The 5 Stages of Commissary Shopping on Payday

Stages of Commissary Shopping on Payday
A look inside the Commissary at Fort Lee, Virginia. (Defense Commissary Agency/Kevin Robinson)

Oh, the commissary. We love you. We hate you. And mostly we're just afraid of you on or around the 1st and 15th of the month.

Accidentally find yourself at the commissary on payday or, perhaps worse, payday weekend? Be prepared for these five stages of emotions. I recommend adding something to your coffee to get you through.

1. Courage.

So you forgot it was payday until you got to the parking lot. But it's too late now. You’re out of everything and you’ve escaped the craziness of your house and it’s time to shop. You have your list, you have your coupons and you have your reusable shopping bags.

Gird your loins, you're ready.

2. Fear.

You walk in and see exactly how crazy it is. The line is long, the retirees are out in full force and all of the race car shopping carts are taken. But you don’t need one of those because you were able to leave the kids at home and tackle this job on your own. But still, the checkout line is long and there are way too many people handling the bananas.

What were you thinking? But, you really need milk and cereal. At the very least you need those two things to make it through the next two days. You move forward.

3. Despair.

You push your way through the crowds of people and grab some bananas -- hey, fruit on cereal is is a parenting win. You finally make it through the throng of people in the cereal aisle only to reach a new level of despair.

How are they out of cheerios? Still? HOW? (Here's how)

4. Joy.

Cheerios didn't happen, but who is the boss of scoring organic chicken for $1.84 per pound? There’s nothing quite like the joy of finding what you need on sale at the commissary. Did you know you can look at what’s on sale online? Yup, you can. Which will only increase your joy as you face the lines.


5. Victory.

You survived the crowds, including the five elderly retirees who stopped their carts in the middle of aisle to examine ketchup and someone’s crying kids. You weathered all the emotions. But despite it all, you once again conquered.

Rest now, conqueror. (And maybe stop at the Class Six for some wine).

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