Monday, June 13, 2011

In Good Times and In Grocery Shopping

Wedding gown cleaned? Check.
Tuxedo returned? Check.
Marriage certificate filed? Check.
First apartment leased? Check.

I had found the man of my dreams, and we had entered into the most sacred of institutions, standing before family and friends on wobbly legs with tears in our eyes, hearing only “I love you” in each breath, promising to love and cherish in sunshine and in shadow. We had returned from seven days in Hawaiian bliss to begin Operation Happily-Ever-After. The only task left was the easiest ~ a visit to the grocery store to stock the pantry and refrigerator.

Mr. Perfect and I set out to the grocery store that very evening. The apartment complex sat behind a grocery store, and an opening in the tall hedge provided access between the apartments and the back of the store. We held hands as we strolled down the tree-lined lanes of the complex and stole a kiss as we passed through the hedge. A cool breeze ruffled my hair and a cozy pair of song birds serenaded us as the early evening sun cast a golden hue over the grocery store loading dock. Mr. Perfect carried our cloth shopping bags.

We entered the store, barely tripping the sensor in the floor to open the door as we floated along on our love and almost knocking over an elderly shopper as we gazed only at each other. We cruised through the produce section, blithely selecting ripe tomatoes, a crisp head of lettuce, a bag of tart, crunchy apples. We meandered down the cereal aisle as Mr. Perfect, the masculine outdoorsy type, chose Grape Nuts, and I, conscious of my gown-prepared figure but torn between healthy horse feed and scrumptious balls of sugar, chose corn flakes. We lingered at the meat counter, carefully selecting the best cuts for our new grill. Mr. Perfect’s muscles rippled as he pushed the cart.

The baking aisle was empty as we turned in, and Mr. Perfect began selecting baking soda, baking powder, and cooking oil. I went ahead to select flour, sugar, and chocolate chips for future batches of home-made cookies. I had some idea of what ingredients we needed; I just didn’t know yet who would do the baking. Mr. Perfect caught up with me and took the heavy bag of flour to put it in the cart. “I sure do like that set of canisters we got for a shower gift,” he said.

“Yeah, me too,” I said, remembering the three white ceramic canisters with wooden lids of gradated heights. They would look terrific on our kitchen countertop.

“They’ll be perfect for flour and sugar. We’ll figure something else out for the small one.”

“Flour?” I had wanted the canisters because I thought they were pretty. My mother had never used canisters, so I never imagined they could actually be useful. Apparently, Mr. Perfect had some specific ideas. “You don’t keep flour in a canister,” I informed him. “It has to be kept in the freezer.” There. I was sure that would settle it.

“Flour doesn’t have to go in the freezer. It can stay out,” Mr. Good insisted.

“My mother always keeps hers in the freezer.” My voice seemed to be getting louder. “To keep the bugs out.”

Around the end of the aisle, a shopping cart slowly came into view. We were no longer alone. The cart’s driver soon came into view; she was a middle-aged woman wearing jeans and a tee-shirt. Reading glasses teetered precariously on the end of her nose.

“Well, your mother doesn’t need to keep hers in the freezer. It won’t get bugs in it. Flour is fine left out.” Mr. Okay was oblivious to the other shopper coming toward us. I could tell she was within earshot, but I couldn’t let it go. I knew I was right.

“I don’t want bugs in my flour. We should keep in it the freezer.” Why did my voice sound so loud? And why was that woman looking at us? This was a private discussion. Don’t cry, I told myself. “My mother says that flour should be kept in the freezer.”

Mr. Okay put his arm around my shoulders. The woman took another look at us over her shoulder after she passed by, a sly smile on her face. “We’ll figure it out, okay?”

I was anxious to move on, and I certainly didn’t want that woman eavesdropping on any more of our disagreement. “Okay.”

We completed the rest of the shopping without any hiccups or tears, but I couldn’t forget that monumental first disagreement or the witness.

It has been over 18 years since that first grocery shopping trip, and he is still Mr. Perfect.

Guess where we keep our flour. In the pantry.

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  1. Lovely story.I keep mine in a big bucket in the pantry too.

  2. Fun post...made me smile! :)

  3. laugh out loud --- cute story. Loved it how quickly Mr. "Perfect" became Mr. "Good," and then Mr. "Okay." I thought I liked The Pioneer Woman's blog. Yours is beyond it....because of Christ.


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