I am not a disaster planner. This is a thing I am learning about myself slowly but surely. For the big blackout five years ago, I bought a loaf of bread, some peanut butter and some orange juice. I just couldn’t think of what to get. When I was caught in Jamaica two years ago in the face of a Category 4 hurricane, I was a little better: rice, salt fish, beans, water, juice, a bottle of wine. None of it in large supply, just enough for about a day. Not the most thorough plan.
Tonight I talked Mopsy into driving us over to the Fairway in Red Hook. We haven’t been in a couple of weeks and I’m out of my yummy Fage yogurt and I wanted pork chops and chicken. Was I thinking about the fact that a snow storm is due to start tonight? Was I thinking about the fact that the storm is supposed to dump quite a bit of snow on us? Hardly. And Mopsy hadn’t really thought about it, either.
As we pulled into the lot, we realized our mistake. The place was a mad house. But we’d come so far, it would have been more frustrating, or so we thought, to turn away and shop somewhere else. We fought our way into a parking space and then into the store. Fairway is almost always crazy-crowded on a Sunday, but tonight is was Sunday to the ninth power. Ridiculous.
I don’t like crowds. I don’t like people who wander through crowds as if they have all day to meander. I don’t like people to race through crowds as if there isn’t anyone else near them. I don’t like the frenzy of people whose shopping seems to be driven by the wacky notion that we will be snowed in for a month. I don’t like not getting to make borderline-flirty conversation with my favorite butcher because the counter is so busy he can’t even wave and smile. I don’t like not being able to find the vanilla.
I do like getting two of the big tubs of Fage whole milk yogurt. I do like finding the pomegranate-cherry granola I like to sprinkle on said yogurt. I do like spending $20 less than I’d thought I would. I do like that there are still black grapes to be had. I do like remembering that I’ll only have to cook for the next three days because I’ll be in Rhode Island the rest of the week. I do like laughing through the aisles with Mopsy, without whom I would not have survived the ordeal of too many crazed shoppers.
But then on the way home I realized I hadn’t actually bought anything with the storm in mind. I bought the stuff I’d had on my list from last weekend. No storm provisions.
What are storm provisions, anyway? I really still have no idea what exactly it is I’m supposed to stock up on. In Jamaica, the bottle of wine was probably the smartest of the things I bought before the hurricane. For the blackout, nothing I bought made much sense in the long run. Really, what I am supposed to buy? I looked at the over-full carts in the store tonight, but I still don’t get the whole stocking up thing. What would I do with all that stuff once the storm had passed?