I SURVIVED! A Tale of Grocery Shopping on Thanksgiving Week

It's Tuesday, it's payday, and we desperately need to go to grocery shopping.

With a tuition payment due out of pocket at the beginning of the month, we managed to pinch our pennies throughout the remaining weeks enough to not dig into our savings account. But it's been weird meals of whatever is left in the pantry and freezer, and we've hit the bottom of the snack box so that all that's left is a strange and squashed granola bar from last year. It's definitely time to go grocery shopping.

Daniel surprised me by making a menu plan and grocery list while I was out yesterday, primarily from his new favorite cookbook, "From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg's Kitchen" (it's by Snoop Dogg). The list includes 20 POUNDS OF POTATOES (written just like that in all caps on the grocery list), because Thanksgiving is coming up. 

We think going shopping on Tuesday is just far enough away from turkey day that it won't be too crazy. We say Armageddon will not yet have hit.

We are wrong.

Daniel devises a plan that he'll call me when he leaves work, I'll walk over to Fred Meyer, start the grocery shopping, and then he'll join when he comes into town. As I pass through the entryway I notice the grocery cart selection is slim. The cart I pick has a leftover child's sticker and donut napkin in the bottom. The Black Friday sock selection is already looming as I step into the store. I take a deep breath and turn Daniel's grocery list to the produce side and walk towards the bananas.

There is an atmosphere of quiet chaos as I roll my cart down the produce aisle, you can feel it's about to get crazy up in here. I'm hearing some strange music and I almost wonder if they're having a live band, but the live band sounds like it's a 6th grade beginning band Christmas concert. I realize it's over the loudspeaker and wonder why they're adding to the disorder of the grocery store on Thanksgiving week.

Daniel's reassuring presence joins me just as I've finished fretting over what lettuce to purchase for my Thanksgiving salad after learning about the romaine e. coli recall. We push through the aisles at a pretty solid pace. I keep running to find things and losing him, we call each other a few times. A manager runs about the store with a frantic smile and an "are you finding everything alright?". I accidentally grab the most dented container of butter, but I don't care because the key is to move through each aisle before the riots come in.

Our list is almost complete and Daniel's headed to the register to get our check-out started. I'm after our sneakiest remaining item: chili. Somehow, it's not by the beans. I head to the soup aisle, shooting the gap between two quickly moving carts like a road rage-aholic on I-5. Chili is not in the soup section. The frantically smiling manager passes me speed-walking 12 miles per hour and someone snatches up his chili-finding wisdom before I do.

 I pass a tower of cranberry sauce and remember we are supposed to pick that up for a Friendsgiving on Saturday. As I'm pausing to ponder if our friends will prefer the actual berry shaped sauce, or the sauce shaped like a can, while also feeling guilty that I'm not going to make cranberry sauce from scratch, Daniel calls. Crap, I think, he must be finishing up checking out. He's just reminding me we need cornbread too. I tell him about the cranberry sauce dilemma and grab both, and miraculously, as I hold two cans of cranberries in one hand and my phone with the other, I see the chili just in front of me. I grab a can and make a mad dash for the register, snagging some cornbread mix on my way. I meet Daniel at the register just in time. We pay and push our heavily laden cart out the door, passing the singing and santa hat wearing bellringer at the door.

Twenty minutes later, we've brought our groceries up our three flights of stairs and unloaded them. We sigh and say "good job" to one another. We survived. As silly as it is, some of the moments the strength of our partnership is most obvious is when we conquer tasks like a big, ol grocery haul on Armageddon Tuesday of Thanksgiving week.

Happy Thanksgiving, all. And may the odds be ever in your favor at the grocery store.


  1. The grocery stores can definitely get CRAZY this time of year! I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving Kelsey!

  2. Oh man! I tried my best to get my grocery shopping done the Sunday before and thank goodness! Somehow we managed without having to run to the store for anything. I am not sure if it was good planning or just plain luck!


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