Friday, January 26, 2007

Grocery Shopping After Hours

Due to a glitch in planning, and some adjustments regarding company for Shabbos, I made a quick dash to the supermarket last night. Those who know me realize that this is miraculous. It is very difficult to get me to go anywhere at night. In the dark. In the cold. By myself! Let's just say there is only one "consistent" example of this in my life, and otherwise I'm a daytime person 100%.

I'm not sure why this is so. Likely because, as the youngest child, and the only girl, my parents were loathe to let me go anywhere at night, even in a group. For all of my "It's not fair"s, I can safely say that I'll probably be as overprotective as they were. Although I know that overprotecting your kids usually just leads them to lie. We'll see. Thankfully they're still very little, and these are not my worries yet.

This is what I learned from my excursion: Thursday night at around 8:30 on Main Street is hopping. I may not be out there, but just about everyone else is. And they probably don't even miss me. When I finished shopping, there was someone eagerly awaiting (nearly salivating over) my shopping cart. It was BUSY.

Never mind that it hasn't been this cold (-6 with the windchill) in NY in 2 years. (Stop rolling your eyes, Ezzie and PT). People simply bundled up, and headed on out into the night. Who knows what insanity is unleased come 9:30?! Luckily I didn't stick around to find out (hey, some of us have a Thursday night TV show, ya know).

I was reminded of the Journey song "Don't Stop Believing" which RaggedyDad is quite sure is called "Streetlight People" due to the one lyric he could make out. (You're too cute, RD!) He's a sufferer of foreign-born "lalala" syndrome when it comes to song lyrics, whereas I'm the one who generally knows almost all the words. At night, the streetlights, car lights, store signs - everything seems kind of eery and blinding and ominous. Maybe just to me.

Also, it is very, very miserable shlepping the groceries to your car in the bitter cold and dark because you wanted to be nice to that man who wanted your shopping cart in the store and you casually threw a glance at your pile of bags, and shrugged "Okay" trying to be cool. It's not cool to carry bottles of milk, random heavy fruits and vegetables, and a couple of dozen eggs (crack!) to your car. It's foolish.

In summation, though none of the "streetlight people" tried to kidnap me, and I did warm up when I started the mirth-mobile's heating system, and even more when I got to the blasting heat in our apartment, I remain a species you will be more likely to find running out at 7 a.m. when the store opens and RaggedyDad still has 25 minutes to catch his bus.

What are your shopping/outing habits?

Good Shabbos!


LT said...

Likely because, as the youngest child, and the only girl, my parents were loathe to let me go anywhere at night, even in a group.

I was also the youngest, though (obviously) a boy. I found being the youngest worked to my advantage, as my parents got steadily less strict with each kid. My curfew in highschool amounted to "if you're not going to be home when we wake up, please call". My parents trusted me pretty fully.

Baleboosteh said...

You are a brave woman RaggedyMom venturing out at night.

I am very much a daytime girl, there is no nightime shopping for me! - I have trouble going outside to hang washing on our verandah at night, I have no idea why, there is noone around (our nearest neighbour is about 1km away!)

mother in israel said...

I don't set foot in a grocery store after Tuesday afternoon. My general rule --- DH does it. I hate driving, and I hate parking more.

SephardiLady said...

When I was single, I would hit my large suburban stores at all hours. If I was baking and ran out of flour on a Thursday evening, 12AM seemed like a perfectly fine time to run down the street. Anyways, my husband doesn't want me out late alone. So, I follow suit. But our stores close early anyways, and I have found late night shopping in a crunch is torture. The parents of the really large families seem to hit the grocery store late night with two carts in tow and a ton of purchases and I am stuck behind all of this waiting (no express lines are open at these hours). So, count me out. Monday or Tuesday afternoon is my preference.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I usually go Sunday at night I would need a babysitter. I am not afraid of going out at night. I like going out at night:).

PsychoToddler said...

I used to love to go out at night. Now I loath it. Once I take of my shoes, I'm in for the night. It's been real challenging having to go to Maariv at night because it means getting dressed up and leaving the house.

Is this what it means to get old?

