I am standing in line at the billing counter in the supermarket. I have left my phone behind at home, and feel that I am missing an integral part of myself.
With nothing to swipe or refresh or read, I look around; my eyes taking in the bright displays, and the stacks of biscuits and chocolates and bottled water and potato wafers and moisturizers and tissues and cream bottles.
My eyes take in the contents of the shopping basket of the person standing in line before me – it has canned drinks, potato wafers and a loaf of bread. My brain immediately arrives at the conclusion that this person is young, maybe a student, looking forward to an evening filled with some school work, fun, watching TV or going out with friends. I am envious!
My eyes travel across the aisle to the adjacent billing counter. I see the contents of another shopping bag. Baby food, a good dose of veggies, eggs, bread and milk.
Then I look at my own shopping bag. Vegetables and more vegetables, band-aid, bread, tissues, milk, biscuits, snacks, cleaning supplies, pasta, wraps…! Hmmm, a mother stocking up and trying to avoid another trip to the super market soon!
Image Courtesy – http://www.123rf.com
When I was a kid, the only equation that I had with the shopping baskets my parents carried was to keep track of the little paper bag of candies or chocolates, which my parents bought for us every week. Everything else in the bag was irrelevant.
I see it now with my kids. They keep a hawk-like watch on what they have bought, sometimes totally oblivious to everything else.
The contents of our shopping basket reflect the stage of life we are in. Each shopping basket has a story to tell!
For example, why has the lady behind me loaded three baskets with fruit? I start speculating – is she going to make jam or fruit preserve or juice? Has she bought them to gift someone or is it for a celebration of some sort!!!
I look at her, she smiles and nods.
I move up the line. Very soon, I checkout, pick up my bags and head homeward – back to my children, and the realities of school assignments and deadlines, cleaning and planning.
My shopping basket theory takes a back seat, as I empty my bags, and grapple with everyday issues of putting away the shopping, and planning what to cook tomorrow!