“Are you eating?” That’s the question my grandmom asks me the most since I moved to New York. I know it’s been a few years since she’s visited the Big Apple, but I don’t think there’s been a decade when New York WASN’T known for her restaurants and fine cuisine.
“Grandmom! I live in New York! There’s a restaurant on every block, a bodega on each corner and two grocery stores within walking distance. Of course I’m eating!” But the truth is, I’m not. At least not well. I can’t afford to eat out more than once a month and grocery shopping is a rare art form mastered only by sitcom moms. Sitcom moms make grocery shopping look so easy even if they are buying for three pubescent sons and a goofy, Bob Vila-obsessed husband. I’m, of course, talking about Jill Taylor of Home Improvement.
That bitch would come home with two, maybe three, grocery bags that all seemed to weigh less than 3 pounds and were topped with some green, leafy bullshit. How?!
I’ve gone months without grocery shopping, spending my lunch hour scavenging my coworker’s leftovers and consuming a strict, liquid diet of whiskey gingers at night. If you’re like me, grocery shopping is downright painful. So when you are finally forced to grab a cart, you expect to be greeted with a standing ovation, roses thrown, The Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ playing as you stroll the aisles. Instead, you’re alone, you’re hungry and for some reason you’re kinda horny. Is it the whipped cream? The melons? Who knows! But these are some of the things we’re all thinking when we (eventually) grocery shop:
I’m going to eat so much fruit this week!
For the past twenty years of your life you’ve pretended to like apples when the truth is they make your lips itch. But not this week! You’re going to eat the shit out of some fruit. A banana every morning! Grapes instead of chips! Plums? Why not! Maybe grocery shopping is a good thing after all except…
Dammit! Why is everything so expensive?!
This thought usually crosses your mind when you pass the frozen, fake-meat options because of course you’re a vegetarian! You live in Brooklyn now! You grab one box of ‘chicken’ patties and veggie burgers and immediately say goodbye to half of your budget. Oh and when did granola become so fancy?
I should probably post something on Facebook.
By now you have a few items in your cart and are feeling pretty good about the whole ordeal. Time for a status update!
Should I start drinking tomato juice?
You see people, cool people, drinking tomato juice out of that cute little glass at diners. Sure, you enjoy an occasional Bloody Mary, but maybe it’s time to grow the fuck up and drink tomato juice WITHOUT alcohol. After all, you’re an adult now. It’s time to get your life together.
Wait a second. Brownie mix is only $1???
Forget everything you just thought about getting your life together. Out of my way, V8!
I should probably post something on Twitter.
Do I have any ranch dressing left?
Ranch dressing is the only condiment you ever use whether it’s on a salad or a piece of leftover pizza. Trust me, it’s good. But of course you forgot to check the fridge before your shopping trip. You buy a new one just in case and come home to find you have three unopened bottles still in your cabinet. Good thing you bought all that celery!!!!
My kids are never going to have name brand cereal.
How did my mom afford name-brand cereal on a teacher’s salary? Was that why my dad was always leaving for work early and coming home late so he could afford my weekly box of Captain Crunch?? Did we go broke because of my obsession with Lucky Charms? My kids will know no such captain and lucky charms will be what they call the ‘ancient’ rocks that I pick up from the sidewalk and give them for Christmas.
I am so drunk.
For some reason, you thought the best time to grocery shop would be after a few drinks. Unfortunately you didn’t realize how strong those whiskey gingers were and you now you are unable to stand without the help of your carriage (which has now become filled with frozen pizzas and multiple packs of shredded cheese). You drag yourself to the cashier and try to convince him you’re not drunk by insisting you bag your own groceries. You immediately regret that decision.
I did it!
You did it! You successfully bought groceries that will last you maybe till Monday (it’s Saturday). Now where should you order Chinese food?