Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Grocery Shuffle

I remembered the other thing I’m not good at: buying the right amount of groceries for the week.

I try to only go to the store once a week. We’re forced by a combination of poverty and low, low prices to buy the bulk of our groceries at Wal-Mart. I’m too poor to support a social/political objection to the soul-sucking megamart, but that certainly doesn’t mean I’m a fan of physically being there. In fact, Sarah and I make a habit of rewarding ourselves with a candy bar each time we manage to make it out of there alive.

Last week, I’ll admit I got a little ambitious with my grocery list. I planned six dinners, so of course we ended up not eating at home four nights that week. The third night out was when the panic started to set in. So much raw chicken in my fridge! If I don’t cook it we will surely die! (We did not die, because I’ve been blessed with a Hungry Hungry Husband who often cooks himself meals at random times of the day. “Hey honey, what’s that you’ve got there? An entire box of pizza rolls? It’s 3:30 in the afternoon...”)

On the other hand, there are those weeks when I try to anticipate the number of times we’ll be eating away from home. Say I plan four meals for the week and then patty-pat-pat myself on the back for being such a good little meal planner...I’ll be darned if all the tentative plans we’ve made to go out don’t fall through, meaning I have to go to the grocery store on a Thursday, which is just plain unacceptable. I can deal with Wal-Mart exactly one time per week, and there’s a reason that one time always falls on a Saturday or Sunday: because I do not enjoy working all day and then fighting my way through the monster truck rally that is the Wal-Mart parking lot only to have to wrestle some little old lady to the ground over who gets that last wilted bunch of asparagus. Of course I have to let her win, because I know as soon as the sparring’s over and people start looking, she’s gonna hunch herself back over the walker she was just beating me with and pull the sweet little old lady card, making me look like a disrespectful punk. Whatever, old lady, you win this round, but the joke's on you because there's about a 50/50 chance that asparagus is gonna make your pee smell terrible!

One of these days I’ll get it exactly right, and then I’ll probably die because my work here on earth will be done. So if we’re hanging out some day and I suddenly drop dead, check to see if it’s the end of the week and whether or not there are still uncooked groceries in my fridge. If it is and there are not, then you know why I’m dead. If, however, it’s a Tuesday and my fridge is full of food, feel free to suspect foul play and avenge my death as needed.

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