On Your Only Day Off
by Nicole Edwards
First you will feel hungry and explore your pantry and refrigerator and freezer and secret hiding spot in the curio cabinet. Then you will silently admit to yourself that your kids were right, there really is nothing to eat. Next you will feel a bitter satisfaction in having to skip your planned snack with the reassurance that you didn’t need it anyway, this was God’s way of telling you that you should skip that snack. You will regretfully make plans for your only day off to grocery shop because your husband will make the excuse that if he were to do the shopping, he would forget something and that you are better at remembering things. You will think to yourself how well he would start to remember things if you were to start forgetting which was his favorite beer and bring home the cheap kind because, oops, looks like you’re not so great at remembering things after all. Then you will gather your mound of cut-out coupons and make a shopping list according to which coupons you do and do not have. Your children like the Flintstones gummy vitamins? Too bad, they’re getting 50+ Adults One-A-Days because that’s what you have a coupon for and old people and children are similar enough. Coupons for cat treats? Looks like your dog Diablo is going to have to grow a brain and start meowing for a while. You will then pout about having to put makeup and clothes that are not pajamas on to go out in public because you seem to always run into Janice, your Jennifer Aniston look-a-like friend who stands next to you rather than across from you when talking so as to make it easier for all to compare your attractiveness to hers even though you are simply grocery shopping. You will satisfy your injustice by allowing yourself to wear your comfy crocs because no one will look at your feet anyway. Next you will get in your rusting minivan and regret choosing children over that shiny red Eclipse. When you finally arrive at the grocery store after following an elderly woman in a car where she could not possibly have seen over the dashboard, you will drive around the parking lot continuously, always being in the next row over when a spot opens up and getting there too late. When you finally find a spot between two obnoxiously crooked cars you will carefully squeeze between them and play James Bond trying to maneuver out of your car without hitting the car next to you. Next you will continue into the store vowing to make the trip as quickly as possible because Dr. Oz is on in an hour and you will not miss Dr. Oz. You will realize you forgot your grocery list at home and try your best to remember what was needed using your coupons as references. You will then choose a cart with a wayward wheel. You will switch it out for another cart. That cart will also have a wayward wheel. Next you will quickly forge a map of where you will go through the store and head to your first destination hoping to avoid meeting Janice. Then you will start collecting your items and throwing in some well-deserved treats that you can put in your secret hiding place in the curio cabinet. While reaching for sardines you will accidentally knock over a jar of pickled herring that will splatter across the floor, and after a quick check that the coast is clear you will make a run for it. The wayward wheel of your cart will hinder your speed and in an exasperated push your tread-less croc will slip and you will fall. Since you didn’t get far and you were the only one in the aisle, everyone knows it was you. You will then do a quick health check thanking God that your bones aren’t dust yet and your hips have not crumbled. After sheepishly apologizing for the incident you will abandon the rest of the mission and head for the register. As a small reward for your hardships you will choose the line with the attractive young cashier. There you will come to realize that the customer in front of you is Janice and you will die a little inside. The cashier will unknowingly confirm with his stupid stare that Janice is still more attractive than you. In subtle exasperation you will frantically fish in your purse for cash after your credit card won’t swipe; in veiled bitterness wish Janice goodbye; and in defeat take your groceries outside where it will be pouring rain. When you finally arrive home and finish unpacking the groceries, your husband will groggily meander in after his pleasant nap, open the fridge, and innocently utter the villainous words “Lynn, you forgot to get milk.” You will cry.
|Nicole Edwards is an undergraduate at Ohio University where she studies English with a focus in Creative Writing. She hails from Cleveland and loves her dog a little too much.|