Thursday, October 6, 2011

Adventures in Retail

“Well, that was just great!” George says with a spring in his step. He’s not talking about mind-blowing sex or dinner at a five-star restaurant. The bags he’s carrying are not filled with loot from the Apple store or Bergdorf’s. What he then describes as “like a trip to Europe” is a Demas family outing to the grocery store.

We stroll the aisles of D’Agastino’s like grand avenues. We compare the fat and sugar content of novelty ice cream bars, while Claire enjoys the repeating patterns of tubs and boxes. If we are feeling racy, we venture into the chocolate aisle or buy bubble gum. There’s never a serious purchase. We save the more industrious trips for Trader Joe’s.

If you’re thinking, “wow, they don’t get out much”, it’s not entirely true. We take Claire all kinds of places. Unlike the grocery store, though, these trips require an action plan of varying complexity. A simple trip to the park means packing and lugging the diaper bag, loading her into the car, finding parking. Then there are the intangibles. What if hunger strikes in the middle of a traffic jam? Will the clouds let loose while we roam the ramble in Central Park? What if she starts screaming in the middle of the Cloisters with no quick getaway? How do we handle an explosive poop on the duvet cover of a prestigious Broadway producer? (Yes, that happened.) Then the rare trip without Claire requires pumping and babysitter coordination. Plus, I just miss her when we’re out. I miss things she does too, like her very first laugh. I’ll never get that back.

So now it may seem I’m complaining about a complicated yet boring life. Actually, I’m in George’s camp. I couldn’t dream of a better time with my two favorite people. Well, one thing would make it better -- D’Agastino’s with my two favorite people on a full night’s sleep.

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