Step through those glass doors, and you can forget about sticking to your schedule.
women talking in grocery store
Step through those glass doors, and you can forget about sticking to your schedule.
| Credit: H. Armstrong Roberts/Getty Images

As every Southerner knows, there are some places we just can't go when we're pressed for time. A funeral, for example. Or the hair salon (which Mama calls the beauty shop). Never visit a preacher when you're in a hurry. They're talkers. But there's one spot we dodge above all others when our team's about to kick off, the drivers are about to start their engines, or Hallmark's launching a new romance: a Southern grocery store. Here are just a few of the reasons why we can't grocery shop in a hurry:

1. The grocery store is like an extension of the church steps. We can't set foot there without a chorus of, "How's your Mama'n'em?"

2. Everybody we know is there. (See #1.)

3. Our favorite cashier has been out for maternity leave, and now that she's back, we have to ask her to show us the baby pictures. It would be rude not to. And she's got shots from the shower and the baby dedication, too, bless her sweet heart.

4. Is that a Girl Scout cookie sale we just spotted in the parking lot at The Pig?

5. The town Coupon Queen always manages to get ahead of us in line. She'll insist on telling us (a) how much she saved on each item and (b) which of her Memaw's recipes she'll make with every single one. Every. Single. One.

6. We can't figure out whether Winn Dixie's BOGO on Duke's mayo at $4.89 is a better deal than the doorbuster on Duke's at Publix, which has it for $2.89 . . . or did that require a coupon . . . then again, maybe that was in last week's sale paper . . . We'll have to get on the iPhone and research it before we can leave the condiment aisle.

7. The free sample at the tasting table is Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. We will be there for a while.

8. That sweet little thing who just joined the deli staff doesn't know Swiss from Velveeta, bless her heart. We could raise a cow and make cheese faster than she can slice it.

9. We can't decide which "homemade" dessert will make it easier for us to fake out our girlfriends—Key lime pie or lemon pound cake. Key lime is more impressive, but we'll need to remove it from that foil pie plate somehow and get it onto some "Joanna ware" from Target . . .

10. When did they start having wine tastings here?

WATCH: The South's Best Grocery Stores

Are you loyal to Publix? Or maybe you can't live without The Pig, H.E.B., or Harris Teeter? Here are the South's favorites, according to Southern Living readers.