I came for two things so I skipped the shopping cart route; now I had an armful of produce and staples. How does that always happen? I couldn’t hold anything more. But wait: my wife had asked for something else. What was it? Oh yea, shredded mozzarella cheese for her butternut squash lasagna. She was on a veggie kick. Fine; I could use some veggie dinners and still hit In ‘N Out for lunch. Maybe I’d net out even.
After zeroing out in the cheese aisle, I found it in the refrigerated section. Only, it came in a five found sack. That was a lot of cheese. My phone rang.
“Did you remember the organic blueberries?” she asked.
“They only had non-organic from Argentina,” I replied. It was December in the Northern Hemisphere; what did we expect?
“Don’t buy it if it’s not organic,” she said.
“Okay, honey. I’ll be home soon.” Then I remembered the cheese, and its quantity. “Hey, do we want five pounds of … .” The line was dead. I’d missed my shot. I could call back. But what the hell: lasagna needs a lot of cheese, right? It was low fat. Let’s see: $2.86 a pound. It would be twice that at Safeway. We’ll use it or share it, all at the same price. I opened the freezer door and grabbed a sack.
“What’s this? FIVE POUNDS of cheese? Are you crazy?” she said as I deposited my lucre on the kitchen counter. “We’re never going to use this much cheese. It’ll go bad!” I missed the old days when I would have heard a simple, “Welcome home! And thanks for stopping at the store.”
“But it’s mozzarella; low fat; already shredded. We’ll use it up.”
“In a month, if it doesn’t go bad before that! Which it will!”
“Honey, it was inexpensive: the same as buying half as much at Safeway.”
“We’ll have to eat it twice as fast then!” she suggested. Really, she needed to work on her irony. “I only needed a pound for my lasagna! What are we going to do with the rest?”
I gave up my arguments for quantum economics. What the heck! I had gone to Costco – a Big Box store. What was she expecting? They don’t have small quantities. The only individual servings are at the food court!
“Five pounds of cheese! What am I going to do with this?” she lamented. Then she reached for the phone. “He bought five pounds! Do you believe it?! Can you use some mozzarella?” She repeated this to all the adjacent neighbors. Then the non-adjacent ones. I began to worry that she would over-commit, giving away all the cheese. I’d have to go back to the store for more!
I was starting to feel lactose intolerant. Enough already! “Okay honey. Do whatever you want with the cheese.” I made my way to the front door. Ten minutes: I could make In ‘N Out and warm comfort food: french fries, a coke, a burger – and hold the cheese.