The commissary. The grocery store on military bases. This is where I primarily shop on a weekly basis and I’ve encountered all sorts of things as a military spouse. Here are some of them.
You know you’re at the commissary when….
…you get the stink eye from a retiree just because you said excuse me. Look Stan, I’m sorry if you’re confused about what salad dressing you want, but I need to get the Italian dressing right in front of you. I said excuse me. I smiled. What more do you want?
…you hear the same music playing whenever you enter the store. I’ve heard Moves Like Jagger, Africa, and Maniac Monday more times than I care to. Is there a Commissary Soundtrack?
…you encounter some cranky baggers. At the commissary you tip the baggers who bring your groceries to the car. Once I handed four dollars to the woman and she gave me the dirtiest look. I felt four dollars was fair because I only had about seven bags. Another time I tried to help the bagger load the bags into my trunk and she slapped my hand! This is why I don’t help with the bags anymore—I don’t want another hand slap. That startled me. I will say, that I’ve also met some polite baggers who are fantastic.
…the lines are long on payday. Or around payday. And there’s only four cashiers working.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Gabriel Bevan/Released)
…the person in front of you is always writing a check when you’re in a hurry. It never fails.
…you’ve nearly died in the parking lot because people are speeding through it. Or elderly people are backing up and not looking first. Or young people are texting and backing up and not looking first.
…oh look, it’s payday and the prices have increased! It happens. The week before cereal was $2.50. Payday? It jumped up to nearly $4.
…you realize you forgot your ID card and the cashier will not let you check out without your ID even though you’re all, “Ma’am, I’m here every week. Remember? I’m the one who buys all the chocolate.” (She still says she cannot check you out. So you have to leave all your items, rush home, and return.)
…when you really need chicken, there are signs that say, “Sorry. Delivery running late. No chicken today.”
…you feel slightly guilty when you pick plastic when the cashier asks what kind of bag you want. You vow to buy more of those cloth re-usable bags for next week but then forget. (But at least you re-use the plastic bags for cleaning the cat box so you aren’t ruining the planet TOO much..)
…the hair/health care aisle is always packed. People take forever to pick up vitamins and shampoo. It’s like an obstacle course getting your cart past everyone.
…you’ve been whacked with one of those car carts for children at least once but you don’t judge, because those things are tough to turn.
…you think you’ve lucked out getting a front row spot…and then realize the spot is reserved for the base commander. Or that it’s Monday and oops, the commissary is closed.
Amber Myers is a proud military wife and mother to two kids who drive her to eat lots of chocolate. She blogs over at Airing My Laundry. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Want more on military life?
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- 7 Things Good Military Spouses Do…That I’m Not Going to Do Anymore
- I’m Terrible at Being a Military Spouse