa Fe is a friendly town, but I have to say, there is a noticeable minority here who really don’t like kids. I’ve written before about people who think kids are bad for the environment. I thought of that post later in the same grocery shopping trip when the checker filled my grocery bags so full that I could not pick them up one-handed, and left some of my items outside of bags. Not just the gallon containers of milk which have handles, but other things that aren’t convenient to carry. On other shopping trips, checkers have asked if I brought bags, and gotten rather tight-lipped when I said no and they had to give me paper bags, which they then overfilled and did not double even for perilously heavy loads.

With my disposable diapers, my car that’s big enough to transport a family of six, and my stubborn refusal to get my act together and remember to bring canvas bags to the grocery store along with my tribe of children, I guess maybe I am a geocidal maniac after all. But for all the woman in the grocery store whose path my children blocked knew, I could have brought them all there in a tiny electric car, had a cloth diaper on my baby, and my purse stuffed full of reusable canvas grocery bags. Her hostility may not have had anything to do with my raping the earth by having all those confounded kids. It may have just been that she’s a nasty old shrew.

Comments 8

  1. Dianna wrote:

    Awesome rant! I like your edge.

    Posted 25 Dec 2008 at 7:21 pm
  2. Foxfier wrote:

    Ain’t no pleasin’ some folks.

    Posted 26 Dec 2008 at 5:59 am
  3. Victor Jimenez wrote:

    The shrew should have gotten on her knees and thanked you for providing for her social security.

    Most of these childless Santa Fe DINKs would die in pico-second if they realized just how much they will rely on the fertility of the non-dinks (especially with their 401Ks having been recently liquidated).

    Posted 27 Dec 2008 at 2:38 am
  4. Heather wrote:

    Oh, man, how many times has this sort of thing happened to me!

    Posted 27 Dec 2008 at 4:28 am
  5. Martha Brozyna wrote:

    I actually find that the worst culprits of cluttering up the supermarket aisles to be people without children. They tend to be very well-dressed, affluent, middle-aged types who leave their shopping carts on one side of the aisle while they stand on the other scrutinizing carefully the jars of imported tomato sauce, boxes of organic oatmeal, or loaves of multigrain bread. I can’t tell you how many times one person (usually a woman) blocks the entire aisle with herself and her shopping cart. When you say “excuse me” to such individuals, they look at you as if you’re impinging on their space. I’ve noticed that most shoppers with young children tend to be very conscientious and respectful of other shoppers, herding their children to one side so others can get by. I certainly always do that with my kids.

    Posted 27 Dec 2008 at 5:25 pm
  6. Victor Jimenez wrote:


    Say it again, hallelujah! I too have noticed the perfididy of the DINK shopper, and it is deplorable.

    Posted 29 Dec 2008 at 5:44 pm
  7. Julia wrote:

    I think that bitch shops at my Albertsons.

    Posted 29 Dec 2008 at 5:57 pm
  8. Ultraguy wrote:

    You wrote: “…checkers have asked if I brought bags, and gotten rather tight-lipped when I said no and they had to give me paper bags…”

    And they say secularists have no religion. Ha! An internalized sense, or system of ‘sin’ and an accompanying sense of moral outrage and righteousness are universal. The only question is where one directs them.

    Violate the dictates of the religion of organic-low-carbon-footprint, gaia-Prius-cloth-bag-recycling, late-only-trophy-child, educated-suburban-affluence and the condemnation one receives is as or more virulent than any fiction secularists could dream up about the worst the real church has ever done.

    Posted 30 Dec 2008 at 3:09 pm

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