Grocery Shopping Issues Come Full Circle

For as long as I have been adult, living out on my own, my biggest fear and most dreaded chore has always been going to the grocery store.  At certain points in my life, I have been almost phobic.  During those times, QoB would take my list and do the shopping for me.  Those were the times when the phobia was at it’s worst.  Other times, and oftentimes, she would simply go with me and help me find what I needed in the most efficient manner.

For the past long while, I’ve been able to do my own grocery shopping.  Or rather, I’ve been able to do all the grocery shopping for DSB and myself.  I relied heavily on Dollar General and a tiny IGA in a bad part of town, because they’re small, not crowded, and not very big.  There’s also almost no selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the prices of everything except meat are almost robbery.

When DSB and I were together, I cooked rich, fatty meals that were often cheap and, more importantly, things  he liked.  There were rarely vegetables, mostly because DSB would eat only green beans, corn, and broccoli, and I was an idiot who didn’t just wise up and buy  herself some vegetables, even if he wouldn’t eat them.

There was also the issue of the ginormous amounts of food that DSB would eat.  It would be nothing to buy two pounds of lunch meat, cheese, and a loaf of bread, and for it to be gone in 24 hours.  Without me having eaten a sandwich.  It is almost incomprehensible, looking back.

So, I stopped buying a lot of things because it was too expensive, at the rate that DSB ate things.  We relied heavily on meat and starch.  And gravy.  Good Lord, there was always gravy.  And there were a ton of things that I liked to eat that DSB didn’t.  We didn’t have enough money to cook two different meals each night, so I just went ahead with whatever he wanted.  Total idiocy.

Ok, this was supposed to be a positive post, and here I’ve been ranting for 400 words.  My ap0logies, but I’m not deleting it, because I mean every word of it, and I think you  have to read that part to understand the true beauty of what is to follow.

As a side-note, my emergency visit to the pdoc is tomorrow @ 2:30pm, for those of you who read yesterday’s post.  Hopefully all will be well soon.

Now, here at Day 8 with no DSB, it’s come time to grocery shop.  For the first time since March of 2012, I am shopping just for myself.  I’ve been pumping myself up about it for the past few days, thinking of things I’ll be able to buy, meals I’ll be able to cook, money I’ll be able to save.  It’s actually been on my mind quite a bit.

I’ve been talking things over at work today with Catfish, about grocery shopping, and commented how much I hate the monstrosity of a grocery store that serves the North side of town.  I mentioned that I missed the smaller Dillons’ that was out southwest.  He pointed out that it’s only a five mile difference, and maybe I should just go to that Dillons’.  Catfish can be mighty smart, sometimes.

So, I heeded his advice.  I parked in the smaller parking lot (ya know, one smaller than the size of a football field, like up North) and readied my list.  It wasn’t too busy and I hit the produce aisle first.

I shopped like a woman who has been without fresh fruit and vegetables for two years (close to the truth).  I have apples (Honeycrisp!!) and celery and carrots and bananas and strawberries.

I bought a little tray of sushi for a dinner treat and almost jumped up and down when I realized that YES, I can afford this!  I bought salmon and edamame and the fixins’ for salad and sandwich stuff.  I bought a box of granola bars and it was like I’d been set free.

I bought all those condiments that DSB would  use up in a week, like mayonaisse and BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing and red wine vinegar and soy sauce.

I bought a box of frozen taquitos, because they were on sale and I haven’t had them in a million years.  It was almost more exciting than finding cash in your pocket.

I bought several other things, but those were the highlights.  The bottom line is that I will be eating MUCH healthier, and I will be eating things that I want to eat, and the food will be there when I’m ready to eat it (unlike before when shit disappeared like a Grizzly bear had stalked the fridge).

So, I’ll just say that I’m a little bitter about my food life for the past two years.  I gained a significant amount of weight, living the lifestyle we did, and really did feel stuck in it due to constraints like trying to feed two people on only my weekly money (because DSB rarely bought groceries, and then, only on the 1st) and also just not wanting to argue.

But it’s OVER!  And I am CELEBRATING!

And eating sushi and edamame for dinner.  Because I can.

I feel like this was a big victory, and maybe it seems small to others, but this really is a big huge deal for me.  Go Team Rose!


Here and There

More roller-coaster riding yesterday and today, although yesterday was more like a constant straight-downward plunge.  I literally cried all day yesterday.  I couldn’t speak without crying, couldn’t think without crying…every tiny thing had the tears flowing.  I think they call that “tearful.”

I told dear sweet boyfriend (hereafter referred to as DSB) that I must be crying all the tears I have saved up over the years, from when times were bad and I couldn’t cry or rather, wouldn’t cry.  I have a pretty big reserve, but have been crying almost non-stop for the past month so I’m hoping to be over that soon.

I’m not doing as much in a day as I was before (i.e.,  not going to work), but it still seems like I am keeping fairly busy.  Still, it feels like I am cheating somehow.  I have become so accustomed to daily life being such a struggle, full of stress and sorrow and struggle, that it seems strange for things to be more…relaxed, I guess, for lack of a better word.  I am not dealing with deadlines or incompetent people or hateful people or drug addicted felons or the severely mentally ill or the dying on a daily basis, so, yes, relaxed is probably the right word.

It’s like I feel as if I do not deserve this much easier life that not working has brought me.  And it’s not like I’m sitting on my butt either, not doing anything.  If I take away that negative tinge from my vision, I have actually been getting several things accomplished around my house and other places.

Things that matter, even, some of them.

Probably the best things I have done since I have been “retired” is to help rescue two dogs and, on the other end of the spectrum, to clean my mom’s kitchen.  It wasn’t that dirty, wasn’t a big mess, but it seemed to mean so much to her, that I hope it’s something I can do for her on a regular basis, because it’s so easy for me, yet means so much for there.

I really value and appreciate my mom and sometimes it is hard for me to let her know just how much all of her help and support means to me.  If I can show her in ways like cleaning her kitchen or dusting her house or something small and concrete, then I’ll be happy.  Of course, I would love to do big, elaborate things for her, but I know and she definitely knows that I don’t have the resources or ability for anything like that, so it will just have to be small stuff for now.

DSB and I are getting ready to go plant two new trees in my front yard.  We’ve been up since 6:00 a.m. and have had coffee and meds, breakfast, conversation, I’ve been to the grocery store and have cleaned the kitchen, and he has swept the floors and is working on his volunteer stuff on the computer.  That’s all by 11:00 a.m., and if I really think about it, I’m probably accomplishing more by not being at work than I was when I was going to work.

If I was at work right now, I’d be sitting in a random parking lot or driving around chainsmoking.  I don’t miss that.  I don’t miss feeling like I am hiding or like I can’t cope but have no choice.  I don’t miss harsh supervisors or dealing with negativity and anger.  I don’t miss stress or gossip or rumor.  I don’t miss chugging caffeine and popping Tums because I couldn’t function.  I don’t miss staring at my computer and not knowing what to say.  I don’t miss my boss calling me out in front of people and I don’t even miss my “friends” from work.  All I feel is relief.

Relief that I don’t have to pretend to be working, and relief that I don’t have to pretend anymore to be okay.

James Vincent McMorrow, We Don’t Eat