Sunday, June 24, 2012

higher standards, lower prices, heavier carts, more of the elderly.

this has nothing to do with this post.

but when do my posts actually start out with what i'm going to blog about?

um. right.

so i saw the avengers for the fifth time today. THE FIFTH TIME. it is completely safe for you to start harshly judging me. i mean, i'm sure you do anyway since i blog about my life, and this post is definitely about to be judge worthy.

get ready to judge.

but it was really awesome seeing it with my brother and my parents. aaron knows everything about everything about theavengers from comic books.

and my mom now officially loves mark ruffalo. not as much as me. but she can definitely see why i'm attracted to him and how suddenly i want to watch ALL of his movies.

but anyway. this isn't about the avengers, again.

this is about grocery shopping.

i've definitely mentioned this in posts before, but i've never devoted an entire post to it. but can i call this an entire post with a completely useless avengers intro?

whatever. this is my blog. i do what i want. and i want to blog about grocery shopping with a pointless avengers intro to prove to you just how awkward i am.

so today my dad got me up at nine. why, i don't know, since sunday is my day off and i enjoy sleeping. i was under the impression that we were going to church.

this impression instantly vanished when my brother was still in the shower and church had started five minutes ago. i stripped out of my skirt and put on shorts and began to lounge around on tumblr.

because that's how my life goes. i lounge in my seventies armchair and get on tumblr. and of course, i was already thinking about what to blog about. nothing was coming to mind. because it was ten thirty in the morning, i was up and my hurrs wuz did, and i had absolutely nothing to do except just sit around on tumblr and look at pictures of mark ruffalo and see if anything happened in the braille tag. not much goes on in that tag.

so then my mom yells up the stairs something along the lines of "WHO WANTS TO GO GROCREY SHOPPING WITH MEEE"

and i'm like, yeah sure okay.

i don't normally go grocery shopping with my mom. there are a few circumstances in which i do.

1. i'm bored out of my fuggin' mind.
2. i haven't seen my mother in a while and i just want to talk to her.
3. i think i can persuade her to buy me something she never buys me.

like teddy grahams.

most of these things applied to me this morning. wasn't entirely sure about number three, but i was bored, and i hadn't seen my mom in a week.

so we get into her little stick shift (that my dad calls rojito. little red.) and we get on the highway to head to meijer because we're buying produce and meijer is obviously where you get the best produce at.

my parents fully embracing my vegetarianism changed our grocery bill. and our diet.

now. my mother has mastered the art of grocery shopping. if grocery shopping were a sport, she'd be an olympian. when i was a child (i probably still am.) my mother would sit at the kitchen table and cut out coupons.

she has some form of maroon coupon wallet. i associate it with the smell of grocery stores, the squeak of cart wheels, and bright fluorescent lights.

i think i just managed to make grocery shopping sound decently aesthetically pleasing.

but anyway, back in the nineties, my mom kept up with "grocery store wars". she ad matched like there was no tomorrow. if it wasn't on sale, she wouldn't get it. if she got something and it didn't register as being on sale, she'd talk to the clerk about it. she pays attention to the check out screen. if she was mistaken and the item really wasn't on sale, she'd put on her shopper face and say very clearly, "well if it's not sale i don't want it, please take it off my charge."

and just like that, a poor cup of yogurt would go back onto the shelf.

my mom doesn't mess around with grocery shopping.

my mother also can walk about a million miles an hour. she's also very small (five three) and can slide through small spaces. my senior year of high school, after a swim meet, my dad and my mother and i went grocery shopping. she left my dad in charge of the cart and then she was gone, zipping through meijer, sliding between people and generally defying the rules of physics.

my father and i coined the term "focusivity" that day.

focusivity: having an air of defined purpose that allows for no distractions, nonsense, and general physical rules set down by gravity and modern science.

when i grocery shop with my mother, i spend a lot of time holding coupons. stores don't ad match anymore, so she'll shop at several grocery stores sometimes to get the prices that she wants.

today, she had me push the cart.

why, i'm not sure. i'm clumsy with the cart.

