My challenge to try to notice more in life has been met with mixed results. I try to make it a note to notice things while they are happening a few times a day to make sure I'm not letting life just pass me by. And with my new time crunch it's been increasingly difficult. But I will continue to try. Though the idea has been great, the experience has been a little... frightening! I'm noticing things that probably should have stayed unnoticed.
Here's the first thing I noticed. I'm not completely sure if I want to tell it because I don't know how people will view me after admitting to such things. But I told myself that I was going to try to focus on the here and now more. And that means paying attention to the things that might otherwise get unnoticed. And when I say unnoticed, I meant by ME. I'm sure other people have noticed this particular thing that I just noticed and I'm sure other people have been noticing it for a while.
When I grocery shop alone... I talk to myself.... out loud. (I know. Weird, huh?) Now, to validate your level of concern... I don't talk the uncomfortable, LOUD "I just got back from the the health department and you need to get checked too" mobile phone conversations you get at the checkout line. When I talk out loud, it's a little bit louder and a lot more discernible than the mumbling you do when you are singing a song you have known for years but get to a part where you have never figured out the words. Yeah, just a little bit louder than that.
I noticed that while I'm going down the aisles I just run my mouth like someone is there with me. I speak the next thing on the shopping list as if I'm going to forget it if I don't. (I must get bread! Bread, Bread. Bo-Bread. Banana Fana. Fo-Fread...) I say what aisle it is in. (Applesauce is in aisle 4... I think. I'm not sure. But that's where we are headed now! Applesauce, applesauce. Gotta get the applesauce!) I say what aisle I think it SHOULD be in. (I think the applesauce should be put next to the apples. But noooo.... that would make too much sense. I have find it on aisle 5, the baking aisle!) I challenge other parents to a cart race. (They have no idea that I just beat them! They didn't even know there was a race! Either way... I win... every time!) And I do more than just mumble. If you were standing within 3ft of me, you would probably be able to hear everything I'm saying.
I also talk about things that were supposed to be on the shopping list that, for some reason, weren't. And the only reason I know they are supposed to be added is because I get a text message from the magical Phone Fairy letting me know milk needs to be added to the shopping list. (Thank you, Phone Fairy! Good thing you have a calling plan with unlimited text.) Sometimes the Phone Fairy is on time. Other times I receive my text message right when I'm about to stand in the checkout line or even worse, when I just paid for the items and I'm leaving the store.. That's when the talking to myself begins again. And, I'm COMPLETELY aware that people can clearly hear me OVER the other person in line talking about his *ahem* medical issues. No mumbling there.
That situation causes a temporary case of undiagnosed Tourettes. The only time it gets worse than that is when there is something on the list that is completely a non-standard item... like gouda cheese. What's a gouda? And why are we getting cheese from it? Personally, (to make sane my insanity) I like to think it came from the Gouda Monster. And after years of hard fought battles, the US Military finally took out the heinous creature with an unparalleled aerial assault that left the creature lying lifeless just before he was about to destroy Washington, DC. (This was bittersweet because the good news is that the victory of our wonderful Armed Forces saved a LOT of innocent people that day but the bad news it also saved Congress and the Washington Redskins. (Sorry, I'm a Cowboys fan. So that had to be said. The Gouda Monster already took out my team months ago!))
But anyway... The Gouda Monster, realizing that it was about to die, had a change of heart and decided it wanted to leave the world with a gouda taste (I know. Terrible Pun.) in its mouth. So it left its family recipe (passed down from generation to generation of goudas) on how to make its special cheese. (It really just tastes like blue cheese to me, but I'm wasn't going to tell him.) His dying breath was to have this cheese shared with the world. But with invention and capitalism comes profit. So the recipe leaked out over the internet within minutes on the same site that gave us the Colonel's secret recipe.
Blue cheese makers were all over this. They were already making this stuff to begin with, they just needed to re-market it. They decided to package it under a different name, charge 300% more and live fat and happy on the new-found cash cow (so to speak). Their marking departments also realized they didn't want people to confuse this "NEW" cheese with "BLUE" cheese, so they decided it needed to go into a section of the store that was COMPLETELY different than ALL of the OTHER cheeses in the store. And THAT, my friends, is the story I spoke out loud to myself while I was trying to mentally justify the extra 30 minutes I spent looking for this odd item. And before you say, "Why didn't you just ask someone?" (I was probably too late on that one. I'm sure some of you already have asked that.) It's kinda like asking for directions. If it's a place I wanted to go to or an item I wanted to buy, I would already know how to get to that end before I left the house.
So that is the first thing that I have noticed. There are others but I'm going to save them for a different post. I think I have done enough sharing for one day. But as a Public Service Announcement to my handful of male readers (not to exclude my female readers but I can bet YOU already knew this)... If you are sent to the store to get an odd cheese that you have never heard of, start at the deli. Apparently, that's where they hide it from us. Knowing this fact alone will probably save you about 30 - 40 minutes the next time you are tasked with grocery shopping. Or, in a pinch... just get blue cheese and scratch the name off of the package. You will thank me for it later.