Friday, November 10, 2006

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary...

Most every week I take Mary grocery shopping, and she manages to make it as complicated as possible. She just celebrated her 84th birthday which means that she grew up in an era when most families didn't have an automobile and many kitchens still had an ice box rather than an electric refridgerator. The ice man brought ice every day. When you shopped you bought only what you could carry.

Every neighborhood had a cluster of stores, each with its own specialty. You bought meat at the butcher shop or meat market, fish at the fish market, bread at the bakery, etc. and the drugstore had a little luncheonette and soda fountain. Now, of course, we have super markets with about everything you might want under one roof. Mary still has the old mind-set though. She wants to go to this market because they have the best fruits and vegetables, that market because the meats are the best, still another because the butcher saves Mary the chicken heads for her cats. But that's just the start of the shopping excursion because a small local supermarket chain often has the best prices on canned goods. Well, you get the idea.

Now as Mary's eyesight is suffering from cataracts she's had to give up driving, but we live in a world that has very much evolved around the automobile. Instead of a cluster of shops every 8 or 10 blocks there's a super market every couple of miles. I keep trying to explain to her that the cost of all that driving around more than eats up whatever little savings she gets by visiting all the stores, but it's useless.

She probably just enjoys getting out for the few hours, fixing her hair just so, putting on a touch of make-up to go with one of the suits she still enjoys wearing when she goes shopping, so I put up with it. I've known her for over 25 years now, and I also know that nobody else will put up with it. I'm stuck. As healthy as she is I suspect that I've got quite a few more years of putting up with taking her shopping.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to Mary as well! And don't forget to keep up with Jorge Torralba's Leica M8 saga here:

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Danon said...

Photopoo is a total hoot! Keep it coming!

7:22 AM  

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