Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Embarrassing Grocery Store Moments
My life is filled with embarrassing moments while grocery shopping. What’s embarrassing about grocery shopping you ask? If I were to title this blog, “Embarrassing Moments while at the Doctor’s Office”, you’d all agree those times are definitely filled with embarrassment. But the grocery store? Oh yes, my internet friends, read on.
The embarrassing moments started during childhood grocery trips. At the local Safeway they had a corner in the store where they put all the dented cans and smooshed boxes on clearance in a shopping cart. My siblings and I affectionately called this the “cheap corner.” We loved the cheap corner! Whenever we would go to the store with Mom we’d run to the cheap corner and find a coveted can of Spaghetti-Os for a nickel or Chunky soup for a dime. Mom always let us get stuff from the cheap corner, because after all, it was cheap! The embarrassing part came when the cart was filled with more dented stuff than not. We looked more like vagabonds dumpster-diving than a reputable family out for a good bargain.
The embarrassment continued into the teenage years. My sister Patty has a screwy sense of humor so she always thought it was funny to load up the cart with liquor when my mom wasn’t looking—hard liquor too like Vodka and Bourbon—not just beer and cheap wine. Usually my mom would notice by the time we got to the check-out line and everyone would have a good chuckle. Hee, hee--what’s a nice Mormon family doing with 12 jugs of Vodka in their cart? Patty sure is funny! The embarrassing part would happen when we ran into someone from church. I am sure that’s how rumors get started. “Oh my, there is Sister Harrington with her girls. And what’s that in their cart? Smirnoff Vodka? Shame on her! And in front of her children too.” Oh the scandal! Patty would get bonus points on these days.
And even though I am a good Mormon girl I buy a tiny 4oz. jar of instant coffee every few years. Why you ask? Because just a ½ teaspoon of coffee crystals adds loads of flavor to homemade chocolate cake. Yum-o! However, maybe it’s a sign that I shouldn’t buy coffee because when I do someone from church always sees me. Not sometimes, always. Okay, so I’ve only bought the coffee twice in the last 4 years but both of those times I ran into someone. (FYI--The coffee also makes an excellent dye for muslin fabrics that you want to antique.)
Once again, another embarrassing moment occurred when I went to Wal-Mart to buy one can of beer to marinate our now famous Tio Pepe’s skirt steak. It is seriously killer food. Two years ago though I found out that you can’t buy beer by the can—only the six pack. So the checker asks me if I want to go grab the other five cans. “Heck no! I don’t even drink beer! What am I going to do with 5 whole cans!” Oh the sinfulness of it all. To make matters worse she then asked for my I.D. “Are you kidding me?”, I say? “I am (then) 29 years old.” She must be carding me because I look so young from all those years of clean living--abstaining from evil things like beer, coffee, and cigarettes. In the end I put the stupid can of beer back. So now I go to the Mercado Latino across town when I need to buy that solitary can of beer for Tio Pepe’s Mexican BBQ. I feel as if I am being sneaky. Like I need to knock twice because it’s a Speak Easy. Any moment the Word of Wisdom cops could break in and bust me. Oh the danger!
But truly the most embarrassing grocery store trip occurred two weeks ago when we were remodeling our kitchen and we were eating all week sans oven. So I broke down and bought some frozen foods. I went down the frozen food isle and noticed the plethora of brands available—Healthy Choice, Marie Calendar’s, Stouffer’s—etc. I have no idea which is the “good” brand. Maybe “good” is the wrong word. How about, I have no idea which brand is the least objectionable. This is new to me. I’ve heard of Stouffers and there is a Stouffers factory just a few minutes away in Springeville. So maybe they don’t use as many disgusting preservatives since it is only traveling 10 minutes from Springville to Orem. I’ll try this one. I bought a lasagna, fettucine chicken alfredo, and some frozen Ego waffles for my kids. As I headed to the check-out lane I began to wonder, “What will my story be if I run into anyone I know?” I am a food snob and my reputation would be ruined for buying such items. This is worse than buying beer or coffee. Luckily, no one sees me. But the cashier begins asking me, “Oh is this fettucine alfredo good?” I can’t let this one go. “I don’t know. I’ve never bought it before. My kitchen is being remodeled and my kids are sick of sandwiches.” Why do I feel the need to explain this to her? Judging by the three entire isles of frozen food at Wal-Mart this is a huge industry and people buy this crap every day. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Yet I am truly embarrassed. I have gone to the dark side. And the scary thing is? The frozen foods were not that bad. Not that good, but not that bad. Gasp. The dark side of the force is not stronger, but as Yoda said in “The Empire Strikes Back”, “it is quicker, easier, more seductive”. Oh yea. Yoda’s wisdom is applicable throughout life.
Labels: Everyday Life