Thursday, January 31, 2008

Got Grocery?


We drank what was left of the milk for supper last night. And that's not the only thing that was running low, with Lane and Amanda crawling downstairs for refueling every two or three hours. Yep. A major grocery run was definitely needed.

Starr Ann (hi, Starr Ann) and I were at the kitchen table playing Grocery List when those two soldier girls came down acting a bit less hurried than they had for a few days. Guess their brains were finally out, and they were ready for socializing. Yay.

Lane peeped over Starr Ann's shoulder at her copy of The List and said, "Ooooo, me want some cookies."

Starr Ann pointed to the cookie section of The List. "We have Chips Ahoy, Oreo, and macaroons. What else can we do ya for?"

"Nilla wafers."

Starr Ann gave Lane a long hard look before adding that.

Amanda said, "So, can we go to the store with you guys?"

We said sure, but warned them that the timing might be a little out of their way. See? Starr Ann and I really like to play Grocery Shopping in the middle of the night, when most of the grownups aren't there. Lane and Amanda sounded up for that, so we planned to head out around two in the morning.

Spend-It-Rite was deserted when we got there. Well, deserted except for a few people stocking shelves, one cashier, and the manager who was probably in the office. But no other customers for sure.

First thing as we entered the store, Lane and Amanda cut to the right. Starr Ann had to stop them. "Wrong way, ladies."

Lane laughed, but she loves to challenge Starr Ann at every possible turn. "What does it matter, as long as we make a complete circuit?"

Starr Ann gave her that one look and said, "If we go that way first, silly, we'll pass the bar soap before the bread."

Lane rolled her eyes. Dang, what a teenager that girl can still be. "And that would be a problem why?"

Putting her hands on her hips, Starr Ann let her eyes get all wide, and asked in a serious tone, "You have played Grocery Shopping before, correct Lane? Amanda?"

They looked at each other and made a 'Starr Ann' face. I'd describe it, but I don't think I can. Sorry.

So Starr Ann says, real disappointed, "That speaks volumes. Allow Margo and me to guide and explain. It is essential to smell the breads before smelling the bar soap. The bar soap tends to jack with your olfactory receptors in a way that ruins the bread scents. But the bread has no effect on the soaps. Get it? Good." Starr Ann pointed to a grocery cart and led the way leftward.

We had a great time in the Produce Aisle. What's not to like about tomato inuendo, banana inuendo, and the occasional spontaneous misting? Nothing, in our opinion.

Anyway, next big stop was the Bread Aisle. Poor Lane and Amanda. We had to show them everything, from how to fan the wrapper for greater molecular flux, to saving the rye bread for last. What are they teaching kids nowadays?

They caught on pretty quick after that, though. By the time we reached the canned fruit, Starr Ann was pushing one basket, with me standing on the front and Lane was pushing the other one, with Amanda riding. Lane halted in front of the maraschino cherries. She reached out and touched one of the jars, her fingertip right on a cherry, and gave Starr Ann her best blissful expression of countenance to give some idea of their deliciousness. Yep. It was a move straight from Starr Ann's favorite scene in My √Āntonia.

Tears filled Starr Ann's eyes, and she said, "Lane! You read it? For me?"

Looking all proud of herself, Lane said, "In Basic, we got a couple of free hours every Sunday afternoon, and I read it then."

Well, after that, it was Lane pushing one basket with Starr Ann riding, and me pushing Amanda on the other one. And Starr Ann and Lane kinda went off in their own direction for a while. That was real sweet, I thought.

We met back up with them in Greeting Cards. Starr Ann was in the process of explaining how to go through all the Love cards and separate out the ones ambiguous enough to be Lesbian Love cards. We all worked on that for a few minutes and when we had them all sorted, I got out the Sharpie pen we were gonna buy and made a new shelf label that said Lesbian Love. It looked real nice. Then we did the same thing in Birthday, Get Well, Congratulations, and Friendship. Heh.

That was hard work, believe it or not, and we thought we deserved to go directly to the bar soaps. Dang, I could just take a bite right out of Dove pink soap. I swear I could. Starr Ann favors Zest. I noticed Amanda and Lane both seemed partial to the Sandalwood. But whatever. Starr Ann and I try not to judge.

For the final stretch of store, we traded off so that Lane and I were together. As she started to push me toward the back of Aisle Four, I said, "They're kinda following us, Lane, maybe we should take a left here so we don't end up in the meat section. The meat makes Starr Ann sad."

Lane said, "Already all over that, Margo. Starr Ann told me the same thing about you when I almost led you and Amanda over there earlier."

We forgot the dang milk! Can you believe that? All these cookies and no milk.