We often wander through life in a constant haze of indecisiveness fueled by “why did we do that horrible thing in the fifth grade” anxieties and internally humming any one of Kid Rock’s greatest hits. It puts us in a bona fide disadvantage to others, because most of the time we don’t know where the fuck we are. So we built a list to help out others like us. Maybe, just maybe, you’re in a grocery store. Read this to find out if you are.

Why the list-format articles have become so popular lately we may never know. We try to avoid them at all costs (read: we don’t avoid them at all, no one does), but there are some important ones we think everyone needs to heed for their own well being. One idea came to us the other night when we were standing still in a public forum and had no idea where the ever-loving Christ we actually were.

We spun around in disbelief; it was internal chaos. “Where the fuck …,” we queried aloud to bewildered strangers. No one budged. Hope was lost.

Turns out we were in the grocery store with one pant leg up and the other shredded to bits from dragging too low. We were a mess. The scenario would have been more psychologically comforting if we knew then where we were. It was at that moment we needed the following list.

First, let’s delineate the subtle nuances of what actually makes a grocery store a grocery store. Don’t be an idiot and get it confused with a supermarket like most people down south. What make the two fundamentally different from one another are the products that each of them carries. A grocery store (or tienda de comestibles in Spanish) is a brick and mortar building that deals primarily in food. That’s it.

A supermarket, however, is a building that hosts a bevy of goods including – but not limited to – food, household items, clothing, maybe electronics, various skin nourishing soaps, assortments of nails, limitless paper goods or even weather appropriate tires. There’s probably tons of garbage you could do without in a supermarket, whereas the grocery store, probably not.

Now that we have the difference between the two ever-locked into the Internet’s vast miscellany of infinite suck, let’s get on with our useful list to decide whether or not you’re actually, right now, standing inside of a grocery store.

1. Look around you, is there wet produce everywhere?

Holy shit, there’s fucking delicious looking produce every-fucking-where? Is it fresh and on rickety stands in an impressive manner? Hot damn. We’re on to something! Now look at the produce, is it wet? Grocery stores do that because the drops of heavenly dew upon peppers and lettuce alike gives off the impression the veggies are fresh.

Sometimes these crafty outlets even play soothing rain sounds before generous hoses sprinkle the commodities. They may look fresh when wet, but the water actually rots the veggies faster, ironically enough.

If this sounds like something you’re a part of right now, you may be in a grocery store.

2. How about the meat, does the meat look bloody?

We say look bloody because the red funk that gets sopped up in the tampon thingy at the bottom of the styrofoam container isn’t blood at all. It’s a mixture of water and a protein called myoglobin, which stores oxygen in muscle cells. The more myoglobin meat has, the redder it will be. Red meat, white meat? It just describes the levels of myoglobin found within a particular animal.

3. Look for the milk, is it hiding it’s creamy, delectable self in the back of the store away from all the other sundries?

We have it on good authority large chains often take common items families require, stock it in the back, and sell it at a loss so the unknowing participant of a marketing-mind-fuck walks through the entire store in hopes of grabbing a few impulsive articles. Milk is a common culprit and the action probably has a lot to do with the dairy subsidies the two political parties will never agree on.

4. It is so cold in there you’re trying to hibernate under the seasonal goods with only a Totino’s Party Pizza attached to your head as shelter?

Tons of blabbering moms often wonder aloud to online forums why their favorite stores are always so belovedly cold. For people like us, with little money for A/C, it’s a godsend. But for people like them, who have no real bearing of normalcy outside of properly privileged lives, it’s a nuisance.

Whatever the case may be, the reasoning behind the store’s frigidity is the sellers don’t want buyers to always look through glass when perusing the aisles. The barrier not only serves as a literal one, but also psychological, and people often buy more when the goods are there for the taking without the hassles of opening a hinged door.

5. Find the cereal aisle, are there a dozen ratty kids complaining that they want the sugary cereal instead of the healthy shit up top?

This one is pretty much a given. Businesses love exploiting children, and why not? If a company can somehow get a poorly behaved little shit to throw an outrageous tantrum that’s beyond all reason and comprehension then they’ve got the parents at every whim of purchase.

Alice Walton, a contributor to Forbes Magazine cites a new study, which “offers a clue as to why kids are so drawn to the famous cereal ‘spokes-characters’ like Cap’n Crunch and the Trix rabbit. They look down on kids, literally. The researchers measured the eye gazes of the popular characters on kids’ cereal boxes, and found that the characters are essentially making eye contact at the little passers-by, who are their prime marketing targets. And, of course, what we feel connected to – which happens when someone, even a cartoon character, makes eyes at us – we’re more likely to buy.”

So if there's a sheisty looking cereal gnome gazing at you from children’s eye level, or for us grown-ass adults, right in the junk, you’re probably in a grocery store.

6. Can you hear overhead music and is it inspiring you to seek refuge in a corner with sharp objects and weep into a bag of Doritos?

Because if it is, you’re playing into another trick that grocery stores often dick shoppers around with. Depressed people eat more, and studies abound have found that they shop more too. It’s two strikes against your “just one item” outing when meandering down the aisle means reliving repressed memories of being punched in the back of the head during recess or wondering where your ex’s private areas have been recently.

Uncontrollably sobbing to the likes of Phil Collins, Depeche Mode or any other ‘80s emotional travesties? You’re in a grocery store.

7. Can you find a candy aisle? Go there, and find something shiny.

Did you find the jellybeans, candy corn or other hard-coated candy and it’s glistening back at you with awe-inspiring wonder and amazement?

That’s actually not the deepest desires of the candy staring into your eyes, it’s an ingredient called shellac, and it’s a sticky substance taken from secretions of the female Kerria lacca, an insect that calls Thialand home. It’s what gives those teeth rotting jewels its luster and is sometimes referred to as a confectioner’s glaze.

8. You told your significant other or roommate you were going to pick up food items for dinner and possibly some snacks to sneak in to the movies later.

If all else fails then the best advice we can give anyone is go back to the beginning of your travels and retrace known steps to figure out where you’ve been and where you were headed. If you told a significant being in your life where you were going and you said the words “I’m going to the grocery store, I’ll be right back,” we’re absolutely guessing that you are, quite literally, standing inside of a grocery store right now.

We hope this helps…