RaggedyMom said...

LT - Being the youngest definitely meant that my brothers fought certain battles for me. Safety, however, was a totally different ballgame for "hayalda" as I was often called growing up!

Baleboosteh - I would guess that in your neck of the woods it is so dark and desolate at night! We're quite close to a 24-hour place (5 minutes on foot - and I walk slowly) so I'm not likely as brave as you think!

Mother in Israel - Parking at the stores is no big deal - it's parking near the house so late that's a drag. Especially knowing that the next morning there are alternate side of the street parking rules. New York, New York!

SL - Every time I think I can figure out where (approximately) you live, I'm wrong! I'm like you and MiI, I like to have the week planned out and shopped for in advance. It doesn't always happen, but I like it.

SWFM - I think you're one of the bravest and most adventurous bloggers I know. I can totally imagine you being out at night without a problem!

PT - Considering that it takes us about 30 seconds to get into comfy-home-gear when we get home, I hear how hard it is to get back out there. The Stones said it best, though it doesn't seem to be phasing them one bit - What a drag it is getting old!

Mother of Israel said...

I don't know why but it won't post my comments? Here goes, again, Me and the two lil Goons go Thursday at 8:15 am after dropping hubby at the carpool place. It's great, I have the place to myself, hence it takes half the time. Other then in the Winter we also hit the farmenr's market first thing so that we can get the freshest produce...yum!

come running said...

SWFM- I'm right there with you. If I don't do the food shopping when my son is with his father, I have to drag my little boy out with me at night. It isn't so bad except for the fact that I usually end up buying a treat/bribe (dougnhuts) when we're there. Of course, then I eat half of them.

Ezzie said...

I've been wanting to comment for a week, and kept forgetting!

I love the cold, dark night. (I know, weird.) Probably because I never got to be out then in Cleveland, but finally did in HS, and loved it...

I never go to Main St. on a Thursday night - too crowded. When I used to do all the cooking (basically until we moved), I'd love to go shopping for everything on Friday just before/after noon... sometimes later. The only thing I might have gotten before that was chicken/meat, because sometimes there wasn't much good stuff left. But it's great - the lines aren't as long, the stores aren't as crowded, and you can grab a good lunch at Shimon's right before you start. Then, I'd carry everything home (if it's early enough I'll do delivery save whatever I need to start), dawdle a while, and finally start cooking for the 10 ppl per meal just a couple of hours before Shabbos, while Serach wanted to kill me. It's more fresh that way, come on! :)

Now, Serach does most of the cooking Thursday night and early Friday - I think it's so much less exciting that way. :P Nu nu, sometime soon you'll have to come and taste her cooking...!

RaggedyMom said...

Mother of Israel - Farmer's market - that sounds amazing. I love shopping when the stores are empty, but early!

Come Running - How old is your son? Andy is 15 months old and can Houdini himself out of the shopping cart straps, contort his body, and "direct" me as I push the cart. Getting the groceries up the hill to the apartment (with him) and then up all the stairs is a workout unto itself!

Ezzie - RaggedyDad likes being out at night too. I suppose I might find it exciting if I hadn't been so conditioned to be afraid of the streetlight people.

I can't believe that with so much company, you used to push it until the last minute like that! Serach must have nerves of steel to have put up with it! When we got married, RD was still in college too and home on Fridays, so it was much the same at our house.

Usually I like to be done shopping by Wed/early Thurs, cook almost everything on Thurs, and clean the house on Friday. Less adrenaline, but fewer nervous breakdowns! Thanks for the perpetual invite! One of these days we'll have to all get together! :)

BTW - we have sleeping space in our apartment (extra bedroom with 2 beds, spare pack n play can fit in there too - so if you ever want any of your guests to stay here, email me - we do it often, and it's no trouble.

Ezzie said...

Serach likes to have it clean, too. Clean is overrated! :)

Thanks for the offer! You never know, we might take you up on it one day... :)

This weekend is going to be fun - my brother/SIL are in LIJ waiting for their baby to come out, so we may get a bonus of two kids for Shabbos (4 & 2).