Dear grocery shoppers,
I understand, grocery shopping is just a thing we all must do to get food and other various necessities. It’s not particularly thrilling, and you just want to get food. Sometimes, you change your mind about what food, or realize you don’t remember what you have at home or what you need right now. That’s okay - it happens!
But when you are walking down the aisle and you look in your basket or cart and think “Do I really need these Oreos?” or “I’m not sure I want this cheese anymore,” I want you to stop and think very seriously for a moment about what you plan to do about this. You have, as far as I know, four options. In order from best to worst (and, in my experience, least common to most common), they are:
- Take the item back to where you got it from and put it back on the shelf/hook you took it off of. Or at least get close - within a shelf or two would be nice. If you put the Double-Stuf Oreos back with the regular Oreos, it’s alright. You tried.
- Purchase the item anyway. Didn’t need Oreos? Well, now you have them! Happy day! Didn’t want this cheese? Well, now you have some variety in your lunch! Or you could donate the items to a food bank or something.
- Politely hand the item to the cashier and ask them to return it, as you don’t want it anymore. Cashiers are prepared for this, and at least they’re equipped to handle the situation. If you don’t do it politely, though, please reconsider your life choices and maybe start having your groceries delivered to you/start subsistence farming so no one has to deal with you being an asshat.
- Place the item on the nearest shelf in whatever aisle you were in when you decided you didn’t want it anymore. It’s the employees’ job to clean that up, right?
As one of the employees whose “job it is,” let me tell you - you are making everyone’s lives more difficult. Those Oreos you just left in the dog food aisle? First off, I know you didn’t just find something better - you’re in the dog food aisle. Second, I now must gather up your Oreos, inspect them for damage, then put them in a cart along with the other items that other assholes like you left on various shelves they don’t belong on. Towards the end of our eight hour shift, someone will take the cart full of misplaced items and sort them by aisle. They may or may not be returned to that aisle promptly - more likely, they will sit in baskets by aisle until someone finally has a spare moment to find where they go.
Now, the Oreos situation isn’t that bad. But let us consider the cheese. You have left your sliced cheese in the pasta aisle - again, I know you didn’t suddenly find something better, because there’s no cheese in the pasta aisle. But you decided against the cheese and deposited it in the spaghetti. When I get to it, around midnight, I know that the store has been quite for the past hour, hour and a half, so this cheese has been here longer than that. I also know, from touching it, that this cheese is not safe to return to the dairy cooler - because it’s already approaching room temperature. So now this cheese cannot be sold or eaten, so it must be thrown away. Which I can’t do - it goes in a cart with all the other damaged items (some from poor packaging or rough handling, but far too many from assholes like you) for someone else to deal with in the future. Because we’re too busy to do it now.
And you might be thinking “Oh, it’s not that big of a deal,” but how many other people are thinking that? How many people think “Oh, someone will put this back for me” and leave their cheese in random places? How much perfectly good food goes to waste every day - every year - because you couldn’t be bothered to walk back to the dairy and put your cheese away or make up your mind about what you want or shop from a damn list or even give the cheese to a cashier who can get it taken care of right away? You wasteful asshole.
So, grocery shoppers - if you decide you don’t want something, just walk across the store and put it back. Don’t be that asshole.
A cranky night stocker
also that whole tale of aragorn and arwen thing where he saw her in the woods at twenty and fell instantly in love and it’s very beren and luthien? lies.
aragorn decided he was going to marry arwen when he was like, six.
and everyone thought it was just the cutest thing, baby estel with his little crush on the great immortal evenstar, and everyone would tease him about it relentlessly and he would get so mad, and pout, because how dare they doubt his word.
(arwen spent a lot of time biting back smiles and nodding very seriously when aragorn brings this up with her. no, estel, I do not know why they are laughing perhaps they have remembered a particularly funny joke.)
and then aragorn grows into this gangly teen and oh my god can you imagine being a pimply greasy teenager around fucking elves it’s a wonder he has any self-image left. His voice breaks every other word and the laundresses are beginning to wonder if something is wrong with the sheets because estel keeps washing them himself and aragorn wants to die, god, arwen is never going to marry him if he stays all elbows and skinny knees and he can’t even look her in the eye anymore without blushing, eye contact is probably something to look for in a husband—
(arwen, who never had to go through puberty because elves don’t do anything so undignified, tries to comfort him by saying she likes his blemishes. aragorn gives her a look of such utter, miserable despair that she starts laughing.)
(this is a mistake. he spends the next three weeks nursing his wounded ego and refusing to see her.)
estel is twenty when he asks for her hand. he is lean, slender and fair as a new tree, and so arwen does not feel guilt in kissing his cheek and gently refusing. he is still green, he will weather greater storms than this—and he takes it as he should, clasping her hand and swearing to ever be her loyal friend.
they write to each other—when she is in lorien, when he wanders with the rangers of the north, fights alongside gondor, travels to distant lands. it is an inconstant tie—he is rarely afforded time enough to put pen to paper; she is reserved so as not to encourage what may not be. (she signs her letters always, your friend. She likes him too well to be cruel in this.)
the years pass. his weariness and strife creeps onto the page, and she sends him tokens to fend off the darkness—leaves from lothlorien, the ribbon from her hair, snippets of poems. it is not enough it is never enough I am sorry, she writes.
his reply is gentle: you are enough. do not stop writing.
(she carries that letter tucked inside her sleeve for a long while, like a talisman—though against what evil, she does not know.)
she is in the house of her grandmother when a familiar voice calls out to her: my lady luthien!
this is when arwen looks up, sees aragorn—broad of chest and rugged, still wearing his battered mail, with one hand balanced lazily on the pommel of his sword. All the trees of caras galadhon are gold but he is shadow and silver, kingliness resting lightly on his shoulders—
and arwen thinks, oh fuck
So I’m moving into a new apartment, and I was told that the room had been damaged, but nothing could have prepared me for the fact that someone had carved Li Shang’s head out of the bathroom door and written “We must defeat the Huns!” on it.