Why the day before any snowstorm do the elderly flock to the food store? In general, I don’t understand why anyone does this. We live in the United States of America where there are plows and salters for this event. Most of the time you can get out of your house right after the storm. Yes, people in south Jersey were not plowed out for days after the blizzard the day after Christmas, but I can’t tell you the last time this even happened. Even so, I would bet people withe 4 wheel drive did get out of their driveways and go to work. So why rush to the food store the day before a snowstorm, it’s not like you will never get to the store again, you are not going to be in a bunker for 6 months, and I think it is safe to say even if we did get stranded for a few days, we all have enough food in our house to survive.
Which brings me to the elderly, yes, they may have difficulties getting out to the store because of driving issues or counting on county transportation that may be suspended for a short period of time. They probably do not keep large amounts of food in their homes anymore, but again, I am sure they would have enough for a few days. Even if they feel more secure by buying a little extra, ok fine.
I had to go to Shoprite yesterday for a prescription, while I was there I did do some food shopping, but mostly because Hunter, Hayley and Craig had pretty much cleaned out our stash of snacks (Craig LOVES Scooby Snacks) so I really didn’t want to have a snow day without their favorite snacks. BUT, if it were not for the prescription, I would not have gone to Shoprite. I do have cupcake mix and 13 tubs of Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough in the freezers, so I am confident we would have survived.
The store was packed like it always is before a storm and there were an abundance of elderly men and women. Some were pushing carts, several were driving (or attempting to drive) the motorized scooters and I even saw one woman with a walker balancing a small shopping basket on top. Each had various things in their carts, soup, crackers, cereal, tea and one elderly woman had a Glamour magazine in her cart (I was shocked but then I thought, more power to her). As I went down the bread aisle, several elderly people were putting the family size loaves of bread in their carts. Do they ever finish a family size loaf, do they even eat white bread?
The thing that perplexes me the most is the dairy aisle. I was going there to pick up yogurt for Hunter and Hayley when all of a sudden as I turned down the aisle, it was CHAOS! It was a mob of the elderly. The mob was mostly hovered around the milk and eggs. Two men were arguing about who bumped into who with their carts, several of them were buying WHOLE gallons of milk! Do they need a gallon, I can’t imagine them ever drinking all of it before one day they open the refrigerator to the stink of curdled milk. I bet some of them are even lactose intolerant! But…….it is the thing to do, the staple everyone supposedly needs. Next were the eggs. Ok, a few bought the 1/2 doz. carton of eggs, I can understand this,many were buying a doz. eggs, I am thinking this really is too much, BUT there was 1 man and 2 women that were going to purchase the doz. 1/2 carton of eggs. That is 18 eggs!!!! How are they ever g0ing to use 18 eggs! It was madness………..
Check out was very busy. When I found an ok aisle I pulled my basket behind two elderly women. They were arguing about who got to the aisle first, I really thought a fist fight was going to break out. The louder and nastier of the two finally claimed the spot and the other woman muttering under her breath moved on.
As I waited my turn to be checked out,I couldn’t help to think, maybe the elderly really weren’t shopping because of the impending storm. Maybe they looked forward to the hightened atmosphere, the challenge, the electrified interaction with others of the same age. Maybe it wasn’t about food or survival at all, maybe it was just about feeling alive……………….