When you see a stranger driving a car covered in seashells or walking a pot-bellied pig, you might wonder, “Why in the world would anyone be compelled to do that? What an idiot.”
I was one of those idiots today, and I feel compelled to share my idiotic compulsions.
As I walked down the grocery aisle this afternoon, a couple jumped out of my way. I had a 24-pack of toilet paper in one arm, six individual Chobani yogurt containers balanced on top, and two glass half-gallons of 2% milk in the other arm. I think the look on my face made the couple wonder if they were about to be splashed with milk and breaking glass. I walked to the farthest check-out, looking in vain for a short line, and as I stood there behind a cart full of produce, the checker offered to take the milk out of my arms. I must have looked desperate.
There were literally hundreds of shopping carts at the ready in Woodmans, a sprawling supermarket the size of at least two football fields. Why would I lug my measly, but surprisingly heavy groceries in my arms? And why did I look so desperate that people feared me and/or jumped to my aid?
Because I’m an idiot.
It all began a week ago when I took advantage of getting my FitScore for free at Snap Fitness. Why not? What could it hurt? I run or use the stepmill every day, I reasoned. I ought to be pretty fit, right?
Maybe I’ll tell you more about it at some point, but this is all you need to know right now: It didn’t go well. And my muscle strength ranks in the 5 percentile; that is “poor.” It pretty much can’t get any worse.
So I embarked on a new campaign to improve my upper body strength this week.
And I hate it.
Every day, I’m sorer than the day before. Even my décolletage, which is pretty much all bones, is sore. My arms, which I am attempting to make stronger, feel weak and shaky all the time.
Feel sorry for me yet?
That’s OK, I feel sorry enough for myself.
Fast forward to today.
I had a few minutes and a low supply of toilet paper at home. Rather than driving all the way to Costco, where I usually buy my toilet paper in bulk, I decided to make a quick, ha ha, stop at Woodman’s, where I could also pick up some yogurt. I can encourage my Beloved to eat fruit with breakfast by serving it with yogurt; I have some pomegranate seeds that need to be eaten, so I grabbed a few pomegranate-flavored yogurt containers. Adored Stepson was going to be home this weekend, and he likes pineapple yogurt.
I decided to skip the shopping cart because I thought I could move faster through the store without it and because, duh, carrying things in my arms would the bonus effect of making me stronger. Functionally fit, you know. Use it or lose it.
Thus, I came to be the weirdo walking through the store with six Chobani yogurt containers balancing on my 24-pack of toilet paper.
Wait! I needed milk, too. Adored Stepson prefers the brand that comes in half-gallon glass bottles (he’s got a supertaster palate, you know). It’s organic, and I read recently that it’s OK to consume milk fat from organic sources because it’s high in Omega-3s.
One half-gallon of 2% milk fit in the crook of my free arm, but I couldn’t grab a second half-gallon while still successfully balancing the yogurt on my toilet paper.
“Hey, sir, do you mind? Could you help me out? Put another half-gallon of milk in hand here? … Thank you so much.”
Milk, you surely are aware, is always in the farthest corner of any supermarket. Halfway back to the checkout lanes, I started losing gas.
Milk in glass containers is really heavy you know.
Especially when you’ve been lifting weights all week and you’re, well, weak to begin with and now sore, too.
That’s the origin of the desperate look. About the time I passed the cat litter, I began worrying one of those glass milk bottles was going to slip from my grasp. I’m sure the couple jumping out of my way in the aisle saw it in my eyes.
And when I arrived in the short, ha ha, checkout line and started eyeing the checker’s speed relative to how much was still in the cart in front of me, she might have mistaken the desperation in my eyes for impatience.
Honestly, it was just idiocy.