Feel like a jerk pushing a huge CostCo cart? RELIEF AT LAST!

Every once in awhile, your house just gets low on supplies. Somehow we ran out of our drum of ketchup at the same time we needed a new case of milk and a fresh stockpile of cereal. Hi, we’re suburbanites now and do that thing were we get something we like and act like the zombie apocalypse is nigh, so we buy ten tons of it at CostCo. I’m stocked on Munchie Bites if you see any mushroom clouds on the horizon, guys!

When did this become a thing, by the way? Not to be all get-off-my-lawn, but I grew up in a house with the same number of people I’ve got now and everything seemed perfectly normal with one refrigerator. When you ran out of ketchup, you bought a new bottle. You didn’t go to your pantry and pull one out of storage. I remember we visited the Hearst Castle on vacation once when I was a kid and I was most impressed by the kitchen that apparently stored ten bottles of ketchup at a time. Maybe it made such an impression that I carried the idea into adulthood that a high volume of ketchup in the house = SUCCESS!!

It seems to be the norm around here, though, to live in a giant house and shop in bulk. I’ve got eight cans of olives. Does that even make sense? It all struck me as crazy as I was checking out at CostCo last night. I took a picture of my cart for posterity. I think I did that to kind of remind myself of my own ridiculous good fortune and assuage the guilt I felt pushing it around. No one needs $357 worth of groceries for a family of four.

I used to buy the basics. Ketchup and pickles are superfluous groceries. They don’t add protein or significant caloric or nutritional value to a meal. They are a waste of money, and yet my cart yesterday was full of all sorts of things I wouldn’t have dreamed of buying ten years ago. A giant bag of Skinny Pop popcorn? So it’s a huge mass of something that’s supposed to not add any energy to your diet? That makes no sense to a poor person (or the natural law of things in an unbloated society) that you’d trade work for money and money for food that’s not supposed give you energy nor any building blocks for your body. Skinny Pop is supposed to taste good and then exit the solar system like a phantom. Is it even a food? I think it’s air with a little salt and it costs the equivalent of one hour of minimum wage work. Makes no sense.

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I am such an a-hole.

The whole idea of my giant cart of not-entirely-necessities really bothered me. I made the argument to myself that most of it was food with nutritional value (24 eggs, three cartons of milk, the world’s most giant bag of some new high-protein grain called “Qia”. Thanks, hippies). I was just being a “good mom”. I’m stocking up so that my family can have nutritional, home-cooked meals over the next few weeks when my growing largeness/birth-giving will prevent me from getting out as much. But are our families the only ones we’re supposed to take care of? Is it just a weedle self-indulgent that I gave birth to these people in the first place, and then justify consuming mass quantities to take care of them? I mean, doesn’t it seem like “family” should include the community and not just the people under my roof since I have enough extra cash to purchase nine tons of crackers? It certainly took more than the people under my roof to care for me until this point. I have friends and friends’ parents and Pell grants and a scholarship committee to thank for my being able to push this giant cart around.

Not sure if you heard, but there’s a little BIG F’ING DEAL going on right now with the government, oh, shutting down. While Congress and the President battle out some shiz (and continue to receive their normal paychecks, ahem) many government workers are being furloughed. Normal, hardworking people with budgets and families to feed are suddenly like, *poof* not getting a paycheck. Maybe they’ll be fine with a few days pay cut, but what if they’re not? What about all the other people in this city who don’t have two eggs to crack together? And here I am, all, “I have ten pizzas in my two refrigerators”.

I’m not sure if I believe in reincarnation, but I do believe this life is like a ferris wheel. We all get our turn to be up, we all take a turn to be down. It’s how you act on top that matters. I’m on top right now and if you have more than one loaf of bread in your house, you’re on top too. I’m sure you get asked to donate to things every day and guess what? Today’s a day!

Please consider donating a few bucks with just one measly click to the Chicago Food Bank. It makes you feel good! Just do it! What’s money anyway, besides little pieces of green paper that can help people?

You’ve got enough ketchup.

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