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2.20.2012

THE PRICE IS NOT RIGHT

All last week I needed to get groceries.  I procrastinated for several reasons.  First, I hate grocery shopping, though it is a necessary part of life.  No longer do most of us do the hunting and gathering in the wild, but we drive to the store where do a more classy version of the same.  Food is good, don't get me wrong.  I just don't care about it all that much a great deal of the time. I like to wait until there is just about virtually nothing left in the house to eat.  It's a sort of game I like to play with creating a meal with only what is sparsely left.  Second, I hate spending money.  I don't like to spend it on things that are transient - here today and then GONE tomorrow.  It is not an investment but an on-going money pit.  There is nothing to show from groceries (ok short of staying alive!) in a few days, a week or a couple of weeks.  You have to start all over again.  Third, I find myself getting disgusted at the store with the price of things and PEOPLE.  No one seems happy to be there either.  Sometimes I try a study in human behavior just to entertain myself and make it more bearable.  I will look directly at people and smile to see what they will do.  Most will not smile back but continue in their grouchy demeanored ways.  There are other times I wish I had a bull horn to walk up and down the aisles saying things like, "Who else here isn't really enjoying this?  Has anyone tried these Tofu noodles yet?  They are good!  I highly recommend them!  Do you really think this pineapple should be $3.99?  Do you find that ridiculous too?"  Fourth, I have definite issues with the state of our food in the U.S.  It's a hot button for me.  We perpetuate being overweight by what we chemically alter, produce, and then sell.  We create allergies by bio-engineering wheat, corn, tomatoes, chickens, etc.  It pisses me off!   A system of disease and poverty is kept alive by making things that are horrible for our bodies, like mac n cheese 3 boxes for $1 and white bread, cheaper to buy and feed a family than romaine lettuce, apples, organic chicken, whole grain bread, carrots, nuts, strawberries.  I actually feel sorrow for those that by sheer place in life cannot afford to eat healthy.  It angers me.  Part of it is lack of education in understanding how to cook with whole foods that are not processed.  Part of it is convenience as it is far easier and faster to open a pre-packaged box of something, add water and a pound of the cheapest ground beef sold than it is to make stir fry with fresh vegetables and a pot of rice.  But, a large part of it is cost.  If I have a family, live on a very limited income, and can only spend $200-$300 or less on groceries for the month I have to buy things that will last.  Doug and I walked away from the grocery store Saturday afternoon after having spent close to $200.00.  We don't buy junk food other than the occasional half gallon of Breyers ice cream or a bag of pretzels.  We don't buy processed foods, convenience packaged items or things in cans.  That leaves mostly fresh veggies, fruit, chicken, fish, cheese, bread, eggs, and staples like olive oil, rice, oatmeal, real butter, nuts and dried fruits.  It is costly.  It is time consuming to cook from scratch using fresh ingredients. Or bake a pie or cookies yourself using ingredients you can pronounce.  But, you feel better eating clean and fresh.  Some people do not have that privilege.  That saddens me.  I hate the grocery store.  I love though when Doug goes with me.  He is my store diversion making me forget how much I hate being there.  I sometimes hug him from behind or look up from a shelf and see him watching me.  Occasionally I will pinch his ass.  Always does he kiss me forty-thousand times while we are there.  We usually play THE PRICE IS RIGHT game at checkout.  We both give our estimated guess for the total price of the showcase showdown - our grocery bill.  We banter and wait while the cashier rings it all up.   Saturday we convinced the clerk to guess too as she was ringing it up. I think she liked being a part of our game.  She and Doug lost.  I though was closest to the total cost without going over.  I got nothing for winning though, unless of course you count having to pay for the groceries! 

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