It’s Monday again. Ordinarily, that might be bad news, since Monday means the end of the weekend. Today, it’s not so bad, because it means we’re halfway through the latest eight nights of TDY for Bill.
I generally hate it when Bill is gone on a trip and I’m stuck here alone. However, it’s not one hundred percent awful. I tend to get things done when he’s gone, because I try to fill up my time. I watch movies and TV shows I’ve had queued for viewing, read books (although my latest one is taking longer than I’d like), and go to the grocery store on my own, which means I end up buying stuff I like on a whim.
This morning, I went to the local Rewe (our grocery store) and bought cookies that looked interesting. We almost never buy cookies. We usually make them ourselves, mainly because having store bought cookies around means we’ll be eating things we shouldn’t be eating. But I saw some in the Rewe that looked interesting, so I got some. There are only six to a package, so I figured I was safe.
I was craving sweets in a terrible way today. I bought ice cream and pudding, too. And I bought some bread and a few healthier staples. I don’t know why I want sweets so much today. I haven’t had a period since January, so I don’t think it’s PMS. It could be because I’ve been on the wagon for the past few days. I can’t even say I’ve even really missed drinking that much. As long as I don’t start, I don’t really feel the need to have a drink. Once I get started, then I have a tendency to get into trouble… as long as I’m at home and don’t have to drive anywhere. I’m more disciplined when I’m out and about.
While I was waiting in the line at the store, I noticed the woman in front of me needed something from behind the counter. The cashier went and got it for her. It turned out to be a pregnancy test. I didn’t realize that they were kept under lock and key here. Actually, I’m surprised they sell them in the grocery stores in Germany. Most health related stuff has to be purchased at the drugstore, where the apothecary will be obliged to offer advice, even if you don’t want or need it. I will admit, of course, that they can be very helpful when there’s a need. But sometimes, all you need is an antacid or something.
Anyway, I realized the lady in front of me must have been a lot younger than I am… it’s been a long time since I last needed a pregnancy test, which I actually didn’t need, because I’ve never been pregnant. It occurred to me that she might have bought it because she thinks she’s pregnant, which, of course, would be a momentous occasion for her. Imagine… here I am, an American, standing in line at a German grocery store, witnessing a woman buying something that could notify her that her life is about to change forever. If you think about it, it’s kind of exciting.
She looked like the type of person who would probably be happy to be a mom, so if she wants to be pregnant, I hope she gets that result. On the other hand, maybe she doesn’t want to be pregnant… Or maybe she was buying that test for someone else, like a friend or a sister… She didn’t look old enough to have a daughter who could be pregnant. Maybe this year on Mother’s Day, she’ll get some life changing news…
I wouldn’t have noticed any of this, under usual conditions. I try not to look at what people have in their grocery carts. I think it comes from my time in social work, and the sensitivity I’ve developed toward people who need assistance buying food. I know a lot of people think it’s their business what people buy, especially if they’re using government funds. Personally, I think we should let people maintain their dignity as much as possible. I wouldn’t want people judging me in that way, so I try not to do it to others. Moreover, government food assistance is such a small part of what taxpayers pay for… and I don’t think anyone in the United States should be going hungry.
I’m not sure if Germany has a program like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). They probably do… and they probably run it better than we do in America. In any case, I only noticed the woman’s pregnancy test because the cashier had to get it for her. I thought maybe she wanted cigarettes or another tobacco product. In Germany, the packs are covered in warnings and grotesque photos of what happens to people who smoke. Lots of people smoke here, anyway. So I was wondering if maybe she was going to get a pack of cigarettes showing a person with a stoma or mouth or lung cancer… or, if she’s lucky, a guy who is impotent. That one is almost humorous, if not gruesome. But, given that the lady bought a pregnancy test, I guess impotency is not a problem that she, or her presumed significant other, faces…
After I paid for my groceries and headed out to the parking lot, I noticed that there was a strawberry vendor there. It looked like they had lots of attractive strawberry goods– probably everything from jams to homemade wines. I thought about looking at what they had, but I realized we barely have enough space in the fridge as it is, and while I like strawberries, the seeds have a tendency to get stuck in my teeth. So I skipped the strawberry vendor today… but then when I got home, I realized that I forgot to buy some more half and half. That means I’ll probably be back before Bill gets home on Friday.
We live so close to the store. I really should have just walked there. Maybe next time, that’s what I’ll do… especially since driving means trying to get in and out of our tight parking spot with the Volvo, which has parking assist, but I don’t trust it.
People have been talking about the Rewe lately, because a few months ago, some bandits came in and blew up the ATM that was next to it. The bank has apparently declined to replace the ATM, because they’re expensive, and the bandits will probably just blow it up again. This means that just like pay phones, ATMs are about to be obsolete. That’s pretty crazy, considering that Germany is historically a cash based culture. Right now, thanks to the criminals, people who need cash have to get it at the Rewe after making a purchase. It’s not ideal, especially for poor people or the elderly.
Wow… I’m surprised by how much I gleaned, standing in the checkout line for a few minutes at the Rewe. I really need to get out more. But I won’t be doing that today, because I want to finish reading my book so I can review it. I’m almost done, so I hope to be ready tomorrow. Just a few more days to go before Bill is home. I look forward to his return… and am glad I didn’t need to buy a pregnancy test today.