I have experienced a phenomenally easy first trimester this pregnancy. In fact, being so asymptomatic caused me some nervousness, and I took another pregnancy test a couple of weeks ago just to be sure. I don't know exactly what I expected it to read.
It was still positive.
So, I decided to accept the blessing and move on with my life. Until today. I am no longer asymptomatic.
The children and I had a park day for our homeschooling group in Monterey. Trying to save a buck on gas I decided to stop at the grocery store next to the park on my way home. Besides carrying the brand of seltzer water I like best it would save me the hassle of fishing dinner out of my freezer. Chicken fajitas were sounding delish. I pulled into the parking lot of the largest Safeway on the peninsula confident that I could be in and out within 5 minutes. There were 4 items on my mental list:
- fizzy (seltzer water)
- peppers (2 sweet, 4 hot)
- chicken breast
- chicken taco seasoning
I headed straight for the produce section upon entering the store. I don't know what the reasoning is behind all the "floating" displays, but trying to find peppers in a fresh produce area larger than my entire house is no small task. And don't even think about something logical like alphabetizing the veggies. Why can't peppers simply rest between onions and quince? I was pretty near ready to have a chat with the head of the department over the total lack of systematic organization when I finally spied my veggies hidden amongst the fresh cut herbs. That makes sense.
After rounding up my peppers I raced to the soda aisle. "Why soda," you ask? Because seltzer WATER is not kept on the water aisle. No, no. You can purchase it in either the soda aisle, bordered by its high fructose corn syrup counterparts like Sugared Fizz and Cola Candy, or it is tucked next to the mixers in the "over 21" corner. And when I say "tucked" and "corner" I mean them literally. It would take Ethan Hunt a solid hour to discover there whereabouts. However on this lovely day seltzer water was not to be found in either location. Once again, Safeway was sold out. Apparently the new idea in inventory marketing is to discover those items that are sold regularly and they wait until they are entirely gone before ordering more. Let's make sure we have pig's feet in the butcher's case always, but seltzer water is only on a semi-monthly restocking shipment. That makes sense.
Frustrated but not giving up my dream of saving myself the hassle of freezer fishing I proceeded to poultry for my chicken. The one item I had no difficulty finding but had a seizure when I drew close enough to grab a package. FIVE DOLLARS & EIGHTY SEVEN CENTS A POUND. For crying out loud, I'm not serving top sirloin. For roughly twelve dollars I could have walked away with enough chicken to feed 4 members of my family.
Already irritated that I only had two of the four items on my list I finally swung around to grab some chicken taco seasoning. I walked up the "ethnic foods" aisle where the sign marked Hispanic Foods rested over refried beans, corn husks and salsa. No taco seasoning. Huh, silly me. Why would taco seasoning be in the aisle where all the other taco products are kept? I wandered down the spices aisles, the packaged food aisle, the canned meat aisle all to no avail. I finally stopped a worker who told me the taco seasonings are kept on Aisles 16. Perfect. Aisle 16 is the prepared dairy aisle with cheeses, yogurts, butter and such. Sure enough, right across from the Greek yogurt sat a whole wall of packets containing every given type of taco seasoning you could imagine. Low sodium, original, hot, mild, brand or generic were all on full display. Everything except any chicken taco seasoning. I easily shrugged it off and looked for chicken fajita seasoning. Nope. Nada. There wasn't even an empty space for it. Apparently no one in the greater Del Rey Oaks area makes tacos or fajitas with anything other than beef.
I left the store (after a typical line story I won't even go into) holding my small bag of peppers and brimming with angst. I would have to stop at another store in order to finish my shopping. I headed home, calculating the location of the store with the best chances of having both chicken and seasoning within a reasonable distance to my home, and without requiring a small loan to make the purchase. I decided on Walmart.
Again, I pulled into the parking lot and rushed inside to get my two items. The chicken was easy, and at $1.88 a pound for boneless skinless chicken breast you can save your breath on why I should boycott Wally World. I trudged over to the dried goods aisles hoping my sense of organizational genius would prove correct in ferreting out the seasonings. No such luck, but after a much shorter hunt I found the seasoning packets (remember, my Walmart has decided to make its grocery section 85% processed frozen meals leaving the bulk of real food to fit into a rather tiny space consisting of 3 "half" aisles). Perfect! But not really. Once again, there was every known seasoning available in 3 different variations but nothing for chicken. Seriously? Please tell me SOMEONE else fixes chicken tacos and fajitas occasionally?
At this point I was nearing tears. I stumbled out to my van, slammed the door behind me and just about lost it! I kept trying to figure out what was wrong with me, and why I was so upset about the seasoning. The entire time I drove to the 3rd store, saving not an ounce of gas, I continued mulling over in my head what was going on in my life that made me feel so crazy at that moment. By the time I got to SaveMart I realized:
Because the SaveMart I was driving to was our regular grocery store before we outgrew it and moved to Costco, I knew where everything was located. I quickly ran inside, located the seasoning, found both chicken taco and chicken fajita packets, grabbed six and made a bee-line for the register. The ease of the entire transaction made my heart swell with appreciation, and as I walked back to my van my eyes misted over. What a beautiful thing to be able to buy chicken taco seasoning.