Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Early morning grocery musings

22 Comments

imported-photos-00000When you use the last bit of milk on your cereal as your spouse is still asleep you realize you’ve put off grocery shopping one day too long. Glancing around the kitchen you recognize you’re out of a lot of staples. Plus you have no idea what you’re going to make for dinner. Though if you got really creative you could probably put together a meal out of whatever is left in the back of the pantry.

Maybe best not to go there.

So you gather your gloves and dog hair encrusted coat, shove your bare feet into worn running shoes and head out over icy rutted dirt roads in search of food and inspiration. You haven’t showered and you’re still wearing the shirt you slept in. But you figure you won’t see anyone you know and even if you did what does it matter really?

At the store you peruse the produce and note that wherever you move there is a woman choosing much the same stuff. Checking out the bananas, picking the perfect tomato. Potatoes. You wait patiently, pretending to inspect the pears while she checks out all the bags of potatoes. It’s a potato. Choose one. But she lingers over her decision.

Though you might have the same eating habits, she and you are nothing alike.

Her hair is clean and bouncy and shiny, cut in a perfect bob. You haven’t looked at yours yet this morning but it definitely isn’t clean. She has managed to wriggle her tiny little behind into her skinny jeans. You’re wearing the same sweats you slept in. She’s pushing a huge designer bag in the front seat of her cart. You aren’t.

She’s perky. You appear to have left your perk at home. Under a pile of laundry in the deep reaches of an overwhelmed laundry room.

You begin to feel bad about yourself only when you realize a purple doggie poop bag (thankfully empty) is trailing out of your right pocket. You check your left pocket and are relieved to find that the cough drops are safely pushed down to the bottom, unlikely to make an appearance unless you pull your keys out from among the used tissues.

You and she move to the dried bean aisle. She makes several selections. You head in the other direction and skip an aisle just to avoid her. As you gather the rest of your necessities you only run into her on occasion, she smiling cheerily, sipping her designer coffee, you mumbling under your breath like the bag lady you obviously are.

As you approach the lone open register, grateful to have this task finished, not even looking at your list because you don’t want to know what you forgot in your rush to get out of the store, you almost crash into another frazzled middle-aged shopper with one of those small carts carrying only a few items.

You take a moment and breath, then smile and nod at her to go ahead. She smiles back and life shifts to normal. So we’re not perky and put together. So what. Everybody got their shopping out of the way before most of the world was awake.

And that makes us all winners.

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

22 thoughts on “Early morning grocery musings

  1. Perky and put together is so overrated. The older I get, the more I appreciate that fact. I enjoyed your post. You made me chuckle (because it sounds so much like me! lol!).

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  2. Because for me going to get groceries feels like an expedition – a quick trip will take at least 3 hours end to end it seems – I am usually as put together as I get, although I wouldn’t call myself perky. At home, that’s a different story. Sweat pants, sweatshirt, socks, slippers. No makeup, headband trying to hold down what hair I have that has decided it needs to stand straight up, thank you. I am a vision. We won’t discuss what kind.

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  3. Can’t tell you how much I LOVED this! You described ME to a “T”, at ANY time of day….not just early in the day and I don’t mean the “perky lady with the bob and the designer purse” but I am sure you already knew that!

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  4. Well said, Dawn! There’s such an obvious divide between the perennially perky and those not-so. Thank goodness the produce and canned goods aren’t as judgmental of us as we tend to be toward ourselves!

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  5. There is a great deal to be said for living Up North, and you’ve said a lot of it here – saving me the trouble of justifying my bad self.

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  6. “You appear to have left your perk at home.”Awesome line. I think that describes me at work. *sigh*. And I go to work with all the appearance of perky but lemme tell you, its an act, fueled by made-at-home coffee and revved up again at the office coffee machine. Maybe hers was an act too? Anyway, glad you found a fellow relaxed shopper to conclude your expedition on a positive note.

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  7. I am almost never put together when I go to the grocery store. I figure that’s what hats and coats are for! But seriously: I’m out of milk. Did you pick some up for me?

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  8. As Sting sings: Be yourself, no matter what they say. In your case; don’t worry about others, you are doing just fine. 🙂 And you did get the groceries done before anyone else – and won in the end.

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  9. This is great, Dawn! Every time I ‘leave my perk at home’ darn if I don’t run into someone I know. And somehow I think if I don’t look them in the eye, they won’t notice no makeup-pajamas as clothes, etc. I pay way too much attention to my cats: if I can’t see you, you can’t see me. 🙂

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