I had to stop by Fleet Farm the other day to pick up some high temp spray paint to use on a metal fire pit I acquired for the patio. I have a longing for a small warm fire and some hot dogs and s’mores to roast now that Fall is coming. So I drove the half hour to Fleet Farm and parked by the cart corral, grabbed a cart and headed in. As I was entering the store another lady with a kid in her cart got to the door at the same time. We both froze waiting for the other one to go inside. Figuring she was there first by a few seconds, she had the right of way.
I said, “Ope, sorry” and stood there giving her space to enter.
She said, “Ope, sorry. No you go ahead”
I said, “Are you sure now?”.
She said, “ Yeah, no go on.”
I stood there a second or two trying to process the “yeah, no” response.
I must have waited a second too long as she looked confused at me and started,not too confidently, move to the door just as I started moving to the door. Once again we both froze, almost jack-knifing our carts. And again the entering process started all over again. We finally both got inside and parted ways, me for the paint department and her to the other side of the store.
When I got to the paint aisle, there were 2 people with carts looking at paint. They were both pretty much in the middle of the aisle halfway down. They both saw me enter the aisle and all 3 of us at once said “Ope sorry”. Them for blocking where I was going and me because they’d have to move if I got in the aisle with them and their carts. I quickly backed my cart out of the aisle and went into the next aisle and came around on the other end of the aisle I needed to be in. I really needed to be right where the lady had her cart parked.
I walked up to her and her cart and said, “Ope, sorry, can I just squeeze past you there?”
She started saying, “Ope sorry, I’m in your way.”
I said, “Yeah, no, I can squeeze past you there.”
She moved her cart as I was “squeezing past” and said “Geez they sure don’t make these aisles big enough, do they.”
I got my paint and by this time my cart was blocking the man and his cart in the aisle. He was ready to leave. I hurried back to my cart and offered the official “Ope, sorry, I’m in your way.”. He assured me that “Yeah, no I can wait. Did you get what you need?”. I showed him my can of spray paint and dropped it in my cart and went on to the outdoor department.
I was looking for something for the patio to go with the fire pit, but couldn’t find it. I found an employee stocking a shelf and apologized for interrupting her I asked if she knew where I could find what I needed. She said, “Ope sorry, we moved all that stuff to a different area. She showed me where to find it and I was finally on my way to check-out and could get home.
As I was approaching the check out lane, I saw the lady that I had met at the entrance coming into Fleet Farm earlier. She was heading for the same checkout as I was. Our eyes met and then looked at the checkout lane. We both started to slow down to almost a complete stop. Please God let’s not do this again.
I pretended to act like I had just remembered something I forgot and mumbled to myself, but loud enough
for her to hear, “Ope, I forgot the chocolate covered peanuts”. She looked as relieved as I felt. I walked past her and stood by the chocolate covered peanuts until she was through the checkout and at the door exiting.
All went well until I got out to the Jeep and started to back out of my parking place and I saw the car next to me doing the same thing. We both slammed on our brakes and looked at one another. He gestured “Ope sorry” and put on his brakes. I decided, at this point, it was best I just pull forward, put my car in Park and turn off the engine. And that is just what I did. Another long Minnesota “Ope sorry” avoided.