Without going into too much detail of the hows, whys, and whens of suddenly being empty nesters (saw it coming but not that fast), I am comfortable enough to share with all of you, Gentle Readers, that I went grocery shopping Sunday afternoon and had a pickle of a time. The last time I went to the grocery store to shop for just the two of us — no expectations of anyone else coming into the house to partake of any groceries or various sundries — we were 27 and 24. The Husband could eat wheat products (well, it turns out he really couldn’t… we just didn’t know for another 14 years). We ate grown-up food exactly as we liked. We bought household items appropriate for grown-ups. We bought beer. A lot of beer.
Fast forward to 2015, the kitchen and pantry have been empty for a few months when I decided we needed to starve The Kid out of the house. Last Sunday afternoon was my first chance to replenish a food supply that would look more normal than the few cans of Thai-style coconut milk and large Cash-n-Carry sized jugs of vinegar that are there now.
But I couldn’t figure out what to buy. I walked up and down each aisle trying to remember… and getting verklempt when realizing I no longer needed this aisle, that aisle, the sections over here or over there.
I realized that in the last few years having a teenage boy in the house (and for some of that time, two teenage boys in the house) meant that I shopped with the only goal of stocking the frig and pantry as full as I could and keep it to under $150 per week. Lots of cereals (4 for $10? Yes). Lots of “yogurts” (10 for $5? Yes). Lots of lunch meats (2 for $5? Yes). And so on. No more! But then… what do we eat now that it’s just the two of us?
In the end, I returned home with nothing but ice cream and club soda. I was at a loss.
The Husband asked me why I didn’t really buy any food. I asked him to tell me what he would have bought had he been the shopper. He couldn’t answer either.
Yes, this is a brave new world! We have to relearn how to shop and eat.
However, I did discover this: with The Husband gluten free and The Kid out of the house… I can buy beer again and not worry about anyone drinking it. As the great philosopher Shangela would say, “Halleloo.”