I go to the grocery store a lot. I am sure most people do. I went yesterday and it was great. All except for one thing. This drives me crazy and creates anxiety for me at all grocery stores. It doesn’t matter which one: King Soopers, Kroger, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Safeway, Trader Joes.
They smush the lettuce.
It’s like they don’t know how tender and fragile lettuce is and it drives me crazy. I like to bag my groceries for this reason and a lot of time these baggers won’t let you do it yourself. They think you don’t want to bag your own groceries. They think they are helping you and doing something nice for you. They think you want to just stand there and watch as they put the $2 organic romaine lettuce you are buying in a bag and then put apples, celery, avocados, broccoli, bell peppers, cabbage and spaghetti squash ON TOP of your lettuce!!!!! OMG this is making my armpits sweat just remembering how this all went down. This stresses me out majorly. I can’t even handle thinking about this! I have to take off my sweatshirt because I’m getting so worked up. I almost always try to help bag the groceries and so I can almost always grab the lettuce and put it on top of a bag that I packed and put it in the cart.
Yesterday I thought I was winning this war on lettuce when the grocery store manager told the bagging guy to go on break right when it was my turn in line. I was thinking, my lettuce is safe, thank you God for loving me and protecting me from these lettuce haters. So I put the lettuce in the front part of the grocery cart where you would put your cute little baby or strap in a toddler. I thought that was a good place to keep it safe and get scanned last. I am totally balanced and feeling great as the lady is scanning all my stuff and I start bagging my groceries. Then in a state of relaxed stupidity, I decide to abandon the bagging for a minute so I can type in my loyalty phone number. Things are going so well I start to think I’ll go to Starbucks after I pay and get an iced Americano and even add a pump of white chocolate because it’s just one of those fun days. Then as I’m typing in my phone number it all comes crashing down. It happened so fast! A girl comes over and starts bagging and smiles at me and I’m thinking its ok because the lettuce is in the baby seat and will get scanned last. So I smile back just as I see her shove the lettuce in the bag and immediately putting the heaviest stuff she can find on top. I stand there in shock and notice the check out scanner girl is still scanning and I am wondering why did she take that lettuce out of the baby seat when she has all this other stuff to still scan? And the bagging girl is just jamming stuff into the lettuce bag and I am thinking, this isn’t worth the loyalty discount. I should have never abandoned my bagging station. I quickly say, “Hey, do you mind taking the lettuce out of that bag so it doesn’t get smushed? Thanks.” And the bagging girl looks at me so confused because she is not paying attention or doesn’t care or is thinking about more important things or hates me and came over to bag my stuff to ruin my lettuce on purpose. She just opens the bag and holds it close to me and I dig in there and take out the lettuce and I cannot believe how much stuff she put on top of this lettuce. She takes it from me and says, “Here, is this alright?” as she sets it on top of a bag that was packed already. And I say yes thank you, but I’m thinking can she not see that lettuce is about to fall out of that bag and out of the cart and onto the floor?
What is happening here? Am I not supposed to eat fresh lettuce? Does nobody that works at a grocery store buy fresh heads of leafy lettuce? Am I the only one buying lettuce like this? Am I supposed to start buying lettuce that is in plastic containers? Or the pre washed kind that seems like it was grown last year and they jam like three heads of lettuce in a big bag to make you think you are getting a good deal and somehow they have kept it looking kind of good but it is mainly white lettuce and people forgot that lettuce is green? Ok, deep breath. What am I even saying right now? I guess what I am saying is, your lettuce isn’t safe, even in that baby seat. And maybe you should stop buying lettuce because nobody else is eating it. So if you stop eating it now, you won’t miss is so much when it isn’t sold in grocery stores anymore.
