Friday, October 24, 2014

Frozen Food Aisle Capers

Before I was married, the frozen dinner aisle at my local grocery store was a pretty happening place to hang out.  I know many people find the produce section of the grocery store to be a much bigger draw, but I found the selection of fruits and vegetables to be a bit........ awkward.....when socializing.  In the frozen food aisle, single women stood in solidarity as we discussed whether a particular meal met our calorie limitations and was (hopefully) filling and tasted like something other than glue. 

grocery, shopping, food

Standing there among the hungry single women, I'd make a good show of trying to decide between the Weight Watcher's grilled chicken with vegetables and the Lean Cuisine chicken piccata, while secretly eyeballing the mouthwatering photos on the boxes of Marie Callender's fried chicken or Stouffer's lasagna with meat sauce.  As we all stood before the freezers' insulated glass doors, many hours were spent discussing the merits of fewer calories versus flavor, while we cast longing, surreptitious glances at the "full flavor" (aka meals with 1,000 calories and 40 grams of fat) meals.

I would chat and wait patiently as everyone made their meal selections and slowly departed the frozen food aisle.  Looking up and down the aisle to make sure the coast was clear, I would quickly pounce on my favorite meal.  With speed reminiscent of Jackie Joyner-Kersee, I'd sprint to those luscious looking fat and calorie-laden frozen meals and quickly stuff one in my cart.

After leaving the aisle, I took great care to make sure the contraband was hidden under something large enough that no part of it was visible.  Knowing that when I reached the cash register to check out, there would inevitably be another female in line who would scrutinize my purchases.

Having been questioned by the cart police on a previous calorie-laden purchase, I made sure to hide my meal well.  Being subjected to the raised eyebrow of shame from the cart police once was enough to make most females never step foot near that part of the freezer section again.

Oh, but not this redhead.  Whether I ate the divine ooey-gooeyness of a chicken pot pie, or let it sit in my freezer so long it built up a frost so thick it could have been mistaken for the iceberg that sunk the Titanic, it did not matter.  It became a challenge to see whether I could make it all the way through the store and through the check-out lane without getting caught.

I started going through the same cashier's line every week after she saw the meal's location on the conveyor belt (hidden between the toilet paper and the multi-pack of facial tissues) and, with a sly grin, distracted shoppers in her lane.  She quickly scanned the meal and shoved it to the bottom of the grocery bag before anyone was the wiser.

She wasn't a redhead, but she was feisty enough that I'm pretty sure it must have been in her bloodline.  Together, we foiled the calorie-counting cart police for a good year before I met my husband and we started dating and got married. 

With having a significant other, I was no longer subjected to the cart police's scrutiny.............. until I had children.........

Written by Christie Bielss

Friday, October 3, 2014

Directionally Challenged

My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this week.  It does feels like quite an accomplishment that we are still together after so many years.  It's not that we aren't compatible or don't get along, in fact, we make a pretty good team.  We complement each other's idiosyncrasies quite well.

compass, road trip, travel
"Misty Way" photo courtesy of Hornpipe
One of us likes to spend money, the other is a saver.  One of us has what some people would classify as a fiery temper (ahem, I think that may be a bit of an exaggeration on their part), the other stays calm, cool, and collected.

He doesn't like cake icing and I do, so he gives me all of his.   He doesn't like chocolate either, and gives me all of that as well.  That last act alone qualifies him for sainthood.  

I like to shop around for the best price on things we need.  He likes for me to shop around for the best bargain.  Once I find the bargain, he goes and purchases said item.  It's like having Amazon Prime living in my own house.

Even with all of the many wonderful ways we work together, there is still one area we struggle with:  navigation.  My husband seems to have been born without an internal compass, and he can't follow a mechanical one either.

When I tell him to head east, he'll head west, or south, or any direction except east.  If I tell him to take the 3rd street on the right, he'll turn at the 5th street on the left.

Even when he uses the map feature on his phone, he gets north/south/east/west all mixed up.  He argues with the turn-by-turn navigation on our GPS as it calls out which way to go or what lane to be in.

If he goes the wrong way from what the GPS is coordinated for, he'll yell at the GPS to hush up.  The GPS will then give elaborate directions on where to make a U-turn to get back on the correct path.

My husband has no appreciation for this feature and tells it to recalculate because he doesn't make U-turns.  After a couple of miles, you can almost hear the GPS sigh in frustration as it says "recalculating..........".

Just recently I was heading south on a highway and my husband was giving me directions.  He was absolutely sure we were headed north.  Thankfully I was born with an internal compass and knew that we were headed south.

Had I not of known where we were going, we might have driven all the way to the Texas-Mexico border.  Should that have happened, I would almost bet money he would have asked why Mexico was where Canada is supposed to be.

Even with this strange quirk, he has always been able to find his way home every single day.  After 25 years together, I guess there are worse quirks to have........

Written by Christie Bielss