I just threw out half an apple cake.
I should probably do the same with the unopened pretzel m&ms. Too late for the Baked Lays, the Salt and Vinegar Kettle Chips, and both pints of Haagen Dazs.
Oh, there’s also the nub of a blondie from the Korean deli. I could toss that.
I normally don’t have any of this crap in my house.
Well, the ice cream, yes. Always my weakness. But the rest, I bought, and ate, because of Irene.
I’m not the only one.
All over my Facebook news stream all weekend were updates from friends (mostly female) saying:
“This hurricane is fattening!”
“Irene is making me fat.”
“Hurricane bad for waistline.”
Well, of course, because we were all shut inside, and the minute we’re trapped somewhere, we start cramming our mouths with everything in reach. Ever notice how, as soon as they close the doors on the plane, everyone busts out their stinko sandwiches and individual pan pizzas?
The question is, why is there so much crap in the house in the first place?
Panic, that’s why. Panic, imagined scarcity, and Darwinian instincts that translate as: “I want to outlive those other bitches”
I walk past that apple cake every other day at the farmer’s market.
It always looks good, but I tell myself, “that’s an extra 1500 calories I don’t need.” Eyeing it on Friday, when there were rumors of apocalypse and the farmers were starting to pack up, I thought this instead:
“Look at those apple chunks. This could be my last chance to taste that cake. And what if, after several days, it’s the last thing left in the house? Steven and I can ration it out in little one-inch squares for a couple of days. We’ll be hungry, but we’ll still have strength because of this apple cake I almost didn’t buy. Oh, look at those misguided people loading up on fresh fruit. How long will that last when the power goes out? After 4 days, they’ll be plagued with fruit flies — while my apple cake stands the test of time.”
After thinking about it a little more, I bought some nectarines.
I didn’t want to be the one stupidhead who didn’t have any fresh fruit. It’s good when water runs out.
Why did I think our supply of water would run out? Because the news kept saying I needed three gallons per person: one gallon per day, per person, with a safety net of three days. I’d hauled home a motley load of bottles in different sizes and brands, but not six gallons.
Come on. I can’t ever drink the recommended 8 glasses per day.
It’s all I can do to drink one. One glass of water, and maybe a can of soda or glass of wine.
Would a hurricane make me more thirsty?
Still, it nagged at me that I hadn’t bought enough.
I could have rustled up the 6 gallons in my least favorite supermarket, but I got there just at the time that everyone in the neighborhood had the same idea. I was too concerned with getting a cart and getting in line before it wrapped all the way around the store to think intelligently about what I was buying. Also, too caught up in the mood of the store.
The supermarket was full of panic.
Potentially panicked people like me, who didn’t really think anything would happen, but didn’t want to feel foolish if it did, and truly panicked old people, lots of them in couples and shouting to each other from different aisles:
Whatever I saw almost gone, I grabbed, too.
There was still plenty of water, so I only grabbed a few bottles. But bread? I couldn’t believe my luck, snagging the last loaf of Pepperidge Farm Enriched White. Enriched is good when you’re down to your last scraps.
You never know what’s going to end up being your Tic Tac.
When I was standing in line, a woman wedged herself right in front of me. Blatant cutting.
I spent the rest of that day, and then Saturday, gathering more “better safe than sorry” items:
I pictured the city plunged into blackness, with all other citizens screaming and scrambling for candles while I sat curled up with my New Yorker.
What about you?
Were you on the East Coast?
Did you buy and eat ridiculous items?