WRITING SHORT: 42/50

Standard
[Come summer heat, much of my blogging momentum melts away. Hence an experiment until Labor Day: fifty minimalist posts about whatever.]

I was going to McCaffrey’s again. It’s the anchor supermarket in the Princeton Shopping Center. To keep afloat with a Whole Foods in the neighborhood, McCaffrey’s gives a token nod to contemporary concepts like organic (two shelves in the produce section), some eggs from cage-free chickens (but not from pasture-raised ones) and some meat from animals raised without antibiotics (but not from grass-fed ones). Otherwise, it’s your standard American supermarket, only a little classier and pricier.  [The rock-bottom prices are in Montgomery and West Windsor.]  I shop McCaffrey’s for paper towels, toilet paper, paper napkins, baggies and baby wipes (easy on aging behinds) when I have no time to make expeditions to adjoining towns. Why are we always running out of paper towels?

“Would you bring me an O’Henry bar?” asked Bill plaintively.

Bill used to be the Great Vegan health guru; when I met him, he was surviving on oatmeal; green salads with chopped vegetables, olive oil and vinegar; and the occasional bowl of whole wheat pasta, very lightly salted. Candy of any kind, even so-called “healthy” candy, was not on the menu. His dietary principles have evolved since then — they would have had to, if he wanted to live with me. But this sudden yearning for a boyhood memory?  It must have been a function of increasing age.

There was no O’Henry in the whole McCaffrey candy aisle of American crap.  Phased out. Butterfinger and Almond Joy were still around. And Milky Way and M&M’s.  After much thought, I chose Snickers as a near O’Henry facsimile — in the “Save One for Later” double package containing 48 grams of added sugar. (20 grams is the current suggested daily limit.)

“I love Snickers!” declared the checkout youth. “It’s my favorite. I could live on them!”

But for how long?  The label said Bill would be eating (in addition to chocolate and peanuts) — and just this once, I hope — added lactose, milk fat, corn syrup, palm oil, artificially hydrogenated soybean oil, artificial flavor, more lactose, salt, more artificial flavor. He tore open the package without reading any of that. He said I was a sweetheart.

Does love mean giving them what they want, or talking them out of it? One more thing I don’t know.

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