I have completely boycotted the store near my parents' house, because it is entirely too close to where I grew up, and many, many familiar faces frequent that store. Too many.
It's not that I necessarily dislike these people, it's just that I rarely put on my presentable face when I go to the store. I live alone, so I buy things in very small quantities, basically just as I need them. Like I may just need one half-gallon of milk, or one box of mac and cheese, or one
case 6pack of beer. So in my head I'm like "no, I don't need to get dressed, I'm just going to run in for a second." And then its total awkwardface when I get flagged down by an acquaintance from years past, because not only do I look like a homeless person that may or may not be living in the shopping cart I'm pushing through the store, I never have anything useful to say to people in the grocery store. And it starts off as small talk, which is always awkward because normally if you see someone random, you comment on whatever circumstances led you both to that same place. Not really a viable topic at the grocery store.
One of the hardest encounters is with parents of people you went to school with and have completely lost touch with, but you must feign interest in their kid's life to make it seem like you
care are not a total heartless wench. And you can see in their eyes that the whole time they're looking at you they're totally sizing you up, gathering information to report back to their kid. They're just sitting there, judging, thinking wow, this girl is looking rough, I can't wait to go tell my daughter how terrible she looks. And you're standing there wishing maybe you had showered, or at least washed off last night's makeup before you left the house, and knowing they're totally justified in their judging of your appearance. I mean, if it was me, I'd totally size up their kid and report my findings to my friends. And you know you HAVE to ask how their kid is doing, because otherwise you're a total jackass, so you do, and then you kill yourself.
Of course, the worst thing is if you have this encounter when you are both entering the grocery store, and you're both there for a big shopping trip. Like one of those trips after you come home and open your fridge and realize the only stuff in there is old milk and a jar of pickles. Anyone? Just me? Well on those trips you have to go up and down *every*single*aisle* and it never fails that you and this person end up on the exact same rhythm, and then you pass each other 10 times before you're done, but you've already acknowledged each other, so you just start acting like you don't see each other when you walk by. And you both know that you do. You totally do.
Grocery stores....... be afraid.