CJDaily's Blog

May 8, 2009

Shop-Rite, Shop-Wrong

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 1:30 am

Does anyone else remember when someone used to bag your groceries for you?  There was always someone standing at the end of the checkout line, happily slinging your groceries into plastic bags, unconcerned about the non-biodegradable plastic they were abusing, and always with a pleasant word for you?  If you do remember this, it was probably from a time when you were an innocent passerby and your mother was the one with the credit card.  (You were the one nagging her to buy Dunkaroos, and avidly wondering if that woman on the cover of the magazine really did give birth to a two-headed alien baby destined to be Pope.) 

Now buying groceries is not fun.  I mean, not only am I the one paying, which is a total buzzkill, but I have to get all my groceries into the bags at the end of the till.  There is that awful moment where I think, “Do I chose paper, and have everyone think I’m a thoughtful person concerned about the environment, or do I choose plastic and save myself the hassle of going to lift the bag and having the paper tear away in my hand because I’ve put too much in it?”  After seconds of agonized mental debate, I decide that I don’t care if the lady behind me thinks I’m a tree-killer, and grab the plastic bags.  Now I have to put everything in as quickly as possible, because the speed of the teenage kid swiping my stuff through the beepy-thing is not to be believed.  For every one thing I arrange in the bag, he has swiped three more items.  Soon it is just that awkward moment where I am loading bags as fast as I can, trying to conserve space but not make them too heavy, and hefting them into my cart while he and everyone waiting in line watches me dispassionately, obviously judging me by my groceries. 

I mean, I’ll come right out and say it:  I don’t cook.  I don’t know how, (my mother doesn’t know how, so she never taught me anything more complex than tunafish) and frankly I’m not embarassed enough about it to claim to want to learn.  No, I’ve never longed to make a gourmet meal for friends and family.  The most I aspire to is bringing the really tasty taco dip to a party.  Not the baked kind, just cold layers of stuff from cans, artfully arranged–I DO slice the scallions.  Give me credit for that, if you will.  So obviously, my grocery cart is not full of raw produce and chicken breasts.  Chicken breasts are gross.  They are slimy, blood streaked, and quite frankly I don’t want to cook someone’s boobs.  If you handed me a chicken breast, I wouldn’t know what to do with it.  (Plus I’ be super, SUPER freaked about the texture–I don’t do slime.)  So my shopping cart is full of things I can put in the microwave and eat less than ten minutes later.  My shopping cart screams, “straight out of college!” even though I graduated five years ago and have substituted sushi for ramen noodles.  Aside from the diapers and babyfood, my groceries look like they’re headed for some single girl’s too-small apartment pantry.

So now you’re asking yourself, “What, she doesn’t make her own babyfood?”  No, you dirty hippes, I don’t.  I buy disposable diapers that will take eons to biodegrage, I blatantly waste disposable wipes, (better a layer of them covering the poop in the diaper than the psychic anguish of getting poop on my hand), and I buy pre-made baby meals.  I’d like to take a moment to thank the good people of Gerber for making their prepared toddler cuisine.  There is a shiny place in heaven for you folks.  My daughter can’t get enough of your cheesy mac-n-chicken, with the additional compartment of peas, and I can’t get enough of 30-second meals.  They are like little Lean Cuisines for babies.  They also sell cups of assorted entrees, including raviolis that must have some sort of baby crack in them, as my kid thinks they’re better than a Happy Meal.  Not that she’s had a Happy Meal.  Ok, only the chicken nuggets.  Stop judging me.

But of course, I do make sure that Annabelle has more than just instant meals.  Hot dogs are key.  Today, she had a burrito.  Yesterday she polished all the meatloaf off my plate, and packed away her weight in mashed potatoes.  And just in case that sounds like a domestic home-cooked meal to you, it was my leftovers from eating out at Redstone the night before.  Delicious.  I am blessed to have a healthy eater, and I don’t just mean myself.  Belle will eat anything I put on her tray, and help herself to my food as well if it looks better than hers.  (Quite frankly, those Gerber meals often look nicer than whatever I’m having.)  She is especially a fiend for fruit, which I craved during my pregnancy, so I should have seen that coming, I suppose. 

So when I’m in the grocery store, rather than be ashamed of all the boxes with pictures of meals on them, I congratulate myself on how varied the food is.  Cause, quite frankly, you may be at home pureeing yams in your swanky little food processor, but my little tyke is chowing down on edamame like there’s no tomorrow.  Maybe I had to defrost it first, but that’s beside the point.  And if the snarky, yuppie lady behind me in line is looking witheringly at my pudding packs (those are for me, not the baby), I bet her kids never did what Belle did tonight, (and it was, I admit, my proudest “mom moment” yet).  She asked for MORE BROCCOLI.

I mean, obviously, I’m doing something right.

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