Let’s get one thing straight right from the start; I am not a regular Waitrose shopper. I pledge no fucking allegiance to any grocery chain because what’s the point? Loyalty cards are a scam, they all change their fucking prices every week and in the scheme of things, whatever I buy is going to come flying back out of me in one way or another. My used carrier bag cupboard is a rainbow of indifference and indecision and my usual thought process is ‘Oh there’s a shop, I need some stuff’, and in I go.
Enjoying a leisurely drive through a provincial Norfolk town, a monolithic Waitrose reminded me that I needed ‘some bits’ as my grandma would have called them, so into the car park I drove. I should have known that what would ensue would be an unpleasant and confrontation-riddled shop when putting my window back up I heard, “Urgh Jon (he looked the sort to omit the common ‘h’), what awful music”. Two wrinkly-faced pricks leered in at me; trying to discern what dreadfulness I was polluting the drab car park with. Let me tell you, I have never enjoyed the guilty pleasure of ‘Dirty Pop’ by NSync as much as I did in that moment.
Marks & Spencer bags for life in hand, I prepared to wage war on the chilled dairy and bakery sections, feeling smug that my checked shirt/flared jeans combo might tip me over into yummy (who cares that I have no kids) mummy territory, but alas, I was as sorely mistaken as I had been when selecting my most uncomfy knickers that morning.
I could feel Jon’s disapproving eyes on me as I leaned in for a punnet of plums. I could have sworn that I heard the words ‘red neck’ but I was pushed for time so chose to ignore my own brain, which at that point was telling me to choke him and his molten waxwork of a wife with organic, ready-to-eat avocados. As I headed to the bakery at what can only be described as light speed for a girl in flares and flip flops, once again my new friends rounded the corner, evidently as dismayed to see me as I was them. Grabbing the last seeded honey bloomer I couldn’t help but feel a little vindicated by their selection of value bread rolls. Fuck I hoped they were dry. Dry and stale, just like their marriage.
Ok, so my basket looked a bit like wank word bingo. I had almond milk in there, nice bread, San Pellegrino water, some organic cider and plenty of fresh fruit, and with sesame infused tofu my list was complete so off to the till I went – except wait, the dog needs fucking Dentastix. Mint-flavoured pooch toothbrushes that cost more per box than black truffles, I must be mad but it’s all she’ll eat in the morning so off to the pet aisle like an obedient twat I went.
And there they were. Talking about what food to get ‘Perry’ and standing right where I needed to be. I politely excused myself as I leant in but was met with huffs, a disapproving look and a knowing glance between the two of them and in a split second I knew that I was done.
As the expletives flew out of my mouth, my favourite being ‘…pair of deluded old cunts that only shop here to keep up appearances but should really be in Asda…’ I watched the grey, pallid face of Jon’s wife fill with colour. This was probably the most alive she had felt in years and in that second, I pitied her beyond belief. I finished my rant, told Jon to stop slyly looking at my arse because it would be practically necrophilia and turned to go to the checkout, laughing as silently as I could when I heard her say, “Well, at least she is buying tofu”.
Fuck you Waitrose, fuck you and the indignant horse that you and your regulars rode in on.