Glowing aisles, new items everywhere, the shiny boxes, the colors – this was my florescent heaven. For a chunky 10-year old, this place didn’t just sell groceries, it sold hope. Frosted Flakes, Macaroni and Cheese, Doritos, drumsticks – a latch-key kid’s well-known friends. I wasn't living for sports or after-school activities, I was living for the next interesting thing to eat.
My parents both worked full-time, my father as a doctor and my mother a real estate agent. The grocery store responsibility usually fell on my dad, but getting him to take us to the store was almost as tiring as waiting for my mom to pick us from school. When we did get to go, we stocked up.
For some odd reason, my dad always felt the need to run to the door of the store as soon as he had parked, like he was on an episode of Supermarket Sweep. We never questioned, just ran too. Our cart, or carts rather, were legendary. My siblings and I filled them with every junk food imaginable, free-for-all carts for five pairs of hands, no questions asked. As we stood in the check-out line, others would stare in awe. We would hear things like, “I wanna live at that house,” or “Are you having a party?” I always felt like saying, No, folks this is just how we live.
My days of leaving the house only to go to school were soon to be over. My evenings after school consisted of television marathons or stints on the computer with Roller Coaster Tycoon. I understood the concept of sitcom syndication at a far too young age.
It was Saturday, my day, grocery day. I impatiently waited for the spoils of the store as I made the rounds through our house. “Duhhad, when are we going?” No answer. I was obviously being ignored, but I persisted, “Duhhhhaaaaaaaaad!”