Wednesday, April 16, 2008

All My Grocery Shopping

Part two of the story -- thanks for reading!

After I finished grading, I bought a bag of animal crackers for dinner and thought about my options. I needed to go to the store because even though I could do without food, I would need Coke to get through the inevitable next-morning hangover. That being the case, I decided to do all my grocery shopping, such as it is. I packed up my satchel and walked out to my car, noticing how the wind made everything dramatic and fraught with possibility, the way the first drink of the night makes life seem mystical, no matter how mundane it really is.

Pulling into the Kroger parking lot, a wave of exhaustion overcame me, and I wished that I didn't have to get out of the car, find a cart, go through the store, pay the bill, and unload everything when I got home. As I wrestled a cart away from the other carts, I wondered how many moments I spent dreading the next thing I had to do, and if that's what constituted life. I could see myself in twenty years, remembering this parking lot with happiness, the way the evening gave off an autumnal glow, imagining this as one of my better moments, young and free with my health intact.

A banner trumpeted "Halloween Savings." The prices weren't any lower. The old price tags had been replaced with slightly higher ones and then slashed to the same price as before, making you believe you were saving something valuable if you weren't paying attention. As I pushed my cart through the crowded aisles trying not to run anyone over, I saw women with their baskets full of milk and bread, women who picked out food instead of frozen dinners, and I imagined a life of abundance and grace. I couldn't help but pine for an existence in which I didn't spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about every morsel of food I put in my mouth and what it might do to increase my thighs.

I walked the aisles, not knowing exactly what I needed. Alone, I couldn't imagine what to do, so I got my Cokes, went to the frozen food section, threw a few Healthy Choices in the cart for later, and dragged everything to the U-Scan so I wouldn't have to deal with a real person, just the electronic scanner telling me what each item cost.

After unloading the sacks into my trunk, I thought about leaving the cart in the lot instead of dragging it all the way back to its designated place. Even giving it a shove and setting it free. Then I thought about the person who would have to retrieve all the carts, how I would be sinning against someone, a sad person who had to work late into the night because others couldn't do their part. So I didn't, even though I was tempted.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I loved being outside. We'd hold lightning bugs in our fingers and pretend they were diamond rings." Loretta Lynn (This one is for Charles and Lana because of their beautiful love affair and the great pictures that Lana takes of the gorgeous nature around the place they live.)

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: Okay, this is a hint to all menfolk, via my old buddy Hank: If you start to hear the Erykah Badu records come out on continous rotation, run. Your relationship is in dire trouble and the drinks and the girlfriend rant (customary sharing of all your faults (and I mean all of them with lots of embellishments) with their girlfriends are soon to follow). Beware!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!


Charles Gramlich said...

I've noticed myself that I spend an inordinate amount of time wishing my next "duty" was over. Sometimes I think I'm wishing my life away.

the walking man said...

For the tale...and?

For Charles and Lana, hear hear!

For the cocktail hour suggestion: ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha She's pure Italian first generation American and all of my faults have been enumerated many times over the past quarter century with every embellishment my old lady could come up with. These are the times you laugh about after they are but a memory and know that so far it's been a hell of a ride!



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jodi said...

Dear Michelle, I find that on most days when faced with tasks of drone, I reward my self to get through. Example: vacuum house=1hr. of reading, Krogering=2 hour nap....etc. The end of any day warrants a cocktail. Forget survival of the fittest, I go for survival of the mundane!

jodi said...

Dear Michelle, I find that on most days when faced with tasks of drone, I reward my self to get through. Example: vacuum house=1hr. of reading, Krogering=2 hour nap....etc. The end of any day warrants a cocktail. Forget survival of the fittest, I go for survival of the mundane!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for shopping at Krogers and returning the cart to its proper place.--Electronic scanner and Artie the bagger

Anonymous said...

Madonna wants to be with Eminem. Looks like the rumors of her breakup with her English dude are true. Will she drop her fake accent? Will she romp with Em on 8 Mile? Stay tuned.--Walter Winchell

Anonymous said...

Hey, those shoes look familiar!! And that coctail hour thing that you do. My, my, my. Whenever I see parentheses within parentheses I always check to see If maybe the left one or the right one got left out or if there's one too many. Same difference, I suppose, if you know what I mean. Anyway, have a good one!--George Costanza

Anonymous said...

To George: Parentheses within a parentheses. Are you always the teacher?


Anonymous said...

I can appreciate those feelings of not wanting to get out of the car and do what must be done. I used to feel that way about many things, and if I didn't accomplish my tasks I felt I was procrastinating. However, now I just choose not to do whatever it is I dont' want to do for the moment. There is always tomorrow. Nevertheless, I do detest grocery shopping, and avoid it as much as humanly possible!

Phoenix Rising

Lana Gramlich said...

Awwwwww, shucks. You're too sweet. *blush* As far as tasks go, I have a 2-fold approach;
1. If I'm feeling particularly lazy, I will rationalize not doing it with, "it'll be there later--it's not going anywhere."
2. I find that "Just do it" is a good motto sometimes. I just regret that it's Nike's.
My best motivator may just be the weekend. I like to get things out of the way so my weekend is free.
Great story, btw. Reminded me of how I used to (anonymously) buy the cart dudes at my local grocery store (in Canada,) a container of hot chocolate every Xmas. I certainly wouldn't want to be doing what they were & I hoped that hot chocolate would both express my appreciation & warm them up after being out in the freezing winds & snow.