This is my journey to travel.

{August 7, 2012}   Grocery shopping and Grandma

I hate grocery shopping, plain and simple. Yesterday, though, I was shopping with my husband and daughter and I run into my grandmother. No biggie, right? WRONG!! She is a nurse and a health fanatic. Not saying all nurses are health nuts b/c they’re not, but my g’ma is definitely one of the few. She felt the need to scrutinize everything I bought. I was petrified to see her. She stared into my cart of smoked sausage, animal crackers, mac & cheese, chicken patties, and nuggets with disdain. I instantly felt the need to explain why these types of items were in my cart. “LB (my daughter) loves animal crackers. Sausage is 10 for $10, mac and cheese is a quick side dish that all kids love, and the processed chicken products are quick and easy for hubby to make when I’m at work”. She nodded her beautiful Southern belle, black and silver-haired head and said “Bless your heart. I know times are hard. I love you baby.” UGH!!! G’ma Stop doing that to me! Anyone who lives in the south knows that’s equivalent to saying “You pitiful poor person, I raised you better. It’s no wonder you’re fat buying all that junk but I love you anyway.” We check out and go straight to the super center. Grandma does too.

I’m feeling like a terrible blob as I put my child in the cart at the super center, but I press on, getting what other groceries are needed. G’ma and my paths cross again at the yogurt isle. I put the package of Go-gurt in the cart for LB as G’ma comes around the corner. Damn, here we go again! “I prefer plain yogurt baby.” “Well, G’ma, I don’t like plain yogurt. I like flavored. I’m doing better though. Look, Greek yogurt. It’s healthy, right?” “Not really, with all the extra calories and sugars, but it’s better than the other stuff.” *Self esteem dropped another 10 pts.* “That canned chili isn’t healthy at all baby. Neither is that fruit juice-lots of sugar in those”. Meanwhile, hubby is seemingly oblivious to the fact a conversation is even taking place. “Honey, fresh produce is a lot healthier than canned”. *Be thankful I’m buying veggies Lady!* “Velveeta is cheese PRODUCT, honey, not real cheese. It’s loaded with cholesterol. *But it’s so good and comforting melted with a can of Rotel and this bag of tortilla chips woman!*

I’ve been taught to respect this dear old woman, but I’ve had my feel. I desperately scan her cart to see what unhealthy goodies I can use against her. HA! NOTHING! Plain greek yogurt (healthy), bag of carrots, apples, watermelon, oranges, fresh asparagus bundles, broccoli, cauliflower, evoo, two packages of boneless, skinless chicken breasts…DAMN! This woman is a walking, talking, model of purity food! Ah, what’s that, a jar of peanuts!!!! “Well, g’ma, peanuts are high in fat!” “Honey, that’s true, but the peanut oils are good for your heart. I only eat 10 a day.”, she says smiling sweetly. I’ve never wanted to punch an old person in the throat so hard in my life!!!

By this time, hubby has become aware that there is a nutrition lesson here and interjects. “Well, B, we have to get LB home and get her some dinner cooked. Nice seeing you. Take care”. “Bye Grandma. I love you” “I love y’all too, honey. Come see an old lady sometime. Oh, and honey…” “Yes, G’ma?” “Try to eat healthier…That little one doesn’t need you having a stroke, heart attack, or getting cancer or diabetes.” “Ok, grandma. I’m working on that. Besides, if you come look in my fridge, you’ll see bottled water, leeks, cauliflower, celery, parsnips, pineapple, real butter (because apparently margarine is the devil’s soul food), and 2% milk (Milk comes from COWS! NOT PLANTS!!!).” “I believe you sweetheart”, says grandma, smiling her too sweet for words, yet silently condescending smile that lets me know she thinks I just said a big fat lie to appease her. “I love you and will see you soon…Promise.” I walked away wanting to cry my eyes out, eat a gallon of coffee bean ice cream and watch Steel Magnolias.

My husband, knowing G’ma just politely and, with all the love in the world, made me feel like the fattest, most unhealthiest, terrible mommy in all civilization, directed me to the nail polish stands. I immediately forget previous conversations and am enthralled in the word of pretty nail colors! Seeing 6 different polish colors, including a purple magnetic polish, in my cart among all my “terribly unhealthy” junk, I am happy as a lark once again as we all head to the check out counter.

I see Grandma at the front of a line, giving an overweight cashier a lecture about how fresh produce, chicken, and soy milk will change her life for the better and help her lose all that weight. I just smiled and shook my head as I went to another line.

I love my Grandma and wouldn’t change her for the world. She’s doing what she thinks she should to make this world a healthier place to live. She’s always been health obsessed. That’s awesome of her. It’s why she is 80 and people swear she’s 60. They swear she’s my mom. It’s cool. I get it. I know I should eat better, but dammit, junk food is cheap and times are tough. I’d love to eat salad, fresh produce and chicken all day but it’s too damn expensive and I don’t have the $!!!! Granted, I’d never go to the left on my G’ma and tell her all this in those exact terms, but I’d love to. Wait. No I wouldn’t, b/c it would make her cry and that is one of the very few things that I just cannot handle. I can’t stand to see a soldier, my G’ma, my kids, or my daddy cry. It kills me. I do my best to make sure I’m never the one making that happen.

But I digress. Point is, as long as it costs more to make a good salad than it does to make a hamburger or hamburger helper, the majority of the people are going to be overweight. I am a part of that majority. ~B


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