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Article by Wendy McCance
Friday after the kids got out of school, I went up to the market. I was planning out dinner and was missing a few items. The market I went to was one of those small markets that is just around the corner. Small and convenient but somehow has everything you could possibly want.
I went in and picked up a fresh loaf of bread and dessert from the bakery. I got turkey from the deli, an avocado and two bottles of wine. Strange combination of food for sure. The kids had plans with friends and my husband and I decided on soup and sandwiches, some wine and a good movie to entertain ourselves while the kids were out.
As I approached the check out lane, I happened to look around and noticed a few other people in lines. I have always been fascinated with the items people choose to put into their basket. The market is the best place to people watch unlike a big conventional grocery store. The items people choose at a corner market is usually only the most important items that they need.
I saw one woman in a business suit with a can of frosting. I imagined that she was heading home to spend some time with her kids and baking was on the agenda. I saw a guy with a package wrapped in white paper from the meat counter and a couple other items I couldn’t make out. Was he getting ready to cook for a girlfriend perhaps?
There was a woman after my own heart with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a trashy magazine. I could just see her going home, getting into some comfy clothes and having a very chill evening relaxing after a hectic week.
Just as I began to unload my groceries onto the conveyor, I saw a woman get in line with a bouquet of flowers. That’s all she had. She didn’t look sad, just rushed. I hoped the flowers were for someone she hadn’t seen in a while or maybe for the in-laws. I hoped she wasn’t buying flowers for someone who was sick.
I love the quick trips to the market. It’s fun to play the game where you try and figure out what someone’s life is like just based on what is in their basket. I know there have been some strange occasions where what I have picked up looked a bit peculiar. I’m sure the cashier must have wondered a few times as to some of my choices.
I usually get stuck as I am walking out the door with requests from the family. It usually begins like this: Oldest daughter, “Hey mom, can you pick me up some coconut water while you are out?” My second daughter, “Mom we are out of Nutella again and I need you to pick some up so I can have it on my toast in the mornings. ” My husband will generally request a 6-pack of beer to drink while he is working on his latest house project. His latest project was repainting the house. Hell, I’ll get him a keg for doing that type of work. My son is easy. When he hears that I am going to the market, he will usually ask if he can go. While shopping he will casually ask if we could possibly pick up some ice cream. He is a sweetheart though and will spend time trying to figure out what flavor ice cream his sisters would like best before making a final decision.
The funny thing is, these are supposed to be quick shopping trips. Honestly, I only needed a squash to make some soup, but by the time I am at the checkout counter, I have at least two bags of food to pay for.
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