Friday, June 05, 2009

life lessons i learned in college

Whenever John & I go to the grocery store alone (like we did today...sick baby was at home with daddy sleeping for 5 HOURS. seriously.) he insists that I "run really fast" with him in the cart and we both go "wheeee!!!" and inevitably at some point I will jump up holding onto the handlebar and coast with my feet in the air for a few seconds. And every time I do that I am reminded of a story...

Once there was a college girl who worked at OfficeMax. Her boyfriend got her the job because she wanted some spending money and that way they could spend more time together. (aahhh, ain't that sweet?) But this job was INCREDIBLY slow and equally as boring. To pass the time she and her co-workers would occasionally have races down the aisles using the shopping carts. These carts were incredibly sturdy (office supplies can get really heavy) and so, even using a completely empty cart, these fun-loving college students could run full tilt, jump up on the handlebar, and lock their arms, leaving their legs to dangle and using only upper body strength while they coasted to a victorious finish line.

But let's say that one day this silly college girl was out playing with some friends who were visiting from out of town. Let's say that after putting their names on a ridiculously long list at Pizza Factory they decided to stroll over to Food4Less grocery store while they waited. And let's say that this certain girl had picked up a few items and put them in her cart. Now you must sympathize that as she walked down an aisle, instinct sort of took over and without thinking twice she began hurtling toward the end at full speed. And then just imagine that she was in familiar territory, back at good old OfficeMax and the wind was flying through her hair and she wanted to feel the exhilaration of coasting and so impulsively she pushed herself up, feet off the ground, wheels spinning excitedly beneath her. Silly girl. She didn't realize that the carts at the two stores weren't weighted the same. And that would explain why her friends saw her running in one moment and slammed down onto the floor in the next. And then came that crux each person experiences when witnessing the agony of defeat, deciding whether to be worried or to laugh. And, as often goes with good friends, of course the laughing completely won over. Especially as they watched the nearby patrons running wildly in the opposite direction pretending not to have seen anything.

Poor, silly college girl. Her knees were never the same after that day (they had taken the brunt of the fall) and, to this day, she can never run down a store aisle with a grocery cart, her little boy telling her to "run fast! run fast!" without experiencing some minor trauma and ghost pain in her knees. But she learned 2 important lessons that day. 1) the carts at Macy's are COMPLETELY INFERIOR to the carts at OfficeMax. 2) when choosing friends, make sure they will laugh WITH you when you fall down in the grocery store so you don't feel like a complete arse.

Mom & dad, aren't you glad you sent me to college? See how much I learned???


  1. Oh how I remember that day at Macey's. That experience shall stay with me for many MANY days.

  2. any time I ride on a cart like that I think of you, face down in the middle of a suddenly empty aisle. Brilliant