May 23, 2012

“Eat More Vegetable.”

The Riddle of Being an Adult

For the last eight years or so, I’ve been in charge of feeding myself.

You could say that I’m a natural. I know how to make a grocery list, and then find the items on that list. I even enjoy having to do it. Sure, it would be easier, warmer, and more comfortable to never have been winged. But, really, it’s not so bad.

Sometimes I shop at the Asian Market around the corner from my house. I like it because I’m one of three people shopping at a time. All the foreign packaging excites me (the cute panda bears on everything). I become engrossed and completely spatially unaware. For example, I once spent fifteen minutes staring at one plastic bowl. It had brightly colored flowers on it.

The woman at the checkout counter files her nails. I don’t find it disgusting. She is cute enough to even clip them. I feel slightly heroic as I set down my basket of supplies—a solid collection of miscellaneous crunchy snacks, frozen dumplings and dried foods. If  a storm or my grandma were to suddenly turn up in town, I’d be set. Hide-bernation.

She waves her wand scanner over the orange tags.

Beep. $4.49. Beep. $.99. Beep. $5.99.

I fiddle with the plastic Buddha on the counter until I realize it’s connected to her car keys. She’s looking at me like the cat dragged me in, but she can’t be bothered.

“$59.99,” she says.

“Oh, and this,” I say as I pick up a small bok choy.

She stares at the leafy green dangling from my hand then bursts into laughter.

“Only one?”


“Look!” she exclaims

She snatches it and gets the attention of a man stalking shelves. He walks over, looks at my pile, places it all in a cardboard box, and sets the bok choy on top.

“Eat more vegetable,” she tells me.


I walk out with my supplies.

“See you next week,” she says.

I walk the quarter mile home carrying a box of, now that I look at it, mostly sauce, and wonder at the riddle of being an adult.

Maybe it is as simple as eating more vegetables and taking naps.

I reach for a .99 cent crunchy.


Editor: Brianna Bemel

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