Last week my daughter, Blu, wanted to put up the Christmas tree. She asked everyday after school and kept saying it would make her so happy. She was saying she needed to get into the Christmas sprit and this would help. I was interested in helping her with this, but by the time we could have gotten around to it the first two days, I had to say no in order to do my evening ritual: drink wine and do nothing. Then I told Buzz the next morning what Blu was wanting and he said he read on Twitter that every time a Christmas tree is put up before Thanksgiving, an elf drowns a baby reindeer. Buzz told me he is against killing reindeer and so he was not even gonna allow us to put up the tree until next Friday, after Thanksgiving. When I picked up Red and Blu from school that day, Blu immediately started in about putting up the tree. I told her daddy has some interesting news he learned on Twitter earlier and he would tell her about it when we got home. I’m thinking there is no way she is gonna fall for this. She is 9, and super smart, and pretty much figured out who is behind all the Christmas shenanigans last year. But, I guess she forgot about all that, and threw all critical thinking out the window. Christmas has a way of making people crazy and lose their minds. Buzz tells Red and Blu what he discovered about the elves and said it’s up to Blu if we put the tree up early or not. Blu is immediately upset and wondering what kind of elf would do such a thing. She asks how can they even see your tree if it is inside your house?? She said it makes more sense if you have lights and decorations outside (which we do) for the elves to know how many baby reindeer to drown. She said she really wanted the tree up, but she can’t be responsible for these poor baby reindeer dying. Red just laughs and runs off to play with his Max Steel toys. This was 6 days ago. Thanksgiving is in 2 days.
I tell you that story so I can tell you this story:
Last night I am on the phone with my two sisters. Bunny and Tiny. Bunny and Tiny are my favorite people. (Don’t tell Buzz) They are how I know I am suppose to be here, that I am right with the world, that I’m a good person at my core, regardless of all the dumb stuff I have said and done and thought about doing and saying. They love me and support me and don’t judge me. We talk and text almost every day. So Bunny calls me on her way home from work last night and then Tiny calls and we merge her into the conversation. We are talking about the importance of whiskey in our lives and somehow we switch to Christmas lights. Bunny goes off on how she can’t believe people put up Christmas lights before Thanksgiving and how she is so embarrassed for them. I said OMG you totally need to be embarrassed for me because I have my Christmas lights up outside! Then Tiny said, well don’t go over to Mom and Dad’s house or you will be embarrassed for them too! And same for Tiny’s mother in law, she has hers up, be embarrassed for her too! After Bunny starts to calm down from her extreme judgmental state, I tell them at least my tree isn’t up thanks to Buzz. At this exact minute, my kids come upstairs from the basement yelling and screaming at each other and me. In all this noise, I get the sense Blu is horrified and needs my help. This is a daily reaction Blu has toward the world. Red is yelling at Blu to leave him alone and to worry about herself. I get to them and see Red is carrying a tiny blue tinsel xmas tree upstairs to put in his room. Red is smiling like an evil genius because this is tormenting his big sister so much. He says, looks like a baby reindeer will be dying after all.
I don’t like it when a box of Kleenex is almost out. When you have about 5-10 left in the box and you start thinking, man anytime now this sucker is gonna be empty. Do I even have any more boxes around here? And a day or 10 pass by and BAM! You grab a Kleenex and the last three all come out at the same time and you are left with a huge handful of Kleenex and an empty box. Do you shove the other two you didn’t want back in the box? Do you set them on the counter? Do you use three tissues even though you only needed one? Did you even need that tissue? What is going on here? Then all of a sudden you notice how big Kleenex boxes really are because when you throw it away it takes up the whole garbage can and now you need to take the trash out. I have Kleenex everywhere around the house. So this doesn’t happen very often and then some days I’ll have three empty boxes of Kleenex come out of nowhere. By that third box I start to feel the emptiness of the boxes and I feel sad and lonely. Then I see the fullness of the trash and I get angry at my husband and my kids and my dogs and my dad for not taking out the trash. Then I become in touch with the obnoxious overuse of Kleenex in this house and decide I will conserve and respect these things moving forward. Today was one of those two empty box days, the one in my car and the one on my bedside table. Why do I have a box in my car? Why don’t you have one in your car is the question you should be asking…
Speaking of loneliness… that is one of my things I am here to learn more about. Loneliness has been a theme for me in my marriage to Buzz and I am becoming more aware of it. How can I feel lonely when I am hardly ever alone?? You must be wondering this too. Two kids, a husband, two dogs, 2 sisters, my parents, my friends, the lady at Target, everyone at church, all the people at the gym, everybody from my kids school, my hair girl, my aesthetician, my personal trainer, my laser hair removal lady, my neighbors, the guy at the wine store, the lady at Sprouts, the guy at the smoothie bar, and the baristas at Starbucks. I have not had a lot of time alone since becoming a mom. Where does loneliness come from? Buzz and I have been in couples therapy for a few months and have learned a lot about us as a couple and who we are individually. We are not into blaming each other and we work on taking responsibility for our stuff. So basically this is all Buzz’s fault. And I say that without blame or pointing fingers or raising my voice. And by taking responsibility for my own stuff, I mean that’s what Buzz needs to do.
