We go grocery shopping on Friday nights, usually. Neither one of us particularly likes it. But we do it together because if Bing goes alone, she forgets half the items on the list and if I go, she claims that I buy too many high fat foods. Liv is now old enough to opt to stay home and she almost always does and I don't blame her.
Bing is a label reader of gargantuan proportions. This means we often stand in the aisle for long minutes at a time while she compares cans of black beans. Drives. Me. Fucking. Nuts.
I am a fast, efficient shopper. I have a list, stick to it and am done in a half hour.
Bing, is a browser. She especially adores the little stands that hand out food samples. She is known to stand and shoot the breeze with the little old ladies who pass out food. It can be anything. Sunflower seed cookies. Salsa. Brownies. Cheese and crackers. She pounces on these displays as if she hasn't eaten all day. And talks. And talks. She asks the woman who is handing out salmon on toothpicks how to make salmon perfectly, because this salmon is indeed, perfect.
Bing is a teacher and I am not kidding when I say that we NEVER go to anywhere without some former student finding her. And then we have to listen to their life story since they were in high school. I get briefly introduced and am just as quickly forgotten, which is fine...except that Bing expects me to stand there politely listening to some stranger's life story. If I go on and finish up the shopping, she is furious. She will paw through the cart, checking salt content on the labels and reminding me that she doesn't particularly like Jeshua rye bread, why didn't I get just plain rye instead?
Last night was especially bad. I had high hopes that it would go quickly since she has been having lots of butt cheek pain lately and said that she wanted to hurry up and get this finished so that we could go home and catch up on The Walking Dead that was waiting for us.
No dice. I've been having lots of joint pain myself lately and wasn't in the mood to stand patiently by as she compared the fiber count in cereal. By the time we reached the produce section, I wanted to start throwing honey crisp apples at her head.
We FINALLY got to the car but then had to chat up the guy who helped carry our groceries. He and Bing discussed his school's chances of going to state. I ignored her, jumped into the driver's seat and turned the heat up high, waiting angrily. When she finally got in, she looked innocently over at me.
"You seem kind of crabby tonight," she said.
Oh, honey, you have no idea.
Then, I remembered that she had promised to pick up tickets at her high school to the play they are doing this year: The Giver. She didn't want to go, but Liv and I decided that we would go have a mother daughter date and attend. Stop at that new Moroccan restaurant first. As I
"I'll get them next week. Chill."
Easy for her to say. Bing is famous for forgetting things like this ALL THE TIME. I am the one who sends out all birthday cards to both of our families. I make all the reservations. I make sure that books get back to the library before we owe fines. I pay the bills in a timely fashion.
Bing forgets everything. On good days, I think of her as the absent minded professor. On bad days, I swear she is just lazy.
So, I said, "Bing. I need you to NOT FORGET to get those tickets, okay? This is important. Remember when you promised to get tickets to the last play and you forgot until the last minute and then we couldn't go because it was sold out?"
She sighed and looked out the window.
"Bing," I started.
"LET ME OUT," she suddenly blurted. "I cannot stand your nagging anymore tonight. You nagged me at the grocery store and I am in no mood for this, Maria..."
Well, a nicer person would have just shut her mouth and drove the six blocks home.
I am not nice.
I pulled over, slammed on the brakes and said, "Be my guest."
She looked incredulously at me and then seeing my expression, she slid out and slammed the door.
I got back into traffic and drove home. Fast. I had the groceries inside before she walked up the driveway.
And when I put away the groceries, I was not gentle when I put her apples into the fruit compartment of the fridge. No sirree bob. Boy howdy, not me.
We watched The Walking Dead in complete silence.
And cooled off.
Because this is what you do when you have lived together for a very long time. You don't waste time fighting. You just give each other some space and then maybe your kiss goodnight is not exactly hot, kind of cool...but you do kiss goodnight. And tomorrow is better.
This morning, Bing left to spend a few hours at school catching up on her grades.
Distance helps too.
I went over our wooden floors with a mop and took all the rugs outside and hung them on the clothes line for Liv to whack with a rug beater and then I scrubbed the kitchen and bathroom floors.
Cleaning helps too, although I don't do it all that much.
Then, Liv went to her room to work on her Civil War project and I picked up my latest book given to me by Julie, my co-worker.
It is called A Theory Of Small Earthquakes. Julie gave it to me because she said the protagonist was a bi-sexual woman and she and I had spoken once about how you never see bi-sexuals portrayed in books very nicely. They are always sex addicts or flighty, silly, confused people.
When she found this book, she bought me a copy immediately.
"You HAVE to read this," she told me. "There is a Maria in there and even a Bing!"
So, I picked it up this morning and sat down with my chai tea and turned the first page. And the next and the next and the next. And so on.
A writer who GETS IT.
I'm madly in love. With a book. Again.
Don't you just LOVE it when that happens?
It's sort of like having a lover on the side. Someone who keeps surprising you in a really good way. Someone with whom you can't WAIT to curl up with. Someone who makes you laugh because they are so droll. Who makes you cry because they are so endearing. And makes you think because they are so smart.
And they don't dawdle in grocery stores.
Sometimes, I just need to escape for a while. Don't you?