Saturday, November 22, 2014

Young Lovers with a Grocery Cart...

One recent Saturday night, around 6pm, I dashed into the grocery store to pick up dinner. My husband was with our kids and it was a rare trip to the store by myself, free of my two mini-me’s who ask for samples and overpriced packs of frozen kefir. I flew through the aisles with nobody interrupting my thoughts.

But then I saw them. The couples that go to the grocery store together. These were the young lovers who still had time to shop together because they enjoyed it. They’d pick out some food, go home and cook, and maybe even watch a movie. They’d watch the entire film, too, neither calling it quits three-quarters of the way through because sleep was more prized than closure, even ones Hollywood devises.

They think they’re busy, these couples on the tip of marriage. They don't have time to grocery shop until six o’clock on a weekend, after all. They don’t have a single bit of time between waking up at 10am, going for a jog, catching part of the football game on TV, and finishing the book for book club.

“Want to go out for dinner?” one of them asks.

“Let’s cook. We need more organic free trade coffee, anyway, and I’d like to pick up some chia seeds.”

And so they stroll through the aisles with a tiny basket or maybe a cart. What interesting crepuscular creatures. I was once among them. 

Now, I am part of the brood of mothers who shop before they shower, early during the week or at 1pm on a Sunday when well-dressed four-year-olds lose it by the soup station. I am there next to the mothers who manage to nurse a child in a sling while keeping four others in sight with a version of hands on a hard grocery cart. Don’t touch the squares of chocolate near the register. And they don’t.

In our salad days, when we shopped for greens at Bread and Circus, my husband and I would buy some prepared food and sneak it into the movie theatre. That was before children, when we lived recklessly and saw movies in something called a movie theatre. 

So I say to those young lovers in the produce section, enjoy the moment while you can. Sniff the melon together and ponder the differences between yams and sweet potatoes.

One day soon, when the kids are in grade school and your dog has white whiskers, you’ll go to the store at 6pm on a Saturday night, and be thankful that you're yourself. And maybe you, too, will marvel at those young lovers who stroll slowly down the aisles, remembering when that was you.

Photo credit: click here.

Thanks for reading. I invite you to follow me on Twitter. I've got two other recent posts to share, one on The Washington Post's On Parenting blog about parents behaving badly, as well as a round-up of articles on ADHD on The Educated Mom.