To me, the sign of a true city person is the ability to navigate crowds. Being able to weave in and out of throngs of foot traffic is something that comes very easily to me and this makes my daily treks through life much, much easier. This skill doesn’t just help me out in the cityscape either. Put me in the slow cattle herd that is an Ikea superstore and watch me slide through faster than jello slides off a wall when you try and nail it there. (What was it that McCain said during the second debate? Something about nailing jello to a wall? And being slippery? Or something? I’m just trying to keep up with the hip McCainster slang, people).
Put two people who are expert at navigating crowds together and you’ve got the perfect getaway team. Throw in the fact that those two people have been hanging out together for years on end, able to communicate to each other with a mere nod of the head or a subtle hand signal, their crowd nav skills doubled by two, and you know what you’ve got?
Fastest. Grocery shopping. Ever.
Nordic Boy and I, during a regular market pit-stop, will take our grocery shopping slow. Chatting, moseying up each aisle, leisurely deciding on what items we’re going to choose. But if we’re shopping on a Sunday? When everyone else IN THE WORLD is shopping? We kick it into high gear. ZOOM! We get our list on and tag team it. POW!
We are sometimes a two-store grocery shopping pair. First, we go to our neighborhood local food co-op and get all we can there. Because it’s a small market, sometimes there are a few items that can’t be found at the co-op. On those days, we head over to Whole Foods, which if you have ever been to a Seattle area Whole Foods on a Sunday afternoon, you know that it is not impossible for a person to be crushed by the hordes of humanity that cram themselves in there.
So there we were, game faces on. It’s like Pac Man and Ms Pac Man are playing the same board. “You get grapes, oranges, and apple cider, I’ll get mushrooms, spinach, and avocado!” I say and we’re OFF! Heading away and then back together, away and back together. It’s really quite impressive if I do say so myself.
I never thought Nordic Boy really took note of how ridickerous our grocery shopping really is. Until this weekend.
We were in the noodle aisle, and there was a couple in the middle of the aisle, probably younger than us, most certainly not a tag team shopping pair, and clearly uncomfortable in crowds.
Woman: “Oh!” (Trying to reverse her cart but blocking the flow). “I forgot the eggs!”
Man: “Oh, uh…you want me to go get them?”
Woman: “Um. Ok…well, no…we’ll just get them after. Now why were we in this aisle?”
Man: “Wait, where’s the list?”
Nordic Boy zips through the oh, 72 billion people crunched in this aisle, comes up to me to drop some tomato paste in my basket before taking off to get some olives. As he walks by, he looks at me, laughs and says one word under his breath.
Listen, we don’t scale mountains or run marathons. Getting through a crowded Whole Foods in under 15 minutes is ALL WE’VE GOT.