All I needed was one loaf of bread. We had the lunch meat, cheese, pickles; all of it. I just needed a loaf of bread to make sandwiches. Five minutes was all it would take if the store wasn’t full of folks. Grab the bread and get on home.
The grocery store parking lot was almost empty. That was a good sign. Maybe I’d be out in four minutes. I whipped past the carts and went straight to the bread. On the way I passed the cookies. The kind with eighty million fat grams and calories in the four digits were on sale so I picked up two packages. One to hide in the car to nibble on since everyone knows food eaten in secret can in no way produce cellulite on the thighs. One to put in the cookie jar when I got home so I wouldn't feel guilty about that one in the car. Then there was the ice cream aisle and they had a brand new shipment of rocky road. Couldn’t pass that up.
Finally, I just unloaded my arms onto the floor in the middle of an aisle and went back for a cart. By the time I finished the cart was full and my checking account was empty.
A few days later we were out of bread. I conditioned myself on the way to the store. “You will not buy anything but one loaf of bread. You will not buy anything but one loaf of bread.” I repeated the two lines fifty times before I got out of the car. My mind was set. I wouldn’t buy one thing but one loaf of bread.
One of my friends was in the bread aisle. Her cart was overflowing. “I came in here for a loaf of bread,” she said sheepishly. “But I found a wonderful recipe on the back of the can of pumpkin, which was on sale. You ought to try it.”
Oh, yeah!” My eyes lit up and I lost the battle. I went back for a cart and stood in line behind her at the check out counter. We both left the store with several new recipes, enough food to feed a school full of hungry sophomore boys, and no money.
I was a little wiser. I bought two loaves of bread so I could stay out of the store a little longer. However, the grandchildren visited and wanted peanut butter sandwiches.
The next time I forgot about the psychological hypnosis. I pretended I had blinders on and could see nothing but a loaf of bread. I would hone in on the bread, pick up a loaf and make my exit from the store so fast the checkers would wonder if I’d even been in the store.
They were serving up those barbecue sandwiches in the store that day. They sell them two for a buck and make them right there in the store. They smelled scrumptious so I made a new rule. I wouldn’t purchase more than I could carry in my arms. No cart! And that was set in stone. I picked up two bottles of soda pop on the way to the sandwiches in the farthest reaches of the store. Then we needed chips so I gathered up a couple of bags of those. And pickles. I tucked those under my arm. By the time I got to the check out counter, I had gathered up the bottom of my long skirt tail and used it for a basket.
But I didn’t have a cart. I was making progress.
A week later I told Husband I was off to the store to buy a loaf of bread and I’d be home in five minutes. He just chuckled.
An hour later, I honked for him to come outside and help me unload the whole back seat. I had four loaves of bread in amongst enough food to take care of a state wide depression. It didn’t matter if they molded, we could scrape the green off and eat it anyway.
When I was in the house, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and said, “My name is Carolyn Brown. I am disgusting. I am a grocery store junkie. Bread is the binge instigator. I can not be trusted to go to the store for bread.”
The next time we ate Chinese my fortune cookie said, “The chances of going to the grocery store for a loaf of bread and coming out with just a loaf of bread and nothing more are a million to one.”
’ve been to the store almost that many times in the more than 40 years I’ve been married. It won’t be long until it’s my turn to have that one in a million. I shall walk in the grocery store, buy a loaf of bread and leave carrying one small bag with only a loaf of bread in it. I will put it in the car, and hurry back in to buy a cart full of ice cream, cookies, pretzels, chips and candy to celebrate my victory.