Super Bowl Supermarket

No crowds, no cheering — just blissful quiet.

“Hey, do you know the score?” the guy behind the deli counter asked me, as he handed me a half-pound of muenster, thinly sliced.

I smiled and shook my head. I had no idea. I didn’t even know who was playing, despite my husband’s best efforts to get me interested.

I normally do my grocery shopping late on Sunday night — it’s the only time I can go child-free. But the night of Super Bowl Sunday is a special time. I was practically alone in the store. Only two registers were open, and once the deli counter closed, I think all the other store staff left, too.

I thought about all the football fans gathered at Super Bowl parties tonight. Watching the game, yelling and screaming at the plays and calls, blood pressure rising. Fun, maybe, but so … loud.

But here it was just me, my iPod and two checkers in the 400-acre Wonderful World of Wegmans.

I wandered, squeezing imported Chilean peaches, sniffing fresh Meyer lemons. I read the labels on eight or 10 organic cereal bars to find out just which one would fit into my current diet. I strolled through the cleaning aisle, stopping to check out new products that I normally speed by while comforting a screaming infant and reciting poems to keep my 2-year-old occupied.

In the home-goods aisle, a collapsible, adjustable sink colander caught my eye. I read the first few pages of a mystery novel, then grabbed some hand soap and toothpaste on my way to the checkout.

The clerk in the next check out aisle was saying something about the score, but it barely registered. I wheeled my cart out into the empty parking lot, quiet and at peace.

Article © 2008 by Stacey Duck