Grocery Shopping Day today.
It rains or sleets or snows every single time I go shopping. Every single time. The only exception to the rule is during heat waves when it is 280 degrees and the ice cream melts.
I long for the day when my sons are strong enough to help me carry the groceries into the house. They’re getting close. This year they’re finally tall enough to carry the lighter bags without dragging them on the ground.
I once played a question game that asked, “If you could invent something, what would it be?” My invention would be a robot or conveyor belt or transporter device that would take the groceries from the car into the house.
It’s not the endless trips back and forth from car to house (even though it means that there’ll be mud on the carpet from the rain, sleet, or snow.) It’s the weight. The bags are too heavy for my scrawny arms. I walk on the treadmill, I don’t lift weights. I have puny, toothpick arms.
Some bags are worse than others. Right now, as I type this, I have a minor crick in my back because Janet bagged my bags too heavy. She even said, “This one’ll be heavy,” about three different bags as I was hauling them up and over into the cart, feeling my muscle fibers pull apart like a cotton ball.
Why does Janet have to do that? This is the second time I’ve been in her line and she’s overstuffed my bags.
See, I bring my own cloth bags with me. I don’t do that because I’m particularly green. I do that because the handles on the bags don’t dig into my hands like on those horrible little plastic bags. And the cloth bags are quieter than the plastic bags. I don’t like noise.
In fact, I don’t like noise so much that when I was a teenager I used to go to the Magazine section of the Catonsville library just for the silence.
(Wow, it’s all coming out: Hanging out in the library. Thick glasses. Bad haircuts. When I tell people I was a nerd, I mean it. I wasn’t a cool person pretending I was a nerd. I really was a nerd.)
The magazine section was in its own room in the basement of the library and it was so silent you could hear your ears ringing. You’d have to turn the pages of the magazines reeeeal slowly so that they wouldn’t crackle, or you’d get dirty looks from the other people reading their magazines.
And heaven forbid you wanted one of the magazines deeper in the racks. The magazines were on a special rack. The racks display the face of each current magazine, and each shelf can flip up, like a breadbox, to show the older editions inside.
You’d better hope that your shelf wouldn’t squeak when it flipped. If it did, you had a decision: open it slowly, letting the squeak be slow and gentle and maybe no one would notice, or get it over with in a single banshee-shriek squeak. Sort of like opening a candy wrapper in church. I’m on the side of ripping open the candy as fast as you can, so the noise is over and done with. But I’ve sat by women (it’s always women, isn’t it?) who will fumble with that candy wrapper for 10 minutes. And never even share.
What were we talking about?
Oh yeah, bagging.
So, I bring the cloth bags and they’re roomier and sturdier than the plastic bags. And Janet asks, “Do you want your milk in a bag?” and I say, “Yes, two in a bag, please.” And Janet does that, but she also adds the pound of butter and the big yogurt container and the hotdogs and then gives me her surgeon general warning about the weight. Today, she not only overstuffed the milk bag, but she put all of the canned goods in one bag and she put the 5 pound bag of flour, big size Bisquick, two boxes of cake mix, two bottles of spaghetti sauce, and both V8 bottles in a single bag.
I’m never going to Janet’s line again.
Like I don’t go to Nancy’s line anymore.
When I put my items on the conveyor belt, I sort them how I want them bagged. I’m not OCD about it, but I generally want all the cold stuff together and the fruit together and the eggs and bread at the end.
But Nancy wouldn’t put stuff into the bags as it came through. No, she would hold back the cans until the tomatoes were rung up, and then put the cans with the tomatoes and the bread. Squished tomatoes and flat bread! Or the milk with the roasted chicken. Cold chicken! Curdled milk!
No more going to Nancy’s line.
One benefit to shopping alone at night in the rain: treats. I accidentally walked down the Valentine’s Day Candy aisle and I got myself a little $1 box of chocolates. I ate them all in the car on the way home and didn’t even have to share.
(Is that rain next to the box of chocolates? Or drool?)
Star Trek Episode of the day: The Trouble with Tribbles.
Watched on tv while cooking/cleaning the kitchen: episodes of Jericho