We have spent the last 9 years kinda separate, with me raising our kids and him growing a business. We have made time for weekly date nights and weekends away and vacations alone, and vacations with family. But over the years this loneliness has existed. I think it is because I haven’t shared what I am thinking or feeling with Buzz and I have a hard time asking for what I want. I don’t even know what I want when other people are not around to tell me. I think I have done this because it didn’t seem like a big deal. Sure we would talk every day, but it would be about kids or work. Everything seems like it doesn’t matter when there are real problems in the world. The fact that I like or dislike something seems little, small, insignificant. So we would talk on the surface and I would ignore these feelings of wanting a deeper connection with Buzz and I would shove all this way down deep where the lights are off and nobody can see who you are and what you want. I am shocked to announce that this method does not work. Weird. I hear that sharing who you really are can be an incredibly bonding experience with a husband. And so as painful as it is gonna be to change, I am going to do just that. I am gonna figure out who I am and what I want and express that in a healthy way to Buzz.
I can’t sleep. I have been looking forward to bedtime for so many hours now. I am confused… how am I still awake?? I am going a little cray cray because I need some alone time. I need to be alone so bad that I am laying in bed not sleeping and wondering if this actually counts as alone time. I am to the point where I am fantasizing about being in a hotel room alone, with no tv on, no music playing, no cell phone. Just me laying in bed with it quiet and no one saying: Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Every other minute or second, depending on the situation. You know like when you have a kid stay home sick from school for 10 days and then you are the room mom for the fall party and then your kids are home for a week for fall break and you are in therapy with your husband because you are having problems and you go on a family vacation and its fun but exhausting and then your house is a wreck from unpacking and you have 17 loads of laundry to do and then its Halloween and you have to get all that candy ready and costumes and then you lose costumes because you were just on vacation and can’t remember where you put stuff a week ago and you wanna be fun mom on Halloween but you don’t feel well because you ate something not right in the Cancun airport the day before and then you make it thru Halloween and then you stay up late fighting with your husband and then you start to get a long again and then you are thinking you are gonna have a nice relaxing weekend with the family and it ends up being busy because you offered to host the end of the season soccer party at your house and you need to go to the grocery store for the week and you forgot to have your son that was home sick do his make-up homework and you realize nobody has eaten a vegetable in about a week and you want to cook and do a good job and the laundry won’t stop and the dishwasher needs to be unloaded and the trash needs to be taken out and the dogs are barking at the neighbors dog and she is upset and telling you to fix your fence and then you are getting your kids to bed and thinking how great it’s gonna be tomorrow when they are both in school and then your son starts crying at bedtime and is all worked up about how the teacher changes seat assignments when you come back from fall break and he can’t deal with this pressure and stress of where he is gonna sit and what if a mean kid is assigned next to him and as you are holding him and he is crying and you are thinking you might start crying too because he keeps saying he can’t go to school and you really need him to go to school and you look around and wonder why does he have so many damn toys and why can’t I make this house look better and why is my hair so dry at the ends and you need a shower and your nails look terrible and you are wondering what are you doing here and can someone please tell me who am I? Well, I think that is why I need this hotel room.