He Went Shopping // And he means well…

By Deedee Landau

He went shopping. That explains so much. The carob-covered soy crisps with sprinkles on top.

The eight bags of yellow peas, which nobody in my family likes. The crumpled receipt with the total somehow ripped off the bottom. The real mayonnaise. Real, as in 100 calories per teaspoon. He figured why get light mayonnaise when you could get the real thing? I sigh as I pull the frozen mozzarella sticks out of the brown paper shopping bag and put them on the counter next to the gallon-size bottle of vinegar which will be impossible to lift.

He looks at me hopefully.“Did I do okay? I tried to remember everything you asked for.”

But where’s the milk? The words are on the tip of my tongue but I swallow them. I’ll have soy with my cereal tomorrow. “Yes you did great, thanks so much.” I manage to squeeze out a wan smile.

He’s beaming. “See I told you. Shopping’s a piece of cake. Speaking of which, look at the strawberry short cake I bought. It was on sale.”

I try not to think about the diet. He means well. I keep repeating that in my head. But I’m annoyed. He bought things we don’t need and can’t afford, in money or in calories. And he’s feeling good about it. He walks into the other room whistling. I keep unpacking, piling the empty brown bags into a corner. The stack grows higher and reminds me of a different shopping trip.

I had just come back from Israel after an unsuccessful bout of dating. I drove myself home from the airport and arrived at a cold and empty apartment. My roommate had also been away.

My footsteps echoed down the empty hallway. Empty. It matched how I felt. I opened the fridge. Empty. I slowly unpacked my suitcase and made my way to the grocery store. I bought only healthy food. I bought all the right things. I didn’t spend too much money. I saved the receipt neatly and carefully. And I went home to unpack my grocery bags. Soon I had a stack of empty brown paper bags in the corner.



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