Shopping in the pandemic


This pandemic has made many of us conduct our normal routines in exceedingly different ways. I might even call them “abnormal” ways. For example, shopping.

I started out the stay-at-home order with hopes of learning a new skill. Normally, I would traverse to my favorite bookstore and pick up a video or book on a topic to learn it. Instead, I had to order something on line.

I selected tap dancing. It sounds so fun and will help with my overall health plan. I ordered a DVD and waited patiently the ten days it was going to take to receive it. On day eight, I received a notice that my package “had been returned and could not be delivered.” It said it was no longer available, but didn’t explain what was in that package.

Okay, I’m adaptable. I selected another DVD that was about walking for my health. I walk nearly every day in our woods and I love it. So while it’s not a new skill, it might give me new tips or tricks to build up my routine and again, support my health plan. This seemed reasonable, except the company informed me that this would arrive “sometime after June 2.” Seriously? I was rather hoping we’d be “back to normal” by that time!

Feeling a little chuffed, I tried again. I ordered a “tai chi for beginners” DVD and it was to come in about a week. Since the stay-at-home was extended, I figured this was okay. The DVD arrived as promised and I opened it with some anticipation. Then I panicked a little when I read the cover. The workouts appear to be longer than an hour for each one, and didn’t include any “beginner” information. There was one 50-minute workout that was entitled “fit over 50,” so I dutifully tried it. As it turns out, it was about 40 minutes in length and you really don’t need an “introduction” to participate. It was fun and it says it balanced my chakras. Now, there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say!

Meanwhile, my favorite hobby of shopping has been sorely neglected. I have moved to the pick-up method of grocery shopping. I miss strolling down aisles, investigating contents, and picking up impulse items. Apparently, I have no aptitude for shopping in the pick-up manner as is evidenced by my first attempt at it.

When I picked up my order, I had a bottle of ketchup that had about four packets-worth of ketchup in the bottle. It’s about enough ketchup for three orders of French fries and that’s it. I’ll have to order one every week. I also ordered and received a jar of minced garlic. This jar of garlic was enough to supply Fazoli’s for a month. It will surely last me a decade or two. And I forgot about 20 things on my list, so now I have to wait another six days to get those items.

Shopping used to be fun. And it will be again.

By Sue Curtis

Sue Curtis is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy. Email her at [email protected].

No posts to display