Elizabeth Willis Barrett
I was ready to make stew this morning and got everything out: the stew meat, the potatoes, the onions, the celery…………… . Nope, not the celery. Where was the celery? I looked in the big fridge. I looked in the little fridge. Then I looked again–behind the apples, behind the tomatoes, even behind the eggs. The celery had gone AWOL. I was sure I had picked up celery at the Superstition Ranch Market. I remember looking over each bunch and observing that they looked a bit puny. But I had put one in my basket anyway.
Wait a minute–MY basket. Hmmmm. That was sounding familiar. I had been here before and that could be where the absence began. There was another item that didn’t make it home with me. Zucchini. I had needed it for the Tortellini Soup I made the other day. I know why I didn’t get home with the zucchini. While at the produce store, I got detracted from that vegetable when I put four cucumbers in what I thought was my basket. If I could play the haunting music to “Jaws,” right now it would be very appropriate. I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t my basket if the rightful owner hadn’t said just as I was lowering the cukes, “Hey, doesn’t that basket look a little strange to you?” I hadn’t even looked. Just like I hadn’t looked on another occasion that you might want to re-read about. I will re-post it tomorrow, or the next day or the next. When I get around to it. It makes this story a lot more pathetic.
Since the last basket fiasco, I have tried to identify my own shopping cart with a signature bag of grapes or potatoes. It is harder to personalize your basket at a produce store, however, because everyone is getting produce and most likely the very same produce you are getting yourself. I must have lost my concentration for a moment because–voilà–I was again messing with someone else’s basket. I probably dropped the celery into this unsuspecting man’s basket before he caught me with the cucumbers. I am a very bad risk at the Superstition Ranch Market.
Most likely, “Mr. Persecuted” got home, started putting away his groceries and held a bunch of celery in each hand, with the question and exclamation, “What am I doing with two bunches of celery? I didn’t want two bunches of celery!” And then he’ll remember: “Oh yeah, the Nut.”
Not quite what I envisioned when I dreamed of making a name for myself.