Sunday, September 13, 2015

Checking Out Nightmare On Rosh Hashana Eve

What's the worst thing that can happen in the supermarket on one of the busiest days of the year?

I admit that I left it till the last minute to do my Rosh Hashana food shop. There was no way I could have lugged it all up the hill in last week's sand storm. Yes, I could have ordered a delivery online but actually I prefer to see what's there and to choose.

Four things spurred me on this morning to brave the supermarket on Rosh Hashana Eve.

1. The weather is much clearer. Whilst I wouldn't go so far as to say that the sky is blue, it's a much less heavy sort of white and the sand seems to have all settled. We could breathe at last.

2. I promised DD Hello Kitty chocolate surprise eggs to add to her Hello Kitty collection. She only gets sweets on Shabbat and this last shabbat she didn't get anything.

3. We have friends coming for lunch tomorrow and I need to serve them something.

4. I have a 25 shekel voucher from Supersol Deal which expires today.

Off we went. Not a big shop but necessary nevertheless. The supermarket was packed as expected although not as packed as it probably was on Thursday and Friday of last week when people stocked up for Shabbat and this two-day festival together, and wanted to get a head start on the cooking.

A word of explanation about the cooking. This is a two-day festival during which no shops are open. You basically have 'Christmas dinner' four times - two evening meals and two lunches. Family and friends gather. It's a big deal. I deliberately avoided the 'What's for dinner?' fb group as we are keeping it very simple this year.

This evening we are on our own (by choice - before anyone starts phoning). We will eat our apple dipped in honey for a sweet year. We'll break our challah and eat it with egg salad, tomatoes and pickled cucumbers. DD will have ice-cream for dessert and I will have coffee. Perfect. Tomorrow two friends are coming for lunch - one my age, one DD's age. Tomorrow night will be simple again and we are going to friends for lunch on Tuesday. By Tueday night we're back to beans on toast.

So, back to the supermarket. We went round the produce section and carefully selected our bananas and grapes. I grabbed 3litres of fresh OJ from the fridge. A quick pop over the main isle to choose DD's sweets and chocolate. Back to the produce/crisps isle. I threw in a bag of popcorn. DD chose her favourite crisps while I decided not to buy a cabbage. I chose my favourite crisps. Picked up a bag of lettuce. And on to the the bakery, dairy, non-perishables, etc...

Fast forward to the checkout where we had been waiting patiently for about twenty  minutes for our turn. DD started helping me to unload the trolley onto the conveyor belt. Suddenly she exclaimed: "Hey! These aren't the crisps I chose!"

Somewhere along the line we had switched trolleys with someone else by accident. I don't know if we took theirs or they took ours. I hope they noticed that they were missing their carefully chosen tomatoes, lemons, and pomegranates before they reached the checkout.

I can tell you exactly when it happened by what was missing from our trolley. It was while I was deciding not to buy a cabbage but after DD had chosen her crisps. We were missing our OJ and bananas as well. I sent DD off to get her replacement crisps. I apologised to the cashier and ran off to choose more bananas and grab another OJ. Luckily the original trolley owner had chosen grapes as carefully as I had. On the way I dumped the poms, the toms, and the lemons.

As we finally left the shop with a full shopping bag on wheels I had a niggling feeling that we'd forgotten something. Half way up the hill I remembered the chocolate and the sweets. DD was distraught. I promised her that as soon as we had put this shopping away we would go round the corner to the smaller market for sweets. I think I may have promised her an ice-lolly as well.

In the end my daughter is as pragmatic as I am and she decided it wasn't worth going out in the heat again for chocolate. She'll wait till next Shabbat. A win of sorts after the all the hassle and upset.

I'm still hoping for a Shana Tova, a new beginning, a fresh new start, and to become the sort of person who doesn't leave everything till the last minute. Shana Tova again, I still have four hours to go into the holiday calmly. Breathing deeply... and relax.


  1. A definite shopping nightmare.....but what a grown up attitude from your little one.
    And I'm impressed by the no sweets/chocolate rule. I'm trying to install it here, we've gotten into such a bad habit so it's very hard! xx

    1. We haven't always been so strict about it and recently discovered that she needed two fillings. That's why we're so strict about it now. And it's good for me too not to have that stuff in the house all week.

  2. From Margie in Toronto - You have certainly had an aggravating week with the terrible sandstorm and the heat and now this mishap - you seem to have handled it all philosophically so I hope that Rosh Hashana goes well for you and your daughter and your family and friends.

    Toronto has a large Jewish population so many people will be away from work and school over the next couple of days (when I worked at York University we did not hold classes on either Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur because so many professors & students were Jewish). I hope the weather continues to improve and that you are able to relax a bit and enjoy the meals with family and friends.

    1. Thanks Margie. Everything is calm now. Food's in the kitchen, cooking is done, the sky is blue... I just have to tidy up and wipe the layer of sand from every surface in my house....

  3. Oh what a nightmare! I grabbed someone else's trolley one time, but realised after a couple of aisles and was able to find mine again. My heart was in my mouth reading this as I thought you were going to say that the shelves were empty of everything you needed when you tried to do the shop again, hope the Festival goes well x

    1. As I wrote this piece I wasthinking that actually it wasn't THE worst thing that could happen. No one was hurt, we all got out food if after a little inconvenience..... I admit I sensationalised the beginning a bit. :)