My husband and I do our grocery shopping at the commissary. We’re close enough to the post and we see a lot of benefits to shopping there, especially as newlyweds.
Now at the height of the holiday season, the commissary has been getting noticeably chaotic. With all the craziness, it’s easier for people to get short tempered and frustrated. But, let’s not forget what the holiday season means to us. It’s a time to be giving and kind.
As we shop in the commissary there are a handful of unwritten rules that keeps our shopping experience in line.
Instead of dismissing the shoppers that are committing commissary faux pas, refer to the spirit of the holidays and shop in harmony. There are ways to make sure your commissary experience doesn’t turn into a battle.
Faux Pas #1: Wearing Pajamas, Spandex. There is a dress code for shopping on base or post. My husband shared it with me early on when I suggested that we swing by the commissary right after a workout. It’s frowned upon to show up wearing work-out gear as well as pajamas or other risque clothing. Because there are rules, doesn’t mean everyone will abide by them. I always find someone wearing sweatpants or pajamas at the commissary. Well, I have no right to snicker at them or turn my nose. I have no idea how their day went. We’re all in the commissary on a mission. No need to get judgemental. We’ve all had rough days.
Faux Pas #2: Weaving Around the Aisle. When you decide to shop at the commissary, it’s a given that it will take time. My husband and I plan our trips, so we can make the best use of our time and I always walk in with a list. There is always somebody rushing back and forth between the aisles. As a result, that person is making it a bit harder for others to navigate. I practice the rule of the road and leave my cart and drive to the very right. If I need something to the left, I leave it there and just move myself to grab the item.
When we all stay right, it gives the speedracers some room and we all benefit.
Faux Pas #3: Hovering over the Ground Beef. Meat at the commissary is cheaper than other groceries stores and there is always a good amount of people in the meat section. After my father separated from the military, my parents would still make the trip to drive on-base to stock up on meat (weird, I know). The worst is when people would just stand at the same spot for what seems like forever. Instead of getting heated, take a deep breath and kindly ask to reach over or if they seem like they need help, open your mouth and see if there is anything you can do. A little goes a long way, so pay it forward.
Faux Pas #4: Ordering Countless Pounds of Deli Meat. There is always someone in line at the deli counter. My husband dreads going, but he loves his turkey and ham sandwiches for lunch. It’s really a struggle to get him to wait because he gets so impatient when there someone ordering 10 different kinds of deli product and having them slice pounds and pounds of it. Well, you gotta do what you gotta do. If he wants his sandwiches, he’ll have to wait. So, we tag team to make sure we get the most out of our visit. I continue checking off the items on our list, while he’s there. Also, our commissary pre-slices certain meats and cheeses for smaller families, so we’ll opt to do that sometimes.
Faux Pas #5: Shopping with Your Troupe of Kiddos. My husband and I don’t have children yet so, I can’t really relate with the moms and dads that have to bring their kids to the commissary. From my experience, I’ve had to dodge running toddlers and weary parents as they try to do their grocery shopping with kids. I take things with a grain of salt and understanding. I can’t imagine how difficult it may be to arrange childcare and then have to be responsible for groceries for your family. I’m sure the parents of the world get it and us disgruntled newlyweds have to exercise our patience.