Yogurt's Hidden Dangers
On one of my latest trips to the grocery store, I fought with a yogurt container. The yogurt won. I have a cut and slight bruise under my right eye to prove it.
I wouldn't normally share such humiliating stories, but my friends and family encouraged me to. Maybe they want to make me feel smaller than I already am (saying I'm five feet is just sort of stretching it). But they assure me that even though they are all taller, they've had similar frustrating supermarket experiences.
I admit it. When it comes to grocery shopping, I'm height challenged. There is always some item I cannot reach; it doesn't matter what store I visit. Usually it's the two-liter bottle of seltzer on the tallest-of-allest shelf. Getting it down without injuring a shoulder is always cause for rejoicing. Or it's that last box of cereal or jar of jam. I can reach them, but only if I climb on the first shelf. (And yes, I do that--and apparently lots of other people do, too! So much for sanitation). I find myself furtively looking around the aisles, hoping someone tall and nice will come to my aid. But more often than not, there's no one around, or it's someone not much taller than me who can't reach it either.
Of course, I've complained to the store managers who invariably shrug and say there's nothing they can do. They suggest I seek them out if I can't reach something--something that's time-consuming and again not much consolation when the manager is also short.
Which brings me to the killer yogurt container. It didn't seem so vicious at first, standing quietly stacked on top of two other containers on the highest shelf (about 5 feet, 8 inches). The only way I could get it was to reach high, grab, then duck my head, hoping a couple yogurts would tumble onto the lower shelves without hurting me. Usually, that works. But the other day, I lost the gamble, discovering how dangerous yogurt can be when disturbed from its perch.
Twice, store officials have offered me a modest coupon for my pain and suffering. I told them I don't want money, just more accessible products for the height challenged. But they say there's nothing they can do.
I know what I have to do: Take my shopping elsewhere. But I also know that sooner or later, I'll be equally humiliated, perhaps not by a yogurt container but by something else. I just hope it will be something soft, like toilet paper.
Got supermarket shopping issues? Please feel free to share them with me in the comments or by sending me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
March 2, 2006; 7:37 AM ET
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