While I was slogging through my tidy little personal hell last year (you know, when my husband hooked up with a loose woman 14 years older than me—who also happened to be his best friend’s wife, a man he admired and claimed to respect—who he saw as a much better meal ticket, had an affair, wanted me, didn’t want me, wanted me, didn’t want me, left, came back, and then broke up with me via email), I wallowed in oodles of emotional affliction.
But I knew that my problem, no matter how elephantine it seemed to me, was first world. When I sobbed, I wandered through a warm, fully furnished house with a car in the garage. A chubby dog that cost $1800 to buy seven years ago and plenty, plenty more in healthcare since followed me around. When I knew my performance at work was gonna suffer, I called my boss and coworker who told me that my best, no matter how pathetic, was good enough. At the very hint of [another] breakdown, my family was out the door driving nine hours to be with me. I got a therapist that my insurance lets me see as often as I want. Unlucky in love. Lucky as hell absolutely everywhere else.
Still lucky. Today was a day made decent by one first-world luxury after another:
I was overjoyed to discover that I could change my maid service from every other week to every three weeks. I didn’t know that was an option. I thought I had to go from every two weeks to once monthly. When you live alone with a very small dog, every other Wednesday is too often but once a months is too infrequent. Every three weeks? Ideal.
I use Raley’s eCart and I can’t say enough good things about it. I go online, order my food, schedule a pick up time, pull up to the store, push the call button, and the sweet personal shopper wheels my groceries out to the car. I’ve been doing this for years now. Shirlene, my grocery goddess, has seen me on good days and bad, very bad. She’s seen me arrive with a husband in my car and then months later pull up with a boyfriend. She’s met my dog, my mom, my friends, my sisters. She knows that if the store doesn't have the 6oz shaved parm, I will go through the 12oz just as quickly. She knows I trust her to come up with her own substitutions, that she never needs to call me to verify that a different brand of bagel is okay.
When I tell people that I use a grocery service, the question I most often get asked is, “Do they do a good job getting you produce and meat?” I can’t help with the meat—a bonus of being a vegetarian is that you don’t have to learn how to pick meat or cook it or store it—but the store’s personal shoppers are professional produce pickers. They do it more often than you do. You might think you’re the best watermelon picker out there. You are wrong. You are wrong because you don’t do it for a living. They do. And they’re not gonna saddle you with crappy produce just because they can. It’s in their best interest to keep you coming back. I shop at that Raley’s because of eCart. I could easily swing by another Raley’s or Safeway on my way home from yoga, but I use this Raley’s because of their eCart service and most especially because of Shirlene.
Since we are well into fall, I figured last night was a good time to take down my summer wreath. When I opened the front door, something came off the wreath and inside my house. I thought it was a leaf. It was a bird. That was around 10PM. It didn’t leave until the morning. “Bird,” I kept saying, “Bird, please leave.” I followed it around with a broom to shoo it. I tried to catch it in a trifle bowl. And then a popcorn bowl. Eventually, when it settled on a window sill 15 feet above me, I gave in. It was 40 degrees and I couldn’t stand having the front door open any longer. So we had an overnight guest. My dog is a pansy and was either under my bed, between my feet, or hiding on the couch. She and I barricaded ourselves in my room, and I slept terribly, thinking about that dumb bird and how I was going to get it to exit. My life is just so difficult; the ordeal of the week is a bird in my warm house.
I don’t throw around words like “blessed” much. But I am. I’m blessed. Mom says it’s ‘cause I pay my tithing. Let’s hope she’s right, ‘cause that’s the one and only Mormon thing I do well. (It’s the easiest one. You just write a check and drop it in the mail. Even I can do that. Actually, since it’s spending money, I can do that better than anyone you know.)