Two summers ago, on a balmy evening, I went grocery shopping alone. When I returned home, I opened the door to retrieve the groceries and found I had buckled my watermelon into Daniel’s car seat. It sat there, snug and comfy and completely strapped in. If I had gotten into an accident, it’s safe to bet the watermelon would not have been harmed. I wasn’t used to going shopping without the twins, so I suppose when I pulled the watermelon out of the cart, it being the same size and having the same general proportions as Daniel at that time, I subconsciously treated it like one of my babies.
I only just remembered that occurrence this past Wednesday evening, when I went grocery shopping alone and found myself starting to buckle a large bag of Puppy Chow into Ella’s car seat.
I think I need to get out more. Alone.
Grocery shopping by myself is a wonderful treat. I can stop and examine prices and nutrition labels without the twins planning a mutiny within that car affixed to the front of the shopping cart. And I can drink a soda without having to share and therefore be subjected to three-year old backwash.
On Wednesday, I bought the kids’ Valentine’s Day treats and decided to go ahead and get the husband a Valentine’s Day card. Of course, choosing the right card takes time. One wants to get just the right sentiment without it seeming trite or cliché. I passed over the “Love is a Journey. I’m so glad I get to take every step with you,” card, which was tame as cheesy cards go, and only made me vomit in my mouth a little. There was one that went something like, “Every time I think of the day we met, I smile. When I think of our first kiss, I smile. In fact, every time I think of you, I smile. (Open card.) You make me smile. Happy Valentine’s Day.” Did someone get paid to write this?
I picked up one with two kids, a boy and a girl, glaring at each other. The front read “If we knew each other in kindergarten…” The inside read, “I love you.”
I didn’t get it. You probably got it right away. My head tends to get fuzzy after 7:00 in the evening. And I had just seen a 5 lb Hershey’s Chocolate bar in the bulk candy section of Wegmans. I mean, I'd heard such things existed, but I’d never actually seen one in person. Coming to terms with its existence was definitely messing with my smallish brain.
I stood there, stupidly, thinking that the sentence “If we knew each other in kindergarten… I love you,” just didn’t hold together very well as a coherent statement. I stared around, the bafflement surely showing upon my face, my frozen items melting in my cart. Perhaps someone would come along and explain the card to me. Surely, someone would notice my confusion. No one did. One mother and her teenage daughter ambled by and I overheard the following:
“You’ve only been dating a week. I don’t see that a card is necessary.”
It was the daughter speaking.
I got the joke as I realized I was attempting to buckle in puppy chow. And I thought it was stupid. “Hey- if we had known each other in kindergarten, we would’ve hated one another! Ha ha ha ha! I love you!”
I could totally create Valentine’s Day cards. I can do cheesy. Like the following:
There's even a baby drip.
Someone out there would buy this.
I've gotta go now. Gotta finally get the puppy chow out of the van. It's in Ella's car seat, still, albeit not buckled in.
I'm such a drip.