1. i always manage to get one with a jank wheel.
2. pushing carts for too long hurts my back.
3. they make my calves seize up.
4. i can't corner worth a damn. (titanic reference!)
5. shopping carts, for some odd reason, make my heels hurt. as if they understand the heel breaking incident of 2008 and delight in reminding me of it.

so i wasn't that excited about pushing the cart. and while i parked by the produce and my mom started combing over some blueberries as if they were the most interesting things she had ever seen, i wondered about how she had gotten so good at grocery shopping.

how does one shop alone and not be awkward?

how does one walk with purpose and not seem angry and harried? i always seem that way.


basically, when would i be good at grocery shopping like my mother?!

probably never. life is sad like that sometimes.

while we're shopping, it's crowded with people just getting out of church. i'm trying to maneuver the cart, and my mother is streaking off between people, going down aisles i can't see, and i'm just trying to be polite with this big heavy cart loaded with fruit and vegetables. people are squeezing by me and i totally hit a traffic jam of children. there's room for one cart, and these four kids move right into the gap and just stand there and i'm leaning on this cart thinking, my mother is about to abandon me in the bread aisle. please move so i don't lose her forever.

my mother is short enough that i've lost her in department store racks. this has always been a concern for me.

the dad sees that his clueless kids are giving me adult separation anxiety. he makes them move. i find my mother perusing the cereal.

and then the unthinkable happens.

i got her to buy me golden grahams!

in exchange for cheerios. you win some, you lose some. but i never got golden grahams as a kid, ever. when they have them at school, i tweet about it. i get that excited.

i don't think there have been golden grahams at my house in a good ten years.

there are four more incidents in which i get stuck in impossible cart manuevering stunts and i have to wait on some elderly people. i see someone that i think i might've gone to high school with. my mother forges ahead, warrior shopper, ready to conquer the world of meijer. i run behind her, trying to turn the heavy cart, wondering if someday this will be me and my daughter.

no. my daughter will probaby be the one forging ahead and yelling, "KEEP UP, MOM, GOSH, YOU'RE SO BAD AT GROCERY SHOPPING."

when we get in line, my mother is piling stuff up onto the conveyor belt. the women has a system. a system of putting things on the belt. we find out that our can of lemon supreme frosting has a broken lid, and i'm sent away to replace it with a new one. my task: get this done before it's time for her to finish checking out.

i don't run. i walk with vigor. i'm good at walking with vigor. so i'm while i'm walking with vigor and dodging people and clutching this sad can of frosting, waiting to put it back for some unknown person who will be upset that it's jank, i pretend that i'm my mother.

i am on a mission. a mission to get a good can of frosting. and i will not be awkward doing it.

i trip into an old lady.

mission failed.

check out goes smoothly. my mother does not have to harrass the cashier about prices and coupons. we get about three hundred dollars worth of groceries for ninety-six dollars. we brought our own bags, and when those were filled, we use paper.

if my entire family would just become vegetarian like me, i swear we could save the planet.

but the best part of our shopping trip is when we're about to leave. the guy behind me that's piling his stuff on the conveyor belt is a sad, older looking gentleman. he reads the nametag of our cashier and as i'm pulling away this is what goes down.

old meijer shopper: hi caroline, how are you?
caroline: oh i'm just fine, how are you?
old meijer shopper: you know, tall, old, fat, the usual.

i feel like my life is going to come to this at one point.

i don't understand why i can't grocery shop well. when i go myself, i'm nervous. i feel judged. people stare at me, or at least that's how it seems. i can never find the food that i want to find in a timely manner, and i have to pluck up the courage to ask someone.

seriously. i'm incredibly extroverted. i walk up to strangers all the time and start talking about serial killers. but no, i can't ask someone where to find vitamin water without having a serious debate in spanglish in my head.

maybe my mother can give me classes on how to grocery shop.

if this is going to happen, it better happen soon. because i'm moving out in two years.

wow. that was melodramatic.

i'll just leave you with this.


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