Window Shopping for Ice Cream
All I wanted to do was buy a pint of ice cream, but nothing’s ever as easy as it should be, is it?
In the grocery store, I turned the corner of an aisle to where the ice cream was. There was already a woman planted squarely in front of the freezer case I wanted.
“Fine,” I thought. “Let me see what else is on sale.”
My local grocery store isn’t exactly light on ice cream selections, so I glanced over 3 or 4 brands spread over 6 or 7 cooler doors. There wasn’t a sale appealing enough to deter me from my initial goal, so I turned out around.
Son of a gun, if it wasn’t the same woman, still planted six inches from the glass of the middle cooler door on that end cap and staring at the ice cream like it was in a gallery at the Louvre. I looked through the cooler door to her right. I looked over the cooler door to her left.
She still hadn’t moved, so I then looked over her shoulder. She didn’t notice.
Naturally, the two ice cream options I was looking for were behind that middle cooler door, but she was so close up, I couldn’t even get at the handle. So I waited.
A minute passed.
A Ludacris song passed through my mind as I waited for her to “get out the way.” She didn’t.
Another minute passed. At this point, she’d been staring the ice cream for 3 minutes without moving. And that’s just while I was there. She could have been staring for 10 before I got there. It was something you’d more expect to see outside the window of Jimmy Choo’s.
And then an amazing thing happened. She moved. She grabbed the handle, opened the door and grabbed a carton of ice cream. Of course she didn’t take it off the shelf. No, that would be entirely too normal. Instead, she rotated it in her hand and stared intently. Then she put it down, grabbed another carton and repeated the process. After setting the second carton back down, with the cooler door still open, she stopped and stared again.
Buying ice cream, of course, is a very complicated process that involves careful deliberation.
Eventually, she closed the cooler door, but still she didn’t move away. For another 30 seconds she just stared straight ahead, lost in some visually-cued confectionary nirvana, but after those 30 seconds, she finally left the end cap.
Overjoyed, I popped open the door, dropped my carton of choice in my basket and moved on. Two steps later I glanced over my shoulder and there she was around the corner: staring with great intensity at the ice cream bars. And then it finally dawned on me. She had neither grocery cart, nor basket. This woman was window shopping for ice cream.
Since I didn’t see her pass by while I was checking out, she might still be there. She may have even swooned over a Moon Pie.