Wednesday, March 21, 2007

If that's a snob--call me a snob!

Last night was yet another trek into public with our brood. This was our shopping excursion to Wal-Mart. Our goal was to get the shopping done and eat before American Idol came on. We have two carts now; one that is the two-seater semi-trailer cart and the other is the regular cart. I pushed the semi-trailer through the aisles with the boys and we were off. Teensy's carrier was precariously pitched to such an angle that made her start spitting up. This required a quick adjustment and then a clean up on aisle 12. Once that emergency was resolved we continue our shopping.
There is something about Wal-Mart that makes number one son have to go to the bathroom. Usually after we begin to get our frozen food and perishable things it hits him. Off we go in the Semi to the bathroom. I have to stand outside and watch Chubbers. He was strapped in and we had a cart full of duke so I wasn't going to risk that. I did get a chance to watch someone get their taxes prepared by some person at a tax kiosk. That really amazed me. That is a level of trust I don't care to bother with.
Our check out girl was into chatty chatty checking which I quickly became irritated with. Her commentary on every single purchase was just unnecessary. We had two carts full of groceries, I didn't' want to chat with her about every purchase we were going to make. Holy Cow I just wanted to get i over.
Once the car was loaded we headed to eat. Kendra wanted to go to what I fondly call the Golden trough. It is a chain of restaurants that are mega-buffet with a steak grilling section right in the middle. I did not want to go to the place, I hate buffet restaurants. It was busy, busy, busy, and we lucked out on a parking place close to the entrance. The first thing you see when you walk into this place is a huge maze that potential diners wander through to get their drink order, first round of clean plates, and receipt before the gluttony begins. The railing was just the right height for Chubbers to run under unobstructed which he did straight to the crane games. These games have worthless toys, animals and other things stuffed inside and beckon you to feed the machine dollar after dollar attempting to get the prize. I don't get why that is attractive to some people, but it is.
As we walked around to see the table set up, we now have to look for large tables so we can spread out. I noticed my fellow diners and it creeped me out. That was the first wave of shutter. I knew at that moment that I could never eat in that place again and just hoped that I could make my way through this experience. We sat down and were promptly greeted by our waitress. She herself was a mother of young children and totally got the whole, small child paradox. He had her hair pulled back in a bun and wore a laminated fabric pouch in which she kept her cleaning rag for wiping down the tables. The next wave of shutter came when I realized our waitress was cleaning off the tables that were emptied by diners and also getting drink and roll refills--WITHOUT WASHING HER HANDS. Major creep out on that one. Dirty hands from gross diners who had been sucking the meat off chicken and leaving their scraps on the table touching my roll basket and glass. I can't hardly shake someones hand before I have to wash it. It was a full on corruption violation.
The diners were all dressed as if they had been working in the yard. I saw one girl who was clearly taking a break from hygiene because it was spring break stick her head under the sneeze guard to reach for the condiment she wanted. That barrier is there for a reason! Totally disgusting. Sneeze guards are really gross to me too, they drip you know. Touching the handle of a spoon right after someone else has touched it is gross to me, seeing the finger and nose grease slimed sneeze guard is gross to me. Sliding my plate across a counter that is a sweaty, sticky, puckied up mess is gross to me. The man right in front of me was an older gentleman who was walking in slow motion. Sloth slow! He was trying to retrieve a piece of meatloaf covered in powdered gravy and gave up on the utensil and instead went for it with his fingers. I had to step back and gain control of my gag reflex which was, by that time, in overdrive. I looked for items that were freshly placed and raced to get them. Broccoli, mashed spuds, just cooked steak. Done, now I can go sit down.
People would graze across the dessert aisle and snag a piece of food, then lick their finger or suck their finger clean--gross. Seeing piles and piles of mass prepared food placed on plastic plates and watching devour food as if there were at time limit just grossed me out. That is when it hit me, "I might be a snob." I am totally ok with that. I wasn't rude to the waitress and smiled to the fellow diners, didn't mind that at all, it was just the whole atmosphere grossed me out. My table was slick, and somewhat sticky. That's gross to me.
I guess I could just be a better person and not let it get to me but I just can't help it. I watch people and have all my life. Some folks just gross me out. I felt like cattle being fed, not a pleasant experience.
Maybe someday I'll get over it, but until then I will avoid the grazing trough buffet spread and take my food on it's own plate prepared by a person and touched by a person who has been through a food handling class-thank you very much.


Tracy said...

omigosh i would never want to eat there either! YUKKERS!
but will - you know - at least you can see what is happening to the food - i hate to mention it - but you never know what they've done to your food before they bring it out when you go to a regular restaurant, kwim?

Donna said...

I think my lips are permanently pursed. YICK. Between what you've said and what Tracy said, there's no place to turn. Eating at home is the only answer and we must grow our own fruit, veggies and meat as well. Thank God we have hardy immune systems or the human race would be extinct.