I like to consider myself a patient person. An understanding person. Someone who gets that things won’t always be available exactly when you want or need them. I think we all feel we’re that way most of the time. Until it comes to something really important. Like food.
When it comes to routine tasks, I’ll say I’m a “fan” of grocery shopping. I’m not sure why, but I don’t mind hunting up and down the aisles crossing off the various things we’ve run out of or require as a one off pick-up. However, since I don’t like taking multiple trips for a couple of things at a time, I’ll usually let the list build up a bit before heading out to fill my basket. If something isn’t a priority, it might be a week until I get out and get it taken care of. Below is my handy shopping list app, and how it’s looked at various times this week:
Outside of the fact I’m paying too much for coffee, you may have noticed that the only repeating request on these lists can be found under Breads and Cereals: Curry. It isn’t there because it’s being consumed in mass quantities, it’s there because it isn’t there. Three separate times over the past week I’ve gone to collect, and three separate times I’ve come up empty. Here’s the thought process each time I’ve gone:
Monday – First attempt: “Oh, it’s sold out. It’s on sale, THAT’S why, alright, I’ll wait until the end of the week and try again.”
Friday – Second attempt: “Huh, still sold out. Not on sale anymore either. But who knows when they restock these things, I’ll try again next time.”
Sunday – Third attempt: “Ok, wait…they still carry this stuff right? They didn’t just leave the tag up by mistake?”
By the third attempt I was going to do what most of us would do: try somewhere else instead. But like all of us, at some point in time, it isn’t about what’s going to solve the problem, it’s a matter of principle. This isn’t about obtaining delicious butter curry anymore, it’s about having the thing you say you’re going to have and SELLING it to me.
For this reason, and this reason alone, I did something yesterday I rarely do: I went out to get one thing. Not a staple like milk or the vodka I’m going to pour into the milk, not something that was really needed, more of a “Really? This is how it’s gonna be? Well I don’t give up THAT easily grocery gods!!!”
Bright and early, around 8am, I’m there. Through the doors, I snag one of the smaller carts (side note: they’re my go-to carts now; I can fit all I need and not feel like I’m pushing a food-sleigh towards a giant’s plate.) I weave my way through carb-rich endcaps and sweet and soured linoleum towards the “ethnic” food section. I always know where to find it because it has the least traffic and the weirdest looking packaging/colour combinations. And after the previous week’s efforts, I know exactly where to look for my goal. I’m turn down the aisle, and feel myself pushing my cart slightly faster, eyes focused on the middle shelf at the end on the left side. As I come to where it should be, I stop, stare for a moment, and stand in shocked silence…
…it’s still not there.
It feathered out from between my curtly pursed lips, neither a yell nor a whisper. This was evident by the reaction from the mother who had just turned the corner with her young child sitting in her cart at mouth level. I think I got a “sorry” out, and quickly pushed out of her eye-line towards the housewares section. I take full responsibility for that kid’s future mouth soapings.
As for the curry, I’m sure it’ll be there when I stop looking for it. For now, my mouth is spicy enough on it’s own.