Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A New Perspective on Groceries

I took dad to Central Market on the day after he moved in with me. Did I mention he is from Panola County? As in, deep piney woods of East Texas, spitting distance to Louisiana, Panola County? Needless to say (but as is my style, I will say it anyway), Dad did not understand the groceries in Central Market. Hummus and pesto and the like freak him out.

Well, he has Alzheimer’s so he is a little bit confused to begin with, but I think the new-fangled groceries did him in here.

Me (standing in front of a 10-foot long display of varied lettuces): Dad, what kind of lettuce do you like?
Dad: (staring dubiously at the frisee and arugula): The REAL lettuce.

Yes, he meant the iceberg lettuce. We found an anemic-looking little head of it shoved back behind the gorgeous red leaf and moved on.

Me (standing in front of the deli counter): Dad, do you want to get some lunchmeat? Which do you want?
Dad (looking around everywhere except at the meat counter): The regular kind.

Yes, he meant the SQAURE lunchmeat. The filler-filled, preserved-for-evermore lunchmeat, only to be found in yellow plastic and shrink-wrap.

We left Central Market and headed straight to my Barrio HEB and spent $200 on over-processed, bleached out, pesticide-filled, cancerous foodstuffs that compelled me to apologize to the cashier for their very existence.

All of this only to come home from a 9-hour work day on Monday and have dad tell me that when he looks into our stocked fridge, he doesn’t see any food to eat.

He wants to go to the grocery store.

We go.

He becomes upset about how many people are there and how big it is.

He can’t read the labels because the print is too small.

He thinks I am rushing him.

He is agitated and I don’t know how to help him.

And later on, as I lay reading in bed, I heard him crying in his room.

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