Overheard at the Commissary


With the passing of the holiday weekend, we enter the summer season.  Temperatures and gas prices will rise, PCS moves will criss-cross the country like the laces on a pair of Bates boots and kids will soon be out of school.....and accompanying Mom to the commissary.

Kids add an extra challenge level to the average commissary adventure with bonus rounds like making your way through the cereal aisle without buying a dozen different brands of cereal (10 of which your kids will never eat despite the passionate declaration, "But, that's my favorite kind!") and getting them to understand that when you tell them to "Stay behind me" right before you navigate the maze of carts in an aisle that what you really mean is, "Walk right behind me while I make my way past all these carts in the aisle." and not "Stay right here and watch me disappear in the crowd."  However, the  biggest challenge (and therefore paying out the most bonus points) is in successfully navigating all of the commissary aisles as well as the queuing line without experiencing an "I-want-to-crawl-into-a-hole-and-hide" moment -- be it with a toddler who has suddenly decided they were *done* with shopping five minutes ago or with an off-hand comment such as the conversation that passed between a friend of mine and her daughter not too long ago......

The scene is a typical, very busy payday - kids with solitary moms, retirees ambling down the aisles, Marines in uniform grabbing a basketful of necessities on their lunch break, etc. My friend has her pre-tweenage daughter with her, and they are moving as slow as molasses in the winter through the store, when daughter oh so nonchalantly says, "Mom, what's an erection?"

To which my friend replied, "Ummmmmmmm.......(*biiiig gulp* while frantically trying to think of something diversionary to say)........why do you ask?"

Daughter says, "Because I really don't want Daddy to have one for more than four hours."

In a defining moment of quick-thinking, my friend shot back, "Me neither, Hon." And, leaving the remaining items from her list for that section behind, she beat feet for the end of the aisle deliberately ignorant of the snickers and laughs that could be heard in their immediate vicinity.  She rounded the endcap and turned up the next aisle, confident in the thought that, lobster-face notwithstanding, she had managed to escape essentially unscathed.  That is, until her basket passed beside a still-grinning, older woman who commented out of the side of her mouth as they passed, "Good answer, Mom."

Yeah, she was searching for a hole.

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