I’m almost finished cleaning up the mess of my brain that’s been splattered around my kitchen after the almost 4 hour ordeal of getting a few groceries. Just let me freshen up a bit and I’ll meet you on the other side of the first photo to tell you the story.
You know what? I’ve lied. I’m not going to tell you my whole grocery getting story because I assume you have the exact same story. Maybe I’ll just hit you with the condensed version of what getting groceries is like at the moment and you can let me know if your experience has been the same.
I’ll just be cuddled up in the corner with my blood pressure monitor while you read on.
Some time in late March: Order groceries online to be picked up at grocery store. Click, click, click. Done. I love this.
Next day: Realize I hadn’t added my credit card to the grocery site so entire order has disappeared including my time slot for pickup. Re-choose a pickup date (soonest one is over 2 weeks away), add credit card, re-select groceries basing my choices on what I need immediately and what I suspect I’ll need in 2 weeks. Shocked to discover my grocery store doesn’t sell toilet paper, hugs or tranquilizer darts online.
2 week waiting period: Train my brain to accept carrot sticks and sliced apples with peanut butter as acceptable snack items. Which they are not.
Mid April: Grocery pickup day. Feeling like it’s the last day of school, the first day of school, Christmas morning, and the day I talked myself out of an illegal left turn ticket all in one. Put on jeans in anticipation of my big day out, go pee, notice the seams of my jeans are leaving 1/4″ deep indentations on my legs and change back into sweat pants.
Leave for 6 p.m. scheduled pickup at grocery: Gather all the normal gear I need to leave my house: car keys, bank card, latex gloves, face mask, coronahair hat, spray bottle of water with bleach, paper towels, mini hand sanitizer, and cough drops on account of my newfound greatest fear: coughing in public.
Arrive at grocery store parking lot and park in one of the spots allotted for those of us smart enough to order our groceries in advance. Call the phone number to say I’d arrived and tell them which parking spot I’m in. Am given apologies that there will be a 15 minute wait.
No problem. I can go for a walk. No I can’t. I might miss them come round with my potato chips. I’ll just wait here for 15 minutes (4 times in a row).
7:00 p.m.: A cart of groceries finally arrive for me an hour after my scheduled time slot. I spent the time wisely, taking selfies that were all deemed too hideous to post anywhere, talked to my mother on the phone, texted friends and silently judged people I thought weren’t wearing their masks as directed by television heartthrob Dr. Anthony Fauci.
7:03 p.m.: Groceries finally arrive with a 6 foot apart apology that they didn’t have everything I needed in stock. I figured this might happen what with this being the Eastern Bloc in 1982. But CHIPS? The entire store had no chips?? Or cat food???
7:05 p.m.: Decide I just don’t believe a store the size of Liechtenstein doesn’t have any Ruffles potato chips or cat food. Am forced to sacrifice a disposable N95 face mask to go into the store after spending 2 weeks avoiding the grocery store, the people in it and their bodily orifices that spew germs for what I’ve recently learned is an alarming distance.
7:06 p.m.: Find both potato chips and cat food. Take first breath while being in store and get lightheaded. In a good way. Pick up wine for Betty and a few other things while avoiding one particular man who finds his face mask restrictive and is therefore wearing it on the more comfortable spot of his chin. Head to the checkout line and stand respectfully on my designated piece of tape on the floor.
7:08 p.m.: Under his Eye.
7:15 – 8 p.m.: Drop off groceries I had picked up for relatives and neighbours then return home giddy to see if this trip would help me achieve an all time high score on my blood pressure monitor.
8:00 – 9 p.m.: Hand wash all of my groceries with a spray bottle of bleach and water while memorizing the periodic table, which I didn’t think I’d ever need to know, but didn’t think I’d ever need to know how far saliva will project vertically before dropping horizontally either.
9:01 p.m.: Decide the whole fiasco was pointless since I’ve decided I’m never going to eat again.
So. You? Same?
I have been able to find solace in rhubarb.
My yard has a little microclimate area where my rhubarb grows. Between the fence around my yard, the heat from the brick wall of my house, the raised bed and the south facing location, my rhubarb patch is always a month ahead of anyone else’s in this area.
This means by the time most people are just starting to get a harvest I’m already oozing rhubarb out of my pores. I stop eating rhubarb when looking at it triggers my gag reflex. But until then? I’m rhubarb crisping.
Unfortunately, due to the current condition of my brain, I burned my first batch this year which sent me into a deep depression because of the fact that THIS is no time to be ruining snacks. (see former story about how getting groceries nowadays sounds like a crossover episode of Game of Thrones and The Handmaid’s Tale.)
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