I’m on the conveyor belt of worry. It’s an endless  task, but somebody’s got to do it.

Did I mention that grocery shopping is my most disliked home chore? It goes like this:

  1. You need food. You make a list. You go to the store.
  2. Reading said list, you go through the store, taking items off shelves and add them to your cart. (Sometimes, when I’m completely sick of the job, I stubbornly will only buy what I can carry. This has made me an adept carrier, able to juggle up to $50 of stuff in one trip.)
  3. When you’re almost to the checkout, you invariably remember a necessary item, say, toilet tissue, and it’s located at the farthest point from your current location. You back track.
  4. You make it to the checkout. Self-checkout is a mixed blessing; you can bag the way you put items away at home, but you’ve got more responsibility at the machine. Tonight, I misunderstood the billing category for my feta-stuffed olives in oil (my snack/reward), ringing them up as Salad Bar. I’m pretty sure they were worth more than 30¢.
  5. Everything comes out of the cart, onto the conveyor. Some belts are touchier than others. The ones at our megastore, Meijers, want items to pass a plexi barrier before you send the next item onward.  I lack patience in this regard.
  6. Either the checkout clerk (a mixed bag of personalities, some listless, some so perky they should swear off caffeine, and a few clever baggers who adhere to my “all frozen foods in one” rule – I love them) or you will move everything into a bag, reusable, of course, which is another duty.
  7. You roll your unruly cart to the parking lot, load your car, drive home, unload the car to the kitchen (if you’re lucky, there’s help), and unpack everything, putting it all away. It barely fits….you had no food when you left, but the products on your shelves expanded while you were away.
  8. You realize you forgot something. Or some wisecracker at home asks why there’s no food.
  9. It starts.

Let me say, yes, this is a first-world problem. “Boo hoo for me,” that I have such a terrible task as procuring food from a safe, clean supermarket of vast selection. I believe I can be grateful for product and still not particularly like the process. There’s no one else that loves a good deli section like me; I give thanks frequently for fried chicken (I will use my cast iron skillet one day) and the olive bar.

I’m tired of worry, in the same way.

A classic version of this is late-night worry.  You can haul things out from years ago and miles away, troubling it and rehashing it.  There’s money worry: never enough. There’s off-spring worry: what you did wrong, what they did wrong, and why they won’t listen. Employment worry is complex:  you need a job, a better job, recognition, an improved work environment. And then there’s family. Ah, family. And love: looking for, uncertain, lacking, losing. Enough. Too much. Nothing.

Of course, there are “specials” on the conveyor. And your basics – – you buy them so often, you won’t even look at an alternative. There’s the impulse. The guilty treat (see stuffed olives).  True confessions, I am a potato chip connoisseur, so tonight I tried Sarracha Kettle Chips, always opening the bag in the car…I only allow myself eight, because I worry about the calories. They’re great, by the way, like old Barbeque chips used to be, hot and burning.

I’d jump off the endless loop, but I might lose my place line.

Get out of my way.


An idea:
I don’t really like to leave people on a negative note.  1940s housewife showing how to tame pricesI once read that you should put your worries into a box. You can add them at will, but you should only read them once a month. You want to pay attention to which ones went away, how much work you had to do to impact it or how little, and over what you had absolutely no control

If you’re a praying sort, this can come in handy. If not, it’s still a good exercise. Don’t worry that you’re not doing it right. Kidding.


Photo credits:

07-31-2013 10:59 AM  allan-grant-piggly-wiggly-checkers-in-new-encino-store_i-G-27-2703-IGFND00Z.jpg

Life, Inc. 1940’s housewife shows how to curb high costs