Soviet Shopping

I don’t want to write about the coronavirus. I hate the coronavirus. However, the fact remains that there is really nothing else to talk about. If I turn on the news (which I frankly do as seldom as possible lest I round up a noose and hang myself), that’s all they’re talking about . It’s like nothing else is happening in the entire world, which is probably mostly true.

Inasmuch as I was resistant for some time, I now — like most others — remain in my house looking at my husband (well, really the bottom half of my husband since he’s still working on his sports car), binge-watching Longmire.

Every couple of days, I gather up my nerve and go to a grocery store. I go to different stores each time, hoping things will look better. Yes, I have heard about the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But Einstein didn’t live through the coronavirus pandemic, did he?

It’s excrutiatingly depressing. I came home the other day, and burst into tears when I saw Bill’s smiling face. “It’s like shopping in the old Soviet Union,” I told him. “The shelves are completely empty. There’s no meat. There’s no pasta.  There was not a single roll of toilet paper.”

He looked a bit panicked, as men are wont to do when the woman they love bursts into tears. I went on, “The good news is that I was able to get the last jar of peanut-butter-filled pretzels for you.”

“Maybe I could use those to wipe my butt,” he said. That, of course, made me laugh hysterically, since depression is only a step away from mania. I’m glad I married that man.

I tried again yesterday to mostly no avail. I am on the lookout for yeast, because I want to make bread. I have been totally unable to find a single packet of yeast. The lack of yeast makes me laugh, because I don’t really envision a bunch of millennials baking bread. In fact, prior to this quarantine, they had their food delivered to them by Blue Apron ready to put in the microwave and serve. I expect after this is all over, there will be plenty of yeast, only it will be in the garbage cans with past-due expiration dates.

I had purchased sugar and flour prior to the whole panic-shopping thingy, but feel very sorry for those hunting down the precious commodities now. As for me, being unable to find a box of brownie mix (or really any kind of mix) at the store, I tried my hand at baking from scratch using the aforementioned sugar and flour, with cocoa that I also had on hand. They weren’t as good as my sister Bec’s brownies, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Bill was wise enough to not complain….

By the way, our local grocery store chain Basha’s was the first in our city to set aside an hour for seniors. That happened last Wednesday, from 5 to 6. Yes, friends, I’m talking about 5 to 6 in the a.m. I got there at 5:04, feeling smug because I was sure I would be the only one there that early. Au contraire, mon ami. There were no parking spots left, not a cart to be found, and there was no room to move in the store (though this didn’t matter that much because there was mostly nothing on the shelves)…..

Since then, most other grocery stores are doing the same thing, most with a bit more sensible hours. As a result, I think seniors have settled down.

I continue to talk to my family, check on my neighbors, pray madly, and hope for the best. Stay healthy, my friends.

5 thoughts on “Soviet Shopping

  1. My daughter-in-law could not find yeast either. This one really puzzles me. Bread machines in the basement? I want my bread from real bakers like David and Reinie, Peanut butter I understand: cheap protein for all those kids off school.

  2. Hi Gloor- it’s like we’re all on that chef show on tv. They give them all a surprise basket of foods and youthey have to create a dinner with those ingredients. “Today we get to make a dinner with beans in chili sauce, brussell sprouts , and marshmallows.” Hmmm…
    Also, I have a question- what streaming platform offers Longmire?

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