At the grocery store today there were thousands of people shopping for their holiday repast.
Why don't they just buy it when they are shopping for their regular groceries like I am? Why does shopping for turkey require 75% more people? Admittedly, I was with my 9 year old, but I am usually there with all 3 kiddos, so technically, I had 66% fewer people with me. I have been at rock concerts with less people than were at the store today.
It was the Monkees Reunion Tour, but still.
I made my usual route through the HEB (in South Texas, you can go to any grocery store you want, as long as it's HEB). I started in paper goods, went through dairy, meat, then circle back for cleaning goods, personal products, pet food, frozen, canned goods, cereal, specialty items, bakery then fresh produce.
I filled my cart with the usual, plus stuff for Thursday. A box of stuffing, a huge frozen solid turkey, a can of cranberry sauce, a can of pumpkin, a can of biscuits, and a tub of cool whip. A big tub of cool whip.
In the produce section, I found sweet potatoes, haricot verts (or, as I like to call them: green beans), lettuce, tomato, a star fruit, lemons and oranges. My son wanted the star fruit. What the hell, it's only once a year. I'll pay $3 for a pretty fruit that no one is really going to eat.
My oldest and I discussed Thanksgiving. We discussed the brutal winter the pilgrims experienced. The disease, the squalor. We discussed the trials that led to the pilgrims going to the New World. The prejudice and the political oppression. My 9 year old is really, really smart. He is more than up for a discussion on the Geopolitics of 1659 and the repercussions for modern western civilization.
It occurred to me that the pilgrims wouldn't recognize anything that we were buying in their honor. Most of it was canned or boxed or shrink wrapped. Most of it has added salt or sugar or colors. Even the vegetables were prettier and more processed than the stuff they ate. I mean, seriously -- canned cranberry sauce?
When I was about 12, I got in big trouble because I mashed the cranberry sauce in the bowl so it would look more "natural". My dad said I "ruined" it and had to run to the 7-11 to get another can because in those days grocery stores were not open on Thanksgiving. I think he paid like $3.25 for that can of cranberry sauce.
I have a vegetarian friend who buys organic and wouldn't eat anything that I bought. She is very true to the idea of clean food, as close as possible to its natural state. She bemoans the state of food in this country. I am very thankful for this friend. I am also thankful that I am not eating Thanksgiving with her. (Just kidding M! You can come to our house if you want! Bring your own dinner, 'kay?)
I am also very thankful that the bounty we receive is nothing like the Pilgrims. I don't have to kill anything. I don't have to clean much. I just open the can, and yum.
I just hope the Cool Whip lasts until Thanksgiving.