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December 24, 2005

This makes married groceries look good.

Today it is 85 degrees in Los Angeles, and sunny and perfect and I don't tell you this to torture you, I tell you this because I think Nature feels bad for all the times it tried to kill me and is giving me a Christmas that feels more like a 4th of July barbecue so I'll feel less maudlin and drippy about the holidays. And it's working! I'm having a beer at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and I feel pretty damn pleased with myself.

I got this beer at the grocery store, which I braved earlier today along with every single resident of the greater Encino, California area and their entire extended families from out of town. It was packed. And every shopper was in a hurry, ramming their buggies right into you. I was their worst nightmare come true, the most torturous sort of shopper, lazy and flip-flops, sunglasses on my head, tank top (!) and pretending it's summer and not the least bit in a hurry. Besides, I went to the grocery store ... to buy baby food.

I do not have a baby.

I have a spoilt rotten cat with no teeth.

Roy is spoilt and it is Christmas, and he gets all the baby food he can eat. When I was medicating him twice a day I discovered that baby food is a little meat pudding perfectly suited for snaggletooth kittens. To offset the trauma known as Medicine Smackdown, I gave him a treat immediately after we wrassled in the bathroom, finely chopped cold cuts and a big plop of baby food. He loved it so much I couldn't stop giving it to him, even now when he's no longer taking antibiotics. Beef and gravy, ham, turkey, veal, lamb with gravy ... I never knew there were so many kinds of baby food! When me and my brothers were babies, my folks just mashed up whatever was for dinner and we had to like it whether we liked it or not.

We liked it.

Ya'll know how grocery shopping is so daunting because of all the married groceries, so I try to avoid it as much as possible. I like shopping at the Q Market or El Cubano, because it's like traveling to a whole new country without ever leaving the Valley. But they don't have the special baby food that Roy likes, so I have to suck it up and shuffle off to Ralph's like a normal human.

If I'm going to be at the Big Grocery store anyway, I figure I may as well stock up. Wine... look, a fantabulous petite syrah on sale for $7.99! A six-pack of Newcastle for $6.99? You can't afford NOT to buy it! Lean Cuisine 4 for $9? I'm so there! And looky here a teeny four-pack of individual-sized champagnes for just $8.99. I know this will give me great headaches but I do not care! Tiny champagne bottles! With your tiny corks! You come home with mama!

In conclusion:

8 Lean Cuisine pizzas
3 bottles wine
1 six-pack beer
1 four-pack of cheap champagne
18 teeny jars of baby food, all meat

The look on the checkout girl's face was nothing short of pure hatred. She HATED me. HATE! Such a pure emotion! She scanned each jar of baby food individually and glared at me the whole time. I offered up a weak smile. I wanted to tell her that the baby food was for my spoilt cat, that I am not a terrible woman mistreating a child, but by doing so I would have acknowledged that she was A Judger and I am not so sure yet how this Living Out Loud thing works on grocery store clerks. Besides ... it was funny. She was glaring at me like I was a drunken sot of a no-cooking, sorry-ass white trash babysmama. Me! a babysmama!

I could not correct her. I loved her for being mad at me for mistreating my imaginary baby. It was sweet. I wanted to hug her for being concerned for my nonexistant child's well-being. (I also freely admit that for a split second I wished I were still a smoker so I could buy a pack of smokes on top of the horror, to see if she would call the authorities on me.) I smiled at her. She shot daggers at me. I went home and fed my damn cat his damn baby food and put the cheap champagne on to chill.

The Lean Cuisine was delightful. And the beer is cold and perfect. And it is EIGHTY FIVE DEGREES. Merry Christmas Eve!


Posted by laurie at December 24, 2005 2:09 PM