Grocery Gabber

I walked into my apartment after another full week of work only to look in my refrigerator and realize I was lacking in everything that I needed to make a sufficient meal that an adult human being would make for herself.  I had some food from Omaha Steaks in my freezer.  But I didn’t possess the foresight to thaw anything out in advanced or the patience to preheat my oven and wait an hour for something to cook.

I’ve spent this past week recovering from my prior weeks of nonstop busyness.  I’m definitely not complaining about the fun, but it has drained me, and I’ve enjoyed some much needed solo time catching up on the loose ends of my life.  And by catching up on the loose ends, I mean that I have been binge watching Sons of Anarchy and pushing off any sort of errand that I have had the intention of doing for the past two weeks.

I stared into my empty refrigerator, stomach rumbling, waiting as if something would magically appear in front of me so I could postpone a grocery store run another day.  I sighed, and knew I would have to cave in and actually venture to the store to restock my shelves.

I wandered through the aisles of the store, my stomach urging me to buy more than I actually needed.  There was a sale on cheese, and it’s no secret that I have no shame in stocking a full cheese drawer, so I threw some bags into my cart and continued my way through checkout.

I always use the self-check.  If I can eliminate the human interaction of a shopping trip, I’m all about it.  I bought so many vegetables and things that had to be manually punched in this time around that I surrendered and opted for a person other than myself to get me through this.  I was tired and just wanted to get home, so I could eat.

The cashier smiled at me, and I looked down at his fingerless gloves, wondering if he felt like that helped him more speedily scan people’s purchases.  I didn’t ask, because I wasn’t feeling that conversation.  I figured a few minutes of silence and I’d be out the door.

“Someone sure does like cheese,” he smiled as he threw a package across the scanner.

I didn’t feel like I should have to defend myself and my cheddar purchases, but apparently this guy was going there.  I thought it was pretty bold of him to comment on what I had bought.  What if it had been tampons?  What would he have said then?  “It must be someone’s time of the month?”

If I’m being completely honest, it was probably more cheese than I should be buying for my household of one.  But I already realize that, and as any true addict understands, I didn’t need him needling me about my problem and bringing it into the light of day.

I shrugged and causally told him it was on sale, shielding my shameful love of cheese under an apathetic guise.  I was not getting involved in a conversation.  He didn’t know me, and my cheese addiction was none of his business.  Didn’t he realize that?

No.  He didn’t.  In fact, he kept up the conversation on his own, talking about cheeses I should buy, and how to make the best grilled cheese sandwich.  I didn’t tell him I guarantee that I make a better grilled cheese than him because I follow Jamie Oliver on Instagram and learned a thing or two about making a killer sandwich.

Then he started in with more stories:  “The best purchase I’ve ever seen in my life wasn’t a guy buying hot dogs and condoms, it was a tiny girl with a ton of yogurt and cheese and then a bottle of Laxative.  It was like she was lactose intolerant, but was like, ‘Fuck it.  I’m gonna do this.'”

I didn’t even know how to respond to this, so I laughed politely and I looked to the bag boy for a reaction, who looked back at me with a stone cold serious face as if to say, “I put up with this all day…you only have to deal with it for five minutes.  Don’t encourage him.”

I felt for him, and wondered if I’d  ever be able to get back to my futon and continue watching Sons of Anarchy.  I couldn’t be bothered with this guy’s food judgement while Jax and the boys were debating whether or not they were going to start muling cocaine to make some extra cash.

I grabbed my bags from the check out boy, and nodded at him, as if wishing him good luck with putting up with this guy for the rest of the day as I headed home to binge on cheese and television.

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