Before the situation became dire or desperate, I decided to go down to the local King Soopers and get in line. They open these days at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. They were a 24-hour store and then went to being open from 5 a.m. to midnight but now, needing more time to stock the shelves and not having enough stock to sell anyway, they have shortened their hours of operation.
I expected to have to fight a mad rush at the opening of the store so I made sure I was there, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, at 6:30 a.m. There were quite a few cars in the parking lot already (I notice that some of my friends across the pond all call it “the car park” which I find funny. When I think of a park I think of slippery-slides and swings and monkey-bars, so I always picture the cars playing around while we’re in the store shopping.) so I decided to get out of the car and walk to the door. As we approached the store we were greeted by this sign:
Apparently, as of February 6th of this year, I am now part of an elite group. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the sixty-plus crowd gets first dibs on the shopping for the first hour. I don’t feel any different than I felt on February 5th but now I have joined an exclusive club. I just happen to belong to the “most vulnerable” portion of society.
My biggest vulnerability would have been if I returned home empty-handed. I wish now that I had taken a few more pictures because it wasn’t much improved. They were allowing one hundred people at a time. I went straight to the paper aisle. There on the shelves was one brand, one size of package, limit of one. It looked like maybe two cases worth. Definitely not over a hundred. Again, this was how I have had living in a Communist country described to me. I made my purchase and exited so one of the next hundred people could go in.
Just like when I turned 18 and had so many new doors, privileges, and opportunities open up for me, now I have hit another mystical milestone.