Letter #186: Insightful Grocery Shopping

Dear grocery store,

I really can’t decide if I love or hate you. Part of me loves the challenge of spending the least amount of money possible, then I get to the register and spend way more than hoped every time. I love the process of piecing together ingredients for some new recipe I’m trying, then I get to the canned food aisle and want to chuck a couple ‘Big Daddy’ style due to the frustration of the amount of choices. Seriously, how many different types of tomato sauces can there be? I love never knowing who I’ll run into while shopping, then hate that I get to the register and if I chose Wal-Mart that week four registers are open for all 150 customers I just perused the aisles with. At least I can catch up on my celeb gossip while waiting”…the Bachelor couple didn’t work out again”…shocking, Charlie Sheen’s still crazy and Justin Timberlake’s a player. I’ll take a shorter line please!

Somehow, you’ve become a venue of hilarity and insight in my life. Desperately hoping Mama Roth answers her phone basically every time I visit you because I can’t figure something out on my list. Taking Houston kiddos with me is always a treat and adventure. And at the top of the list: Being hit on and realizing you could be a dating venue”…this isn’t a joke, read about it here.

Today, my insight about you lies with the 16 different options of noodles to choose from while shopping. Choices. We want them. We want to be unique. I don’t want to drive the same car as everyone else, and I sure don’t want the same haircut or outfit. These are valid forms of individuality. Expressing ourselves is great, and I’m all about it. However, I could care less if I eat the same food as every other person in the world. I’m not sure I need millions of choices in order to express my personality via my consumption.

Sure, I don’t want to eat the same meal every single day. I definitely want variety. But, if I want to eat corn, let me choose between fresh, canned and frozen rather than making that decision on top of five more. Once I decide canned, I then price check, think through the health benefits and finally have to consider the brand. I’d like to know that no matter what brand I buy, I’m getting the best quality corn. I’d like to know there aren’t pesticides and fertilizers in my corn soufflé.

I know, I know, this would create no competition, which would affect the supply and demand and bunch of other economic junk I don’t fully grasp, but I often wonder if we just complicate the dickens out of things. If there wasn’t competition, I’d venture to guess the farming industry would do things right more often than they are now. Maybe a little less growth hormone and steroids would be inserted in our cattle? I could be way off base, but this is how my mind works. For some reason, you’ve become a facilitator of brilliant and erroneous thoughts…you decide which 🙂

Love hating the grocery store,

Economist in the making

{photo attribution}

Letter #122: LIFE.

Dear life,

You’re starting to look a whole lot less like a traveling commercial and a whole lot more like a typical 23 year old’s ‘stable’ version of you. Well, let’s be honest, there is nothing ‘typical’ about my version of you. I live in Branson for crying out loud!

This is the first time my suitcase has been unpacked in four months. It feels good to fully be in one place for awhile.

This is the first time my fridge has been filled in four months. My bank account hated paying the bill, but my body is LOVING being in control of my meals. While scanning my groceries the sweet, 75-year-old cashier told me, “Ma’am, you sure do eat healthy.” Music to my ears considering what trail meals can sometimes look like!

All in all, you have been very unique the past four months. I’m excited and anxious about what lies ahead for us. Luckily, I embraced long ago that you’re a process, so I’m just thankful to be living you at the moment!

I have groceries and get to eat what I want!!!

Life Lover

Letter #71: Grocery Store Dating

Dear grocery stores,

I have learned a great deal about you in my rookie season.

  • You’re expensive”…I bet my parents were thankful for all girls; boys would’ve eaten their bank account away (Rapp’s: start saving now!).
  • There are 19 options when trying to buy one item”…garlic salt, powder, cloves: I’m not even sure I like garlic.
  • You’re a great people watching venue.

This week, you stepped into an entirely new realm: potential dating pool. I stopped by to pick up a few ingredients wearing sweats; ended up getting hit on while shopping. As I’m in the middle of this situation, the only thing that comes to mind is, “Lindsay, this is your new normal.” Sounds like I get hit on every time I visit you. Not the case, but it did dawn on me that I will never again be surrounded by people my age and in the same life stage. Meeting a guy will never simply mean attending class, walking through campus or going to a date party again. This is my new normal.

I’m not saying I’m going to meet my future husband at one of your locations, but I am saying I have to retrain my thinking to be open to the possibility. Dating has taken on a facelift. If I’m not open to random possibilities, then I’m screwed in this department because I interact with a bunch of married people at the office and college students on the road.

Today, I’m beginning to retrain my thinking. No, I will not be on the prowl when I’m picking up milk and lunch meat, but I won’t be closed off either. I’m 23 and still in the dating game”…the playing field has just changed. Who am I to say I can’t meet a great guy at Target or Country Mart?!

Opening up my eyes to new possibilities,

Content, but open-minded shopper