2.3.17 – 34 days into this: I woke up today and discovered that breakfast could be either ketchup or a can of black beans. I have been trying to learn to grocery shop for one and it’s pretty much been a disaster. I buy too much. I buy prepared stuff at the deli, put it in the fridge and then toss it out 10 days later when it has become a science experiment. And, worst of all, sometimes I go through a drive thru. I had not been through a drive-up window in a decade and found myself talking to a speaker about fried fish. No. Just no. So this was it. The no-whining, I-will-figure-this-out excursion. I showered, put on lipstick so that I might look good scraping the ice from my windshield, remembered to grab my shopping totes and was off. At the grocery I took deep breaths and asked who or whatever might be listening to help me figure this out.
Because I’m still firmly attached to my procrastination umbilical, I bought stuff for the wild birds and squirrels. I bought dog food and deicer, paper products and soap. Then I wandered the aisles and took in my surroundings. I was amazed by how many people in my age range were there shopping. There was the side-eye matron with single-serve ‘lite’ dinners who looked askance at me as I checked out the ice cream. There were a half dozen old guys with half baskets looking about half confused. The one I felt sorry for was listening to his wife pick over every little thing before she put an item in the cart. I am pretty sure he was wearing a tee shirt that said ‘Kill Me Now.’ I had to stop myself from yelling, ‘Run, be free..RUN!’ And that’s when I realized the truth about shopping single: It’s awful if I say it’s awful, difficult if I embrace difficult and okay if I say it’s okay. I bought some food. I stared at some things long enough to realize that I want to learn how to cook small portions of risotto and Asian stir fry. I felt a little inspired. At the checkout copies of TIME Magazine with pussy hats on the cover were stacked in the bottom corner of the display. I swapped the front-and-center copies of Southern Living with TIME. A young woman in the next aisle gave me a thumbs up. Outside, I silently rejoiced that Old Guy in SUV, honking his horn with the intent of making his wife a quick shopper, was not waiting for me. I came home, put stuff away and decided to read and nap for a while. Two hours later I woke up feeling warm and lazy, the middle of a big dog sandwich. Outside, the breeze was warm and the ice had finally begun to melt. And the moment felt good, free, energized and just good.