Yesterday, I was the person in the grocery store that you take one glance at, elbow your companion, and say, “Look at that nut.” Well, you would probably stare and not glance at me, because it would take more than a glance to figure out just what it is that I was doing. I’m not usually this person, but sometimes it just can’t be helped. Lately I’ve been too busy herding the whole family down the aisles, trying in vain to get through the store in less than an hour and a half while the toddler runs up and down giggling maniacally, dropping cans of beans and soup on his toes, and the husband stops at anything that looks even mildly appetizing because he didn’t eat enough before we left and now he’s hungry.
Last night, however, I decided that I really wanted to take an hour and go to the grocery store by myself. It helped my case a little that my son is snotting from his nose and I didn’t think it would be nice for other consumers to catch his cold simply because they were out of canned-squid-in-a-blanket at home and needed to go to the grocery store to buy a couple of cans. My husband graciously offered to stay at home with the children after I quickly nixed his proposal to go to the store for me with the standard, “It will be much faster if I go because I know where everything is and I know what we need. If you go I would have to make a detailed list. Thanks anyway.” (Always be sure to thank a helpful husband, because if you don’t he may not offer to be helpful anymore. Although, there are plenty of times where he doesn’t want to be helpful so much as he doesn’t want to be left home alone with sick kids.)
So off I went on my mission of mercy, bringing milk and chicken nuggets to a home and ailing toddler that had none. It was a chilly evening, and I drove along enjoying the feel of a warm and fuzzy hoodie on my skin, already excited for the fall even though there have only been a dozen or so hot days. I hoped that the baby hadn’t started crying for me yet, as she seemed a little leery on my leaving the house.
The first item that a shopper encounters at our favorite grocery store is nice, juicy (and seedless) watermelons. Now, I really have no idea where I picked up this habit, but I simply cannot buy a watermelon without first putting my ear up to it and giving it a good rap with my knuckles: if it sounds hollow that means it’s a good one. I swear I heard that somewhere. At any rate, if I tried to simply pluck a melon from the crate and plop it into my shopping cart I would probably have some sort of mental breakdown.
Somewhere along my journey I came to grips with the fact that I needed some sort of doughnut. I rarely buy junk at the store because I don’t want it in my pantry, taunting me until my eyes bug out at funny angles and I, in crazed desperation, rip open the package and devour its contents in one fell swoop. Okay, that’s a little extreme, but still. At any rate, there I was, methodically searching the bakery department wondering where they had moved the fresh doughnuts to. Since the dawn of time, the doughnuts have been in the same spot. I have ignored them time and time again, and now when I needed them they were not to be found. Ah, ha! Tucked away next to the fresh brownies and evil double-chocolate-chocolate cakes were a few large éclairs. “Well,” I thought, “that’ll do just fine!”
Obviously I couldn’t just pick the first one from the shelf and place it lovingly into the basket. No. I had to stand there and lift each plastic container from the shelf and look to see which was the largest and which had more chocolate on top. Yep. Don’t mind me. By the time I got home I really needed that extra creamy frosting. I stink at picking which line to stand in at the checkout. I’m happy to say that I didn’t ruin my batting average either. There were only three open lanes and I picked the slowest. Sigh. I even tried to be a little scientific. I not only considered the number of carts in each line and how full they each were, but I also made an attempt to judge which of the employees scanned and bagged the fastest. What? Forget that I was probably going home to a screaming infant, a boogery toddler, and a husband who would never let me leave the house childless again. I was in a bit of a hurry to get home and eat my éclair.
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