Today I went shopping with my sister Cheryl. Or, rather, Cheryl went shopping and I drove and looked like a mostly sort of possibly grown up person.
Especially when I first started doing all our shopping, I felt nearly useless.. she is much better at it than I am. I was forever asking, “Where is this, Cheryl?” And she would, of course, promptly direct me to the correct aisle. She was very helpful in other ways, too– like when I tried to put lettuce directly into the shopping cart, instead of first putting it into a bag. “Carissa! What are you doing?! You need a bag!!” And she shook her head and looked a look which said something to the effect of, “what AM I going to do with you, my poor dear older helpless sister?” while getting me a bag.
I used to detest shopping– it seemed an awfully boring, long, exhausting activity, and I generally avoided it as much as possible. That is, until I realized that someday I would be the one exclusively responsible for the shopping: I then I figured I probably should learn something about how it is done. So, I began going on more shopping trips. However, I still wasn’t the primary shopper, and was only mildly useful.
And then, once I was a licensed driver, I became Errand Lady. “Carissa, can you go get some ice cream?” “Carissa, please go get some sour cream.” “We are out of half and half, can you go get some?” Why it’s always dairy products, I’m not sure. Ahem. (Well, actually, those just happened to be the things that came to mind… though ice cream is an extremely common reason to send me to the store. And I’m the one who is trying to get us to eat healthier! Oh well… at least I get to pick the ice creams with less bad stuff… :D)
When mama was very pregnant with Esther, she asked if I could take over the shopping. I agreed, with much fear and trembling. Um, not really. But I was a bit unsure about how well I would do…
I was handed $300, with which to buy food for 10 (We can count Esther, right? Since she was getting some of the nutrition…) people for an entire week. And it had to last for 7 different stores. (Well, to be precise, 6 stores and one “farm”.) And I had to make everyone happy. AND get healthy food.
I discovered how quickly money can disappear when you are shopping for so many people… I was quite shocked to discover that I spent over SIXTY at the first store!! Help! Was I going to have enough to last for the remaining stores??
Thankfully, I did have enough. And spending $60 at one store, especially if it’s a health food store, turns out to be fairly normal: it has happened every time since. But still, that first time was a rather nerve wracking experience. However, I lived. And, not only that, but we had food ALL week long! Which, I thought, was a good thing.
Now I have a much better system for shopping, though odd things still happen. Take today, for instance. I turned a couple streets too soon, in an attempt to get to the health food store, so I had to turn around. Sounds easy, right? Ha! Have you ever tried to turn around a fifteen passenger van in an area where there are one way streets? It’s not as easy as it sounds, let me tell you… I had to go in one parking lot, turn around, realize that I couldn’t go the way I wanted to coming out of that gas station, go down a different road which I hoped ended up back out at the main road (fortunately it did), and turned on to the main street, did a u-turn, drove a little bit, and ended up back a the light I had turned at: I basically went in a very large circle. 😀
Another instance: I was calming filling up a bag with rice at the bulk bins, when rice started spouting out of the bag and skittering across the floor: apparently there was a hole in the bag. Not good. Thankfully I was able to hold the bag in such a way that it ceased to flow from the hole: and I promptly tore another bag from the dispenser and put the rice, holey bag and all, in it. The good thing is that I am friends with some of the ladies there, and one of them happened to be close at hand, so she promptly began sweeping it up. Very nice of her.
The people in the grocery stores have pretty much the same opinion of me and my family that the majority of people we know have: They’re weird, but we like them.
The First Five (Hannah, Josiah, Emily, Cheryl and I) enjoy going to publix late at night, shortly before closing time. Our mission: ice cream. We generally listen to a certain song about a fox who kills a goose. It’s very violent. Um… sort of.
We turn it up loud and belt it out, and then joke about how odd it is that we listen to children’s songs turned up loud, when most young folks going out at night would be listening to vastly different music.
We walk into the store, talking and possibly laughing: definitely grinning. We make a beeline to the ice cream aisle, and spend a great deal of time pondering a Very Important Question: what kinds of ice cream shall we buy? After we choose the same two kinds we always seem to, we head off to the scales. Off come the shoes, and we step on, one at a time (well, usually… ahem.) and exclaim over our weights.
Quickly, we check out– before they close.
Walking out to the van, we often exclaim about how awesome Publix is and how great the carts are– so smooth!
And thus, abruptly, ends my tale. My time is up. I shall write more on the morrow, never fear!