My mother and I go grocery shopping nearly every Sunday. At one point in our lives we both would have believed this to be a mortal sin. But, we have changed our tune. Some might say that we have grown in our spirituality and now we understand that our relationship with God is not defined by religious ritual. Others might say that we have fallen into the realms of blasphemy. Say what you will. The fact is... We go to church on Sunday morning. We go grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon.
Sorry, that was tangential to the story.
When people visit their local shopping centre on a regular basis they tend to become familiar with the terrain and the people. Mum and I visit these shops about twice a week. At least once together and probably once separately. So, we are very familiar with the check out operators at the grocery store, the pharmacy and the discount store. We are well known at the doctor's surgery and the physiotherapist. Customers also tend to recognise other regular shoppers. There is always a young mother or two with an unruly child. There is a young couple who still enjoys doing their groceries together. There is the older couple who are nearly deaf and spend much of their shop saying "eh?" to each other. There are characters such as these frequenting every local shopping centre in Australia (and probably the world).
Today I want to tell you about the mother/daughter team who have conversations from opposite ends of each aisle. They ask each other questions about mueslie bars, sanitary products and the price per unit of soft drink cans. They scold each other for ice cream purchases and say things like "I've been looking all over for you." They call out over several aisles. They stand in the middle of walkways looking at gadgets and argue about women's magazines and reading glasses. The mother can't find things and the daughter rolls her eyes and sighs in frustration. The daughter drops something and the mother bends over to pick it up with an impatient, "be careful." You know who I am talking about. You can see them now. For some people they are irritating, for most they are mildly amusing. At the end of the day they are a part of the scenery and you have to take them as it comes.
This afternoon, I was shopping with my mother and I realised that we are THE mother/daughter team. We do all of those things and more. The check out operators can see us coming. They simply smile and shake their heads as we leave their station. I didn't think we were that team before, it just dawned on me. I hope we are amusing rather than annoying.
It is rather a strange feeling when one realises that they are a stereotype. Or perhaps, in our case, the opposite of a stereotype. I am not exactly sure what we are. I decided that it doesn't matter. I enjoy what we are and that is all that really matters.