25 January 2012

The Most Mundane of Places

This is my gorgeous life:
As Ryan puts it, he makes all the money, and I get to spend all the money. I'm pretty sure that every husband to a stay-at-home wife in the known universe has said that phrase, so no points for creativity, dear. However, it is true that I spend a ridiculous amount of money on groceries, so I will throw Ryan a bone (that I bought! at the grocery store!) and give him credit for taking my purchases in stride.
Ryan does have a full-time career now, thankfully, but for the first three years of our marriage we really didn't have any extra money. We've always had enough for our needs, but we tried really hard not to spend money on things that weren't necessities. Food, however, is an area that I have a really hard time limiting myself in. There is something about a full pantry and refrigerator that speaks comfort and security to me. As the cart got heavier and heavier this morning at Smith's, I felt happier and happier, even though pushing the thing was starting to strain my weak pregnant muscles (to say nothing of the difficulty of navigating the accursed "car cart" through the store). As the cute old man bagger (my favorite- I aways get in his line) packed up my groceries, we were both astonished that I went through all my reusable bags and had to use 2 plastic bags as well! I can practically hear Ryan grinding his teeth as I write this.
The other wonderful part about grocery shopping is taking my son along for the ride. As soon as we pull into the parking lot, Sam starts chanting "Car cart! Car cart!" and looking out the window for the blue one. Which is never there. We always use the green one, which he happily accepts, but if the BLUE ONE was ever available, he would probably have a cataplectic episode. First stop is produce, where Sam points out apples and bananas. Next, we pass the bakery on our way to the dry goods. I like to cruise slowly by the bakery in search of potential Cake Wrecks, but Sam genuinely loves the garish colors of frosting and plastic jetsam that adorn the cakes. He scrambles out of the car cart and insists that I hold him up to look at the birthday cakes. Seriously, that's the best part of my whole day. The grocery store by our old apartment used to give out cookies to the little kids that looked at the birthday cakes, but so far no dice at this store. Luckily, I'm the only one that remembers the free cookies of yesteryear (okay, last year).
I used to write my grocery list on a piece of paper and cross each item off with a pen, but that led to fights between me and Sam's grubby little fists. Tired of having him rip my list week after week, I finally got an app for my iPod that allows me to manage my list electronically, and subtly, as Sam doesn't seem to notice me using it. Today I saw a guy cruising the aisles, staring at his iPod, while shopping. We gave each other the "what's up" nod, because we knew we had passed another tech-savvy shopper. Oh, yeah. Sam got a stern talking-to for grabbing two boxes of Jello (which he somehow knew were strawberry-flavored) off the shelf while Mommy was examining Craisins. Thankfully, he kept his thieving little hands to himself after that.
The people who work at this store are generally very friendly, and as Sam was in a good mood today, lots of people talked to him and told me how cute he is. You don't need to tell me, people. I know my kid is the most adorable thing on the planet. But I appreciate it all the same.
To sum up: Going to the grocery store is pretty much my favorite time of the week.


mary elizabeth said...

i really loved this post! i have to admit though that grocery shopping is not my favorite thing in the world... but maybe i'm just doing it wrong! :)

Andrew said...

Hmm, maybe you can do grocery shopping for us then. Glad to hear we're not the only ones struggling with meeting a grocery budget. I remember the free cookies when I was a kid!! What memories!