Start off at your local Bar Louie reading something you found on the NY Times Match Book column while sipping some Malbec. When it hits you, and no one comments on how cool and cultured you must be for reading in a bar alone, or at least asks what you’re reading, violently break into song, belting, “THERE MUST BE MORE THAN THIS PROVINCIAL LIFE,” before paying your tab and getting into your car.
Stop at Panera first, because you’re not above consuming carbohydrates at this point in your life, but if you are going to eat a bagel, it needs to have those little bubbles when it’s toasted. Grab a chocolate chip cookie too, because like I said, you are NOT above carbs.
Proceed to your local Jewel and grab an oversized cart, because you live alone, but also don’t exercise, so you won’t be able to handle carrying a basket for more than two minutes, and they are out of the “single ladies” carts that are adequately sized for the purchases you are going to make. Head straight for the wine aisle.
You’re out of red, so grab three of your favorite bottles of Claret (which you can pronounce correctly because you are so cultured), a bottle of Chianti, Malbec, and Garnacha, because like most Millennials, you are a global citizen, which is slang for wino-in-training.
Pick up a few other essentials, like make-up wipes and hair ties (which, let’s be honest, you’ll use to clean off last night’s make-up the morning after, a simple task you should be able to accomplish the night of, but never seem to make happen).
Now that the necessities are out of the way, it’s time to go candle shopping. The Malbec has lowered your inhibitions, so listen to your heart. Smell everything in the aisle with the words rain, shower, ocean, patchouli, or sandalwood. Realize that your olfactory preferences include anything that is synonymous with the phrase “wet hippie”. Accept this as an irrevocable part of your identity, and load your cart with four multi-wick candles.
Grab two bottles of “low calorie” Gatorade, because if you’re going to keep this carb game up, you’re going to have to cut calories somewhere. You also need to one bottle of Gatorade in your apartment for every three bottles of wine. Ratios – It’s simple math people.
Toss in some milk (to drink with your cookie), eggs, and granola (yogurt is your most recent – and only – health kick, but you like it crunchy), and make your way to the checkout aisle. Try to count everything in your cart to see if you qualify for the express checkout lane – you don’t dammit. Wait behind some suburban dad buying food for his family, and think private thoughts to yourself that include the word patriarchy.
Hand your ID to the cashier as she scans your wine bottles. She’s looking at it for a long time – longer than the kid who checked your ID on Thanksgiving when you were wearing sunglasses and a backwards baseball cap.
“You’re year of the horse,” she tells you. “You run fast. Do everything fast.”
Respond, “Yep, that’s why I buy wine six bottles at a time,” then go home, light all your candles at once, and eat that cookie for dinner because you didn’t actually buy real food during this trip.