Wednesday, April 25, 2007

just another shopper

Look at this scene. New groceries on my kitchen floor, ready to be put away. Pretty unremarkable, hmm? Well, no, actually.

Right now my 2 sons are out. One is at preschool, the other at his half-day program (his "preschool".) And I am here by myself.

Wednesday mornings I have 1.75 hours by myself. Each week it's a little different, how I choose to spend my time. I have been known to go to the library and leaf through back issues of People and US magazine, for a little escape. I have been known to hang out at Caribou Coffee, blogging as I sip a latte. More often than not, I head to the gym. Today I took myself to Target.

We have a very nice Target near our house. It's been open...what...about 4 years now? It's a Super! Target, where you can find a wide variety of grocery items. They don't have everything there, just the basics. But you notice a dramatic difference in your receipt when you shop for your basics there v. at the regular grocery store. Plus, they have a nice selection of Bob the Builder toys. The importance of that cannot be understated.

As I was pushing my cart around, choosing a bunch of bananas in the produce aisle, picking up canned tuna in the "canned meat" aisle, maneuvering around the checkout line with (mostly) moms and kids, it occurred to me that my being alone gave me a whole new identity at the store. Usually I am the mom, with one child in the cart, one tagging behind. Or sometimes, 2 in the cart (the kind with double seating), trying to break up fights as quickly and quietly as possible.

Today I could have been anyone. Anyone! Well, almost anyone. I did have my wedding rings on, so people could see that I am married. But the rest of it was sort of open-ended without my usual identity in place. Without my little guys around. I let my mind wander...

Maybe I was a newlywed, shopping for her new husband and new home? Maybe I was the mom of high schoolers. Maybe I couldn't have kids? Maybe I had chosen to not have kids. I saw a mom in front of me in line who was worn out, exhausted. She had a newborn baby boy and a toddler daughter with her. Our eyes met briefly as she stacked her groceries on the belt. And I wonder who she thought I was. I wonder if she thought, that lady looks rested and has no idea what it feels like to be me.


Cindy @ My Romantic Home said...

It all seemed believable except the part about you being the mother of high schoolers! You look way too young for that!

Lisa said...

I have thought the same thing so many times myself...usually at Target! This year I finally have all 3 kids in school and when I see the moms and their children at Target I actually miss having someone to kiss in the front of the shopping cart. The grass is always greener I guess!

Lorilu said...

I only have one(4.5 yrs old)...but to be honest I kind of like having him with me while shopping, we chat about whatever's on his mind the whole time and he loves for "hold me" while he is sitting in the cart...(me straining my back to hug him while walking at the same time) :)when I am alone I tend feel like part of me is missing. I have had similar thoughts when I am alone. 99% of my friends have 2 or more kids-and I am a witness that there IS HUGE difference there.

But anyway -I loved reading your thoughts! Thanks for sharing.

Preppy Rider said...

That is hilarious... I was at Target today and I didn't wear my wedding rings - as you know, I can't sleep with jewelry on and some mornings I honestly forget to put them back on. So I was thinking that with Margaux in tow, people must have had a good story or two about me! The sweats and ponytail only added to the intrigue ;)

navybluegirl said...

Enjoy your blog and your lovely home. I know how you feel about shopping sans kids. I find myself telling other mothers I have two I want them to know I'm one of them...they must think I'm nuts.

jilly said...

Oh my goodness, I have those same thoughts as I stroll through Super! Target here where I do all of my shopping! I always wonder who they are and what they are up to and wonder if they wonder the same thing about me.

Jolene George said...

I love super target and I especially love shopping without and kids. :o)

Merci-Notes said...

Hello Meg!!! Do you prefer to be called Meg? Oh, sorry it is me! Mary..painted furniture! I recently started reading Scrap- to -My Lu and Today's Creative Blog! I had a moment to check a few places and there YOU Were!
I like your honest post. I sometimes wonder if people know that I have been thru what they are going thru now and not to worry. There is perfection in imperfection. Come by and see my blog..not so great lately though.
With Kindness,