Thursday, September 18, 2008

About the Whole Grocery Thing

Here's how it all goes down.
The white buns and nutella are gone. There's no frozen pizza or handy noodles'n'sauce packets in the cupboards. All that's left is this disgustingly nutritious stuff like meals, whole wheat and flax rivita crackers, cheese in an actual block, (as opposed to nifty strings in packaging that you can peel and twist into monsters and cool guys on skateboards), bread with seeds in it, cous cous and brown rice, and some forgotten mini wheats and shredded wheat at the rear of the cereal cupboard.

This means its time to back the gas-guzzler out of the driveway and drive a long way to save $0.50 on granola bars and hope for day-old rye bread in the discount section. Within an hour or two, the cart is heavier than Fat Albert, overflowing with all those boxes and packets and jars and jugs. Time to wheel over to that handy dandy motorized belt and take every last one of those things out of your cart for a pleasant little ride up to the money counter machine. As the boxes and cello packs are clamouring at one end for their ride at the fair, all the other stuff is already piling up at the other end, chips and eggs turning into salt and vinegar souffle as you scramble to unload the rest of the rubbish.

Cashier woman pauses wearily, and you wonder if everyone else in her day has the supernatural ability to unload a 464 lb cart at one end in time to reload it at the other. I offer a weak smile and ask her if she noticed the crumpled coupon amongst the foodstuffs?

Time to sprint over to the end of the conveyer belt and try to get all that ridiculous stuff back into the shopping cart. Surely this batch of granola bars and cheesestrings will last beyond Friday noon?! Cashier lady keeps beeping stuff across her scanner and I begin flinging onion soup packets and red peppers into my environmentally friendly re-usable bags. So E-friendly. I've just purchased enough packaging for a less priveleged person to build a five bedroom home out of.

Right around the time that the cashier merrily chimes out; "That'll be 5,604,987,354.00!"; I start to feel overwhelmingly weary and consider just leaving all those transfats and refined sugars right there at the cart and walking home. But then I'll have to face the children. And the dog. And the cat.

Not worth it.
Wheeling the wide-load out to the caravan, I am glad again for the oppurtunity for my longsuffering to blossom. The *^%$ hatchback door doesn't work, even though we've spend all of our children's imaginary post-secondary education fund on parts and labour, and new and used hatchback parts. I'm a huge fan of suffering, so I cheerfully tuck five four litre jugs of milk in between bucket seats, along the back bench seat, and all over all sections of the grassy and gravelly and snacky floor. .......not to mention the juice, the buns, the strawberries and the chocolate chips. I'm completely sure the bread won't get misshapen in any of this.

Still so much to look forward to. The sun has long since set, and there's still the drive home on the scenic, deer-infested highway. I'll enter my tidy kingdom, arms stretched down around my ankles from the fifteen bags straddling my forearms. How lovely that the children were allowed to stay up to welcome me home and offer constructive advice on what I should really buy next time I go grocery shopping.

I'm tired and the fridge is already full of rotting stuff that no one wanted to eat last week.
I open the door, begin flinging, and then take a running speed at the fridge door; willing it to remain closed until morning when I hope to get an infusion of enthusiasm. I feel a stab of guilt at all the people who'd be so grateful for those squash, garlic bulbs, and wrinkled purplish carrot nubs.

I shove some boxes of school snack rubbish up into the cupboards and grumble inwardly for the millionth time that my children don't like muffins or loaf or dried out oatmeal cookies from last January.

I remind Brian that tomorrow is garbage and recycling day, and could he please remember to haul last weeks packaging out in the clear bags for recycling, and the dark bags of rotting leftovers to the curb to peacefuly decompose in a landfill, all encased in plastic.

We need the room.
I've just been to the grocery store.

