My Grocery Store Temper Tantrum
Okay, so it wasn't exactly a roll around in the floor temper tantrum. And I wasn't mad at my adult self for not letting me get a candy bar or a cheap toy. Nonetheless, I had an adult version of a meltdown in Kroger on Thursday.
Here's the story. I am a bargain shopper. I love a good deal and I will spend hours making sure I've gotten the best price, even in the grocery store. Periodically Kroger mails me coupons and every now and then, it's a coveted coupon for $10 off of a $40 purchase. Opening my mail to find one of these babies is for me what I imagine it must feel like when you're sitting in the Bingo hall and you're the first one to holler BINGO!
I received one of these coupons recently and I waited until I was out of milk, eggs, coffee creamer and a few other grocery items so I could hit my $40 threshold. I wandered through the aisles keeping a mental tally of my spending. I relished the slow search for other deals to combine with my coupon (Special K for $1.50 is pretty sweet)! My final items were in the dairy section--sidebar--did you know that they put the milk at the very back of the store so that you HAVE to walk past all the other enticing groceries when all you really need is milk?? Smart!
I grabbed my milk for $2.59 and realized I was still $15 short of spending $40. I looked at my cart. I looked at my list. There was nothing else I needed. Nothing else I even wanted! I went to the kitchen aisle thinking I might get a cast iron skillet because I left most of the cooking stuff with Randy. Jeez, I cannot pay Kroger prices for a pan when I know how much I could pay elsewhere. So, I found my way to the candles. I sniffed and smelled and considered, but that's one thing I didn't leave with Randy. I have an entire box of candles.
And then it happened. Standing in front of the candles and magazines and looking about, I just started to cry. In our marriage, we divided responsibilities. I was the grocery shopper. Always! I saved us thousands of dollars by being the one in charge of the grocery envelope and the coupon bag. If I were still shopping for "us," I wouldn't be in this predicament. I could ALWAYS round out a trip with a few 6 packs of Ensure or Boost, some frozen meals, or 5 pounds of ground beef (all favorites of Randy but not at all for me).
I've been trying to allow my grief. I don't want to bury it knowing that it'll just come out sideways. I'll end up overeating, drinking too much, saying something snarky, or staying in bed all week. So, I just stood there with tears streaming down my face until it passed. I cried because I don't want to be a single woman. I don't want to be divorcing. I don't want to see Randy only on Sundays. AND I WANT TO USE MY FREAKING COUPON!
My tears subsided as they always do. I decided I didn't have to use the coupon but I wanted to. I would buy something that felt like a treat. I looked at the fresh flowers but they were kind of sad. Instead I made my way back to produce and picked out some gourmet mushrooms and a couple of packs of vegetarian sausage. A happy ending.
I'm sharing this story because I want you to know that you are not alone if you experience grief in the everyday. God knows I didn't expect a trip to the grocery store to almost take me to my knees. It's just one of a million little ways my life is different. I am adapting. I know I am going to be okay. But I know I'll also feel the tidal wave again. I'll be taking out the trash or paying a bill or pumping gas or watching paint dry. Maybe next time I'll buy roses.