Maybe Next Time?

I saw her in the bread aisle as I wheeled back through the meat department to pick up the turkey dogs I had forgotten on round one of the grocery store circuit. She was one of the career women I fastidiously kept up with at my first bonafide professional job out of college. A few years older than me, she was a bit higher up on the corporate food chain in a similar department. She was the epitomy of the young successful career woman. She wore power suits. She had long flowing hair. She drove a sleek black luxury car. As I progressed in my career and moved on to another company I would run into her at professional development luncheons and after hours mixers and we would chat informally about work and then later work and kids as we munched on shrimp and sipped Chardonnay.

Then I had Amelia and although my career has not necessarily been shoved to the back burner, I’ve cut back on my hours and I no longer feel compelled to keep up with the extracurricular shmoozing and networking that I once deemed important. My lunch calendar is now more likely to be filled with quick trips to Tarjay or grabbing a sandwich with a friend or the hubby. And after hours business receptions? My new “clients” really dig apple juice and animal crackers.

So when I saw my peer looking quite removed from the corporate scene, surrounded by loaves of bread and pushing her child in a shopping cart on a Monday afternoon, my first thought was that her child, like mine, must be sick or perhaps she’s now a stay at home mom. But it was kind of nice to see her in jeans and a buttondown shirt and not slingbacks and a tailored suit. I was almost ready to walk over and say hello after all these years but Amelia started fussing and trying to eat my grocery list, her patience level plummeting after being a trooper at both the pediatrician’s and the grocery.

That and the fact that I remembered the lima bean size zit on my chin prompted me to make a bee line toward the checkout aisle.


  1. Kristen says:

    LOL. Been there. It’s always awkward to run into someone like that, you’re always wondering what their situation is, sizing them up, then realizing that they could do the same to you!! hehe…

  2. mommyontheverge says:

    Yes, never talk to an old co-worker when you are not looking absolutely fabulous, or an ex-boyfriend for that matter. Since, I’m never looking A.F., I always rush out the store.

  3. Pattie (Domesticator) says:

    Oh yes, the infamous zit on the face…a definate reason to do the old duck and dash!

  4. R*belle says:

    Oh mommyontheverge got it exactly right! I do the “grocery store duck” very well, and yes I have a patent on that term.

  5. mothergoosemouse says:

    I’ve found that a blank expression and a quizzical “Do I know you?” serve me best.

    Okay, not really. But I am pretty skilled at pretending I don’t see someone.

  6. Anne says:

    hahhaha…what a great story! The lima bean zits would have been the only thing to keep me from pushing my screaming kids over for a little improvised show and tell. What IS IT with adult acne? I am hating it worse than the teenage acne.

  7. Sugarmama says:


    I have great timing on bad hair/face/clothes days – I always always end up bumping into someone that I’d rather not bump into… urggh

    Glad to have found your blog, I will be visiting often. 🙂

  8. SistaSmiff says:

    About 10 years ago, or maybe a little longer ago, I was then a SAHM with two little ones. I had spent all day cleaning and needed some stuff from the store. Needless to say, I was not looking my best. In fact, I looked YUCK. I’m standing there in the bread aisle and something told me to turn around and DANG if it weren’t my ex boyfriend (who impregnated somebody whilst insisting he didn’t want to date others) and he wouldn’t even look at me. I still can’t figure out if it’s cause he was ashamed for being a schmuck or because of glee that he DIDN’T marry me because I turned out so…beautifully.

  9. Charla says:

    LOL Grocery store duck. I know it all too well. It usually ends up biting me in the ass, though because I meet them face to face a few aisles over where there’s nowhere to hide.

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