The Riddle of Being an Adult
For the last eight years or so, I’ve been in charge of feeding myself.
You could say that I’m a natural. I know how to make a grocery list, and then find the items on that list. I even enjoy having to do it. Sure, it would be easier, warmer, and more comfortable to never have been winged. But, really, it’s not so bad.
Sometimes I shop at the Asian Market around the corner from my house. I like it because I’m one of three people shopping at a time. All the foreign packaging excites me (the cute panda bears on everything). I become engrossed and completely spatially unaware. For example, I once spent fifteen minutes staring at one plastic bowl. It had brightly colored flowers on it.
The woman at the checkout counter files her nails. I don’t find it disgusting. She is cute enough to even clip them. I feel slightly heroic as I set down my basket of supplies—a solid collection of miscellaneous crunchy snacks, frozen dumplings and dried foods. If a storm or my grandma were to suddenly turn up in town, I’d be set. Hide-bernation.
She waves her wand scanner over the orange tags.
Beep. $4.49. Beep. $.99. Beep. $5.99.
I fiddle with the plastic Buddha on the counter until I realize it’s connected to her car keys. She’s looking at me like the cat dragged me in, but she can’t be bothered.
“$59.99,” she says.
“Oh, and this,” I say as I pick up a small bok choy.
She stares at the leafy green dangling from my hand then bursts into laughter.
“Look!” she exclaims
She snatches it and gets the attention of a man stalking shelves. He walks over, looks at my pile, places it all in a cardboard box, and sets the bok choy on top.
“Eat more vegetable,” she tells me.
I walk out with my supplies.
“See you next week,” she says.
I walk the quarter mile home carrying a box of, now that I look at it, mostly sauce, and wonder at the riddle of being an adult.
Maybe it is as simple as eating more vegetables and taking naps.
I reach for a .99 cent crunchy.
Editor: Brianna Bemel