Somehow, she's there. The stone-faced old lady at the grocery store.
Whether it's a shop n' save in the ruins of Philadelphia, or here on Boston's South Shore, where everyone talks wicked good, there's an old lady who is apparently assigned to shadow me and make my grocery-shopping experience a little more difficult. Whether it's staring benignly and waiting politely while I'm in the particular part of the frozen cooler (with her cart just close enough that I have to physically pick mine up at the back so that I can open the cooler door without hitting my cart, 'cus God forbid she gives me enough room to roll 6 inches forward), or silently staring holes in my head while I am seeking my particular bagel package of choice, somehow, she's there. And then, when I'm at the checkout, one of, say 10 that is open, the woman is there, right behind me, staring. Again. Always just 1/2 inch outside my personal bubble, with her cart too close to me ass, or my leg, or whatever, she's there, waiting, pushing. She never speaks, even if I do, but she's there, poker face on.
As always, I escape to my truck, and, hands shaking from something indefinable (rage, fear, ennui?) I vow to bring a bag of ball bearings and drop 'em behind me next time, so that I can buy some time and shop in peace. Sensible shoes or not, it ought to work.