*Please Note* I'm much too fragile to deal with your criticisms about how your children eat home made unsweeted yoghurt made from the milk of your backyard goat. I know all about homemade granola bars that my peope tell me tastes like dry cardboard with wax on top. I've already heard about children who eat anything they are lovingly offered with a grateful smile, a bow, and a curtsy. I know about links to the uber organised house fraus with their frugal self-righteousness and their Ancient Language reading homeschooled cherubs. I know about the hundred mile diet; the people who give away their cars; and the other people who make climbing structures for inner city kids out of recycled Safeway bags.
See how fragile I am?

Besides, you'd never believe what I found on the internet. Makes me look like a total tree hugging, organic gardening, denim jumper wearing super-mama. Just check out This . I'm sorry, but that is easily the grossest thing ever.


Anonymous said...

Bring on the painted toast, I say. :)I think the goat prefers pastels.


Valerie Ruth said...

that's hilarious and a great bit of writing. you can make a seemingly ordinary trip to the grocery store an adventure!

jb said...

haha. joyce, i hear ya. i am all about easy these days. our cupboard is all full of noodles and sauce and granola bars and pudding.
and i just ate a chocolate bar. :)

(and i can't even use the excuse that i have 4 kids, and daycare kids to boot. it's just me and my girl.) we get the very best nutrients, you see. ;-)

ps. thanks for your comments, i really appreciated them.

Romeo Morningwood said...

I can't wait until one of these stores delivers all the crap that you ordered online...
and the delivery Bunnies fix you a coctail while they put everything away...oh that.hmm..just put it down there at the bottom..a little to the left..that goes down there too.

*cue Glen Campbell

"Oooh such are the dreams of the everyday Houseband,
you see everywhere any time of the day"

You're much too young to remember that song aren't you?

Anonymous said...

Awesome writing Joyce! Please publish your book soon!

Anonymous said...

Hi Joyce;

Okay, I rarely laugh out loud at the computer (I might giggle or scoff) but your entry today just made my day!!

Thanks for being who you are!!


Anonymous said...

I've had bread that looked like that without the painting. It just happened naturally. It's also happened to cheese, yogurt, potatoes.............

Anonymous said...

Laura I was soooo there today. Doug( my husband ) said as he stood hunched over staring into the fridge. Is there anything to eat in there. Laughed out loud Joyce. Sure hope you keep some cheese strings for me. I'll bring my own yogurt. We're making ours with breast milk. Well what do you expect I do home school.

Judy said...

You are really TOO funny, Joyce.

Anonymous said...

I confess to laughing out loud frequently when reading this blog....and sometimes I cry, but I've done too much of that lately so thanks for making me laugh cousin.

Anonymous said...

You're too funny Joyce. I can't believe you can make all of that into a completely interesting and hilarious story.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you about those seemingly unrealistic supermoms who make everything homemade, from scratch, grow their own garden, can, pickle and whatever else they do....send the husband out hunting to get pure meat.....anyway, unfortunately those little package thingies are sooooo handy.....after working all day, sometimes it seems impossible to get a healthy meal on the table....nowadays, at our place, we have to eat better because of we are doing alright but it does take more thought...and my kids just say "do we have to eat like dad all the time......". Oh, the horrors! MK

tanya said...

I make that toast with my kids, except that I use fresh goat's milk from Lola (our own goat in the backyard who eats only organic grass), then I make my own food colouring from boiling red cabbage, spinach, and other vegetables that I grow in my organic vegetable garden, and lastly I bake fresh bread for the kids to decorate. Either that, or I pop a few Eggos in the toaster.

Roo said...

oh joyce!!! THAT WAS ME THIS WEEK! how did you know? ;)

and ya know what??? EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. i forget the reuseable bags and tubs. !!!

so annoying.

Anonymous said...

Oh made me laugh....hey you can always do all your shopping at Bigway and get it delivered for FREE...think of the gas money you save and the stress-free delivery : )...just had to put in a plug for "the boss"... L

Anonymous said...

Joyce, that is by far the most hilarious blog I have ever read. I haven't had such a good laugh in a long time. Thanks