Monday, May 21, 2007

For the Sake of $3 Worth of Chicken

Yesterday Mister was rototilling in the vegetable drawer of the fridge when he came across a package of chicken breasts dated May 14th. Why had I put chicken in the veggie bin? Chalk yet another one up on the side of old age . . .

Six day old chicken breasts. My sweet hubby hates waste of any kind. And I don't blame him for one second. On the other hand, I'm not real fond of food poisoning.

The chicken had been on sale. I paid $3 for a pound and a half. I would have been okay throwing it out for the sake of safety. Mister wasn't so quick to sign on with that plan. Conducting the sniff test, he declared it to be "fine" and requested that I cook it for dinner.

I was scared of that chicken. I didn't want to cook it. I didn't want to eat it. I especially didn't want my children eating it. Plus, I figured the cost of all 5 of us getting our stomachs pumped far outweighed the savings of $3 worth of chicken. I devised a plan:

After the rest of my family left the house to visit Grandma for the afternoon, I would sneak off to the grocery store to buy replacement chicken breast. The six day old chicken breast would be quietly discarded, I would cook the replacement chicken, and nobody would be the wiser. All in the name of keeping the peace. And avoiding the emergency room.

To Albertson's I went. When I entered the market, I was immediately confronted with ripe, luscious strawberries on special. But I had to pass them up because I couldn't very well come home with a grocery cart full of food without Mister catching on to my switcharoo. Pass also on the broccoli, cauliflower, red and yellow peppers and bananas that were on special.

Putting on the proverbial blinders, I headed straight for the butcher counter. The chicken breast, naturally, was no longer on sale. Gritting my teeth, I asked for a pound and a half of overpriced chicken breast. Six bucks. F***!

Knowing I could also get away with sneaking milk into the fridge (Mister wouldn't notice a gallon of milk--go figure) I headed over to dairy. That's when my real problems began.

A handsome, 40ish man passing me in the aisle smiled and said hi. Figuring I must know him from somewhere (otherwise why would he have said hello in such a friendly fashion?) I smiled back and cheerfully said hi, then continued on my way.

Milk in my cart, I thought I could also buy chocolate chips and claim they had been in the cupboard since last time I went shopping. It was a risky plan (we all know about me and my unnatural attachment to chocolate) but warm cookies were worth the risk. Standing in the baking aisle, drooling--*ahem*--deciding which brand of chocolate morsels to buy, the same friendly man wheeled his cart near mine and started conversation. And suddenly I realized, he was chatting me up. Okay--it wasn't 'suddenly' that I realized the situation--it was after he asked me whether I was married that it dawned on me what was going on.

"Yes, I'm married," I answered politely. "Oh. Well, nice to meet you. I'm Keith" he returned while extending his hand to me. I smiled and shook his hand, "Hi, I'm Kristin. Nice to meet you." We chatted momentarily about something (for the life of me I have no idea what we talked about as my internal conversation was all about how intimidated I would be if I were single. I'm just not cut out for this kind of interaction.) And then we parted ways.

Having thought of a few more essentials I could easily sneak into the house and stash away, I continued shopping for a few more minutes before heading to check out. Problem was, on every single aisle I kept bumping into Keith.

By now I was embarrassed at what was in my cart. Did I mention the giant box of tampons? Yeah. Tampons and chocolate chips. I don't often get chatted up like that in the grocery store. Admittedly, I was enjoying Keith's attention. But I didn't want this man thinking I'm just some hormonally challenged, chocolate craving housewife. It would be correct, but I didn't want him thinking it. I would figure out a way to hide extra groceries. I'd be damned if I couldn't leave that store without some normal food in my basket!

Back to produce to take advantage of the good deals. Again there was Keith. Flustered by his continued flirtation, I forgot all about those delicious strawberries. Instead, I stocked up on broccoli. Broccoli. But not strawberries . . .

I managed, in this stranger's presence, to fake a normal shopping trip by loading up on enough regular family food to look convincing. Not just chocolate and tampons. And overpriced chicken.

End result:

Replacement chicken breast--$6

Total grocery bill--$34.72

Looking almost sane in front of charming rogue and not serving my family tainted victuals--priceless!


whitenoise said...

This is really funny! ;-)

Rick said...

What a great story. You have still got it!

Kristin said...

thanks guys : )

Mary said...

Kristin, I'm *so* going shopping with you next time.

You get all the luck.

Seriously, thanks for the laugh tonight. I need it.