Reacclimating to America: Struggling with Shopping
One of the struggles of moving back to the land of Target, Home Depot and American-style grocery stores is the fact that I haven’t lived near one in a long, long time.
Thus I find myself wrestling with two very separate issues:
1) Choosing one item out of 100 choices
2) Not buying everything in sight that I’ve been deprived of for the past two years
I know you all probably think I’m crazy and you want to say “Megan! You just spent all that time in Singapore complaining that you couldn’t find the stuff you wanted!” and to that I say,
I know. I never even saw this coming.
This first issue of having to choose one item out of 100 choices is one that really blindsided me. I thought I’d be thrilled to have choices again. In Singapore, we had only one brand of mustard to choose from to buy. One brand of frozen corn. One brand of milk (if you wanted real milk). Sometimes we could choose from two different brands, but that was only on a really lucky day.
So you can imagine how long it took me to finish shopping in my first trip to Dillon’s when I got back. I stood in the salad dressing aisle for ten minutes trying to figure out what the heck to get. There’s so many choices! They even have ones that I’ve never even heard of now. Sundried Tomato Vinigrette? Buffalo Ranch? I don’t know if I want it because I don’t know what it is. I just came for Italian dressing and now I can’t even find it. Where’s the regular Italian? Do they even make it anymore? I thought it was a staple. Now I’m all confused by all of these mystery sauces and oils that I can’t even think straight.
And that was just in the salad dressing aisle.
We won’t even talk about what happened when I discovered that Lean Cuisine expanded their menu times three since I last lived here. That was a rough aisle too.
I kind of miss just having the one option and my only decision being whether or not I could live without it. It was so much easier that way. I’m just so lost. I have no idea what this stuff is anymore. I feel like I’m a college student out on my own for the first time and buying groceries is completely foreign to me again.
My second issue is one I knew I’d struggle with. Trying to rein myself in from purchasing the entire kitchen section of Bed, Bath & Beyond is the most difficult challenge I’ve had to endure in quite some time. Did you know that they have automatic soap dispensers for your kitchen? You don’t even have to touch anything! You just wave your hand under it and it squirts out. And did you also know that they have pizza scissors? Genius! They even have spatulas in the shape of cookies so that the edges don’t fall off when they’re warm. What?!
So um. Yeah. I’m having a little trouble being around all of these great things at once.
I feel as though there should be a half-way house for the women returning to the States from Asia. We’re just not ready for all of this awesome all at once.
We need it in small doses.
And so do our bank accounts.