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Day 16: The Worst Time to Grocery Shop

I’ve started running again. I had to quit for a while because the oral chemo I was on causes a condition called Hand Foot Syndrome. Apparently some of the medicine slips out of the capillaries and makes its way to a person’s hands and feet, making them turn red and feel sore. That bit of information falls directly into this new category I’ve created over the past two years called:

Things I Wish I Didn’t Know.

Hand Foot Syndrome wasn’t that bad as long as I didn’t try and, you know, do things. But I like to do things and that is how I got myself into trouble. For instance, last November I got a job waiting tables and had to quit after two days my feet hurt so badly. I taught a class in Charleston this past spring semester, and the walking to and from school would make me limp around the apartment at night.

It really sucked. I had to drive instead of walk, I had to wear expensive old people shoes, and running was completely out of the question.

I’m not on that medicine anymore. I’m on bigger, uglier drugs, but at least it stays in the blood vessels so my feet, for the moment, are feeling fine.

The first time I went through chemo I really benefited from my staying active, so now, for 30 minutes a day, I’m out there jogging.

I feel great, but it’s brought back an ugly side of me.

I adore grocery shopping. On average, I do it twice a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. It makes me feel Parisian, shopping only for the day. And if something can make me feel Parisian at the BiLo in Greenville, SC, dammit I’m going to do it.

They say the worst time to go grocery shopping is when you’re hungry. That’s not true. I’ve found that the worst time to go is after I’ve run, and I feel morally superior. That was me, last evening, in aisle number 7. The person behind me was buying white bread, hamburger meat, huge bottle of Wishbone French Dressing. “Don’t they know those foods cause cancer,” I thought to myself. To which they could have replied, “Oh yeah, what did you eat?” To which I could only had said, “You’re right.”

Years ago I was living in Charleston and had taken a run and afterwards realized I had nothing to eat. So I went to the Whole Foods, which is where I shop when I think the rest of the world is beneath me.

Right across the street from this particular Whole Foods is a Wendy’s. I got out of the car and looked at the cars in line at the drive thru. I looked at them like they were everything that was wrong with America.

I walked into the Whole Foods, in my running outfit, and started loading up grocery cart. I was grabbing Kale, Chia seeds, Swiss chard. I bought apples, broccoli, tofu. There were sweet potatoes and quinoa. My life was going to be one giant grain bowl. Everything was organic. Everything was Fair Trade. The makings of a Bernie Bro were on full display in my Whole Food shopping cart.

I made my way to the check out. I don’t remember the exact price of the bill, but it was around three hundred twenty-seven dollars and nineteen cents.

It was a small price to pay for how amazing I was going to feel.

I wheeled the groceries out to my car. I put the paper bags in the back and closed the trunk of my Mercury Sable.

All of a sudden, my run was starting to catch up with me.

All of a sudden, I realized I was starving.

All of sudden, I realized that I had spent all my money on food, and had absolutely nothing to eat.

What was I going to do?

I paused for a moment.

Thank God there was that Wendy’s across the street.

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