Today is pandemic grocery shopping day. And can I just say? I am so excited! And, yes, that is an exclamation mark you see.

I have had my outfit planned for about 11 days now: jeans, Adidas, and “Y’all can’t be doing that” Andy t-shirt. To offset the Hannibal Lecter look of my mask, I’m going to wear my dangly Andy portrait earrings. So everyone knows I’m fun and whimsical, and while slightly obsessed, not a serial killer.

I can’t believe how excited I am to go to the grocery store. I mean, to think that just two months ago I would bemoan the fact that I had to go again. I would say it exactly like that to William: “I can’t believe I have to go … again.” In addition to the pregnant pause, I would separate the “a” and “gain,” so it sounded super dramatic, like the hardship was so heavy that it forced the “gain” away from the “a.”

Speaking of which, remember in Sesame Street when the “j” was a train car chugging — “juh-juh-juh-juh — along the track and then it met another train car composed of the letters “oin?” And then they joined? That was nearly the best Sesame Street skit ever.

ANYway, two things:

  1. I’m old; and
  2. the pandemic has made me somewhat batty.

But today I’m getting a bit of sanity back. I may even get takeout Kroger sushi for lunch! In fact, I am going to do that.

Hey, remember the days when you were a snob about Kroger sushi? Me neither!

So, I have my list all written out and ready to go. Last time, I was a bit of a mess and had to crisscross the store all over the place because I kept forgetting things, so then I got panicky that I was going to get the virus by simply existing in Kroger so long.

This time, I wrote everything on my list according to department on a piece of stationery that, in the corner, has a drawing of a picnic basket filled with garden veggies and, for some reason, three baguettes. I feel super responsible (and old) for having done that and, yes, for owning that stationery.

Aside: did you know that it’s “stationery” for writing paper but “stationary” for standing still? I didn’t.

Hey, have you noticed when you grocery shop now how happy you get when you can find something that was out of stock the last time? Like, I drink Fairlife milk because I’m a little bit lactose intolerant (my husband would say a lot lactose intolerant) and a month ago, Kroger was out of it. But two weeks ago, they had two bottles left. I practically did a rah-rah-sis-boom-bah cheerleading routine right in the middle of dairy.

Because I’m a lady, I only took one of the bottles (and kept my high kicks in check), but as a result, I’ve been out of milk for a week. I’m hoping for some good Fairlife juju this go-around as well.

Last time, they were also out of the English muffins we like. We are a Bays family, not Thomases, and William especially likes them for breakfast with Vegemite. But the fridge shelf where they normally sit was just a yawning void last trip, which was an interesting experience because I secretly believed we were the only ones in town who ate Bays English muffins. Have you had that experience with anything? Where you’ve been forced to realize that Kroger doesn’t privately stock something just for you?

Or is that just me and my best friend Narcissus?

The low point of the shopping trip is always a walk down the baking aisle. Holy hat, that poor aisle looks like a warzone. First off, I don’t know if we’re ever getting yeast back (and that’s another thing: who knew so many people baked bread?). Secondly, King Arthur has been permanently ransacked. And third, I couldn’t even get cornstarch last trip. I mean, how many people are using cornstarch on the reg?

See what I did there? I used a hip phrase even though I’m not hip. You know who hates it when you do that? Teenagers. So if you’re in the mood to see one wince, whip that phrase out. Wait for them to roll their eyes and then say, “Oh, don’t be such a jerk in the box.”*

The best part of the grocery shopping trip, especially now, is of course the candy aisle. I have eaten exactly 648 Cadbury Fruit and Nut bars this pandemic because they are, a), the best chocolate bar in the world, and, b), they are on sale for two for $3 ON THE REG so how am I supposed to not buy two, OK six, every trip? I even have my mother-in-law hooked.

Two weeks ago, after I stuck a Fruit and Nut in her groceries, I received this text:

“I believe that candy bar is the best I’ve ever had.”

She is not the type of woman who is prone to exaggeration, so you can go ahead and believe me and her that you are missing out on life if you don’t buy some tout de suite.

Anyhoo, I’m about ready to head out. Got my list. Got my Andy tee. Got my mask. Got my hand sanitizer. Got my Lysol wipes. Got my credit card. Got my coupons. Got my anxiety. Happy shopping, everyone!

*a jerk in the box: an enhanced version of calling someone a jerk

 

 

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