Nina vs. The Grocery Store

listLast week, I was planning to catch up with a friend who offered to make dinner. I don’t cook, so this was a great surprise (one less day without ordering panda express – score!). I politely offered to buy the groceries as long as I was given a list of items. The list was this: milk, bread, imitation vanilla extract, 3-4 eggs, butter cooking spray, light margarine, and ground cinnamon.

“What kind of milk? Is 2% okay?”

“Whatever you’d like is fine.”

“Bread!? What kind of bread? A loaf? French or italian?”

“Sliced, white bread.” (I only eat wheat, so I had to figure out what type of white bread wasn’t horrible for you. Turns out, the answer is wheat.)

I stopped having a panic attack after understanding what the rest of the items were…until I realized I only know where the chips and dip isle is at my grocery store. Okay, it can’t be that bad, my roommate probably has most of it. My roommate had two out of the seven items, but I still had to take a picture of the vanilla extract and send it to my friend to double-check if this was the right kind of imitation (it was! score again!).

Then the journey to the grocery store began. I just got paid for a freelance project so I was feeling extra spunky. I even gave my local homeless man a twenty (I blame U2 for playing on the radio). Apparently I wasn’t paying attention when I walked in, as my body instantly found itself grabbing for a bag of Lays (bad PMS, bad!). I got my act together and looked at the list on my iphone, considering I refuse to write anything down. The rest went something like this.

Okay, got the bread. Milk is near the cold areas…so is margarine…hm, light butter, can’t believe it’s not butter…where the hell is margar-oh! Here we go. Crap, it’s regular. Where’s the light? Sour cream…cream cheese…wait, that’s all for the butter area?! WHERE IS THE LIGHT MARGARINE!? (Contemplates asking for help) No, pull yourself together. What idiot can’t find light margarine? (Grabs soft margarine instead) This will do. Okay, eggs…that must be near the milk. Oh! Right behind me, good. Extra large eggs for a dollar, that sounds like a deal. (Putting eggs in the basket) Wait! Mom would always open the carton to check for cracks. (Checks) That seems decent. Yay, she’d be proud of me. He better let me crack them, that’s my favorite part! Ooookay, where is the cooking spray isle? Near the coffee? Isn’t coffee near baking? NO, HORMONE DEVIL, I DO NOT WANT SOUR CREAM AND ONION CHIPS! Finally, cooking spray. Canola…vegetable…ah, butter. I wonder if this is fattening? Why can’t we just use canola? Whatever. Get me out of-oh, I need pickles.

After putting a large container of dills in my basket, I realized I stopped doing pilates a year ago and cannot carry the weight of five babies anymore. Using the two-arm-but-still-trying-to-look-relaxed technique, I waddle past the frozen area (mmm, french fries…NO! SHE-DEVIL!) and realize I should REALLY get salad so I don’t live off of apples this week. I start my breathing exercises and grab the biggest package I can find. I’m about to snap around and sprint towards to self check-out when a road block startles me…

Are you ever cruising down the freeway at a comfortable speed when you see from the merging lane the slowest possible car in the entire Los Angeles County? And they just happen to make it in front of you, causing your happiness and Tom Petty Free Fallin’ attitude to diminish? That’s what happened when Mrs. Big-Butt-Produce-Shopper decided to take a short cut to the cookies and halted my marathon to release this pain from my arms. Like a good citizen, I didn’t swear, make a noise, or try shoving her into the bananas. I simply took a deep breath, and marched patiently to my agony behind Mrs. Big Butt.

Moral of the story is, dinner was successful (minus the comment about not getting light margarine…YOU try searching for it!!) and my anxiety about grocery shopping has decreased. Do I want to learn how to cook? Not really. However, whatever doesn’t kill you…will make you want to curse out those who are oblivious about social settings, and their cholesterol. Cheers.

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