Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shopping: The Bane and Joy

In my last post, I made note of how frightening it is for me moving out on my own, specifically because of turning around every few minutes to find something missing. I'm a typical man in some ways and sometimes it's "Eh, what date was that birthday? -- oh, yeah," or it's losing the immediacy of that quick wit or share an in-joke with MiniShambles. And sometimes it's grabbing that can of black beans from the cabinet and almost losing your shit because it suddenly dawns on you that YOU NO LONGER OWN A CAN OPENER. Fuck.

So you go shopping to get that can opener. And it's miserable. I've been 4 times "catch-up" shopping since I moved in: 2 Targets, one Kroger (many more of those to come - do you know how many spices I had?), and one Home Depot. And in every one of those instances, I was flooded with the absence, and each time I got near the end of my list and that last item was simply not where should be - or I was just getting frantic - and the anxiety meter welled up along with my eyes and I just wanted to push my cart into the nearest end-cap, scream at the top of my lungs, drop to my knees, and sob quietly for a while. Reality as it is, I held it together, checked out, and held the sobbing for home.

Shopping when you're trying to reconstruct a life can be overwhelming because you're surrounded by absence, every piece is a hole in your life, a reminder of how intertwined you once were with another person, of the emptiness that exists now. But it's not without redemption. Every item you pick up, little things that will allow you to function, is a regeneration, a work towards completion. Granted, you may not realize that until after an in-store near-meltdown and some back-home sobbing, but it's better. And with those trips, as hard as they were, I got a little bit better. I know it's just stuff and "good" is a ways off, but for right now, I can deal with better.

I have to.

Oh, and I did get that can opener, and because it was never allowed in the house due to a solid, lingering aversion tied to MS's morning sickness years ago, it was the best can of Spaghetti-O's I've ever had.

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