grocery stores in september

After having a fistfight with my writing sample this afternoon, where no one won but everyone got beat up and a little weepy, I decided to forget the job market and go to Central Market for some of their wonderful rosemary bread.  And a cannoli for Danny.

I love grocery stores in the fall, when there are huge cardboard bins out front full of pumpkins and gourds that look like old men’s noses and inside there are pears turning brown and mums wrapped in tacky cellophane.  And even though Central Market on a Sunday can be a parking nightmare, every once in a while I like going when it’s busy.  I can peek in one woman’s cart and imagine how she lives her life subsisting on organic bok choy and a single navel orange, or wonder who is waiting at home for this gentleman, whose cart is full of flowers, scallops, and fingerling potatoes.  I hope it’s a happy occasion, maybe an anniversary or a new job or a baby on the way, and that those aren’t “I’m sorry” scallops.  Because really.  Please-forgive-me seafood is just sad.

Even when I’m not really shopping for anything but rosemary bread and cannolis (or is the plural of cannoli just cannoli?), there are certain sections of the store where I like to dawdle.*  I usually high-tail it through the cheese section because, let’s be honest, it smells like feet, and then take a loop around the pastries, considering (every time) buying a pot-de-creme or one of those chocolate cups shaped like tulips and filled with raspberries.  When I pick up rosemary bread I always eye the cornbread and wish that Danny liked it more so it wouldn’t feel like a waste buying it.  I also like to walk through the clear rows of self-serve by-the-pound bins, filled with jelly beans and slivered almonds and kona coffee and a somewhat overwhelming array of grains and rices and granolas that I don’t know how to use.  I imagine that someday I will cook with things like flax seed and bulgur and I’ll grind my organic peanut butter in-store.**  As of now, that’s a rather pricey option.  I eat a lot of peanut butter.

So my trip to the store was relaxing, and now I’m back in front of the laptop, avoiding editing my writing sample because it insists on getting longer, snaking onto page after page one sentence at a time until I’ve somehow added three pages.  But I’ll get back to it, because I’m comforted by the anticipation of eating a chocolate eclair while I watch my HBO shows tonight.  (They were out of cannolis).  And anyway, I’m determined to prove to the Department of Childhood Studies at Rutgers that they need me as faculty.

Really, hire me!  I’m fabulous.  I eat quinoa.

*And yes, I realize that dawdlers are unwelcome on a Sunday in the grocery store.
**I was actually looking for quinoa, because I want to try this recipe.  It was too crowded to go searching for an employee when I couldn’t find it with the other grains, so I’ll have to go back when the store is blissfully empty on a Tuesday afternoon.


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