Thanksgiving Grocery Store Wars
For those of you who have stumbled upon this blog entry thinking it’s going to tell you about sales, coupons and other really useful information about shopping for your Thanksgiving dinner just click away from this page now, nothing for you to see here, move along. Though I know many of you won’t believe it there are gays like me who do exist. I don’t know anything about cooking, don’t want to know anything about cooking and letting me loose in a grocery store at any time of day or night much less close to a holiday is not something that should be allowed. Frankly, there should be a law about me even entering a grocery store. Thanksgiving Grocery Store Wars – Don’t Get Me Started!
I have been granted many talents in this life and cooking isn’t one of them. That’s why the good Lord gave me a spouse who is an amazing cook and makes me dinner every night. (Yes, I clean all the dishes) I do like to watch those competition/reality cooking shows (to which my spouse constantly says to me, “Doesn’t watching these shows give you some inspiration to possibly, actually make something?” To which I always reply, “Nope. What’s for dinner?”). I figure we can’t all be good at everything and my mother’s sage advice from the time I was a youngster goes through my head, “Do what you know.” Well, I “know” how to eat and critique. That’s what I know and that’s what I do!
My spouse cringes every time I come home from the grocery store. In fact, he’s begged me not to go at all. As I wander up and down the aisles I have no idea what I’m looking at or for but I want it all. For awhile I was only going to like Trader Joe’s where I came home with bags and bags filled with snacky gourmet type food (while my guy rolled his eyes) but every once in awhile I find myself in a real deal grocery store and then look out. See, I don’t understand the pre-planning you’re supposed to do with the coupons or actually looking to see what we have and we don’t have in our home. I am the master at duplicates and triplicates. I can’t tell you how many bags of pre-washed baby spinach come into our home (many leaving through the garbage can I’m ashamed to say because it’s gone bad before we can actually eat that much spinach). And if there’s a sale on something no matter whether it’s a good price or not (after all, how would I know what a good price is on butter?) then I’m buying enough to stock up the bomb shelter for the nuclear holocaust! The thing is that I’m always amazed at how much I end up spending. (Yes, I know you’re not surprised). Never mind that I’ve just bought ten packages of butter because it seemed like a good deal (and that we all ready have seven at home from my last overbuy).
So while I’ll admit I should stay out of grocery stores all the time it’s even worse when I find myself in one around the holidays. The week before Thanksgiving I found myself in such a place and as I wandered with the other hordes and from the looks of their grocery baskets, hoarders. I started looking around to see that people were all ready in desperation mode. There was the newlywed couple. The husband pushing a cart full of groceries while trying to text on his phone while his new bride stood in front of the cart like a mermaid masthead on a ship, looking to break through the crowds and I guess any icebergs. They were at the end of an aisle when I saw them. She looked completely undone holding a can of something in her hand. Suddenly I hear her shouting at an employee three aisles over. The tension in her neck made the words seems as though they were being sent out through a really tiny strainer. “This just says ‘pumpkin pie’ on the can. I need pumpkin pie filling. Is this what I use? Don’t you have anything that says, ‘pumpkin pie filling’ here?” The husband rolled his eyes as he had no doubt seen her on this edge before. Now even I know that there can’t be a whole pumpkin pie complete with crust in that can but I get it, she was a woman on the edge and had her husband really wanted to help her out he would have gotten her out of there right that minute. But instead she just continued walking and muttering to herself while referring to a list while her husband occasionally hit her in the back of the ankles because he was texting more than he was looking where he was pushing the cart.
There was the elderly woman who picked everything up as if it needed to be examined under some sort of magnifying glass like a work of art. Reading everything on the label and then gently placing the item in her cart never noticing the people reaching above, around and below her to get things off of the shelf because no one wanted to wait for her to make her selection and move on.
Then there was the professional. A homemaker the likes of Martha Stewart and Bree Van De Kamp combined. Whisking through the aisles with her alphabetized list and coupons like Mario Andretti drives a racecar weaving in and out of the less expert shoppers. She was amazing to watch and knew exactly where everything was and how to most efficiently get through this tangle of people. I even overheard her say to a woman while reaching for a can of something or other, “No dear, not that brand, you want what I have in my hand. It’s cheaper and the taste is so much better. You’re welcome” But she was gone before the woman even had a chance to thank her. She looked around, putting her can back and grabbing one like the grocery store fairy had taken, placing it in her cart and walking away just sort of shaking her head not knowing what had hit her.
There were some aisles I didn’t even try to get down. They were so crowded that they looked like some sort of battlefield with people grabbing at things on shelves, yelling at one another and completely filling the aisle with grocery carts, strollers and bad attitudes. The Thanksgiving grocery store wars had begun. I got the few items I needed and then made a silent vow to myself that I wouldn’t go near a grocery store until after Thanksgiving. As I came through my door at home, there he was, no time for me to try and hide the extra butter behind the other extra butter in the freezer before he could see it. There he was, staring at the bags in my hand with dismay, my spouse! That’s when the silent vow became an aloud vow as I promised him I would stay out of grocery stores until the end of the year. The thing is that I don’t know that I can stay away. So the promise to my spouse was what I call a “Mary Poppins” promise. In the movie she says, “That’s a pie crust promise, easily made, easily broken.” I’m with you Mary! But does it come in a can? Thanksgiving Grocery Store Wars – Don’t Get Me Started!
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