I’m in the local market when they first open adhering to, the early bird catches the worm, or fish, in my case since I’m shopping for sardines.
Not just any brand, but one with the lowest sodium count.
A clerk stocking tuna says, “They’re expensive. Why not get the cheaper one.”
“Because they’re better for you. Lower in salt.”
He looks at me like I have three heads.
“What’s wrong with a little salt?” It’s 7 a.m., and not up for a debate.
I just shrug and move on.
Me and my two cans, approach check-out. A middle-aged woman with a filled cart cuts in front of me. The cashier, reading the Daily News, looks at me and yawns.
The woman doesn’t even notice me, so involved with her groceries.
I wait and wait and wait and wait.
The other cashier is shooting the breeze with the bread man. I ask nicely if she’d check me out. “I’m not set up yet,” she says, still flirting with Levy’s Jewish Rye.
Patience not being one of my strong points, is about to knock all the cans of Chef Boyardee Ravioli on sale, 3 for 5, off their shelf.
Finally Madam Grocery and her 10 bags, leave.
When I hit the street, I see her up ahead, struggling. I have one word for her…DELIVERY. But they charge 5 bucks, so now I decide, she’s not only rude, but cheap.
Despite this, I mosey up to her, my Joan of Bark coming out. “Do you need help ma’am?”
Turns out, she works for a wealthy couple on Park and 90th as their cook. They were coming home for the first time since last year, so she had to stock up on everything.
When I say, you could have had it all delivered, she says, she feels bad costing them more money as if they’re on Food Stamps.
Though wanting to smack her, I like her right away, especially when she moves her mask without me asking, so I can hear her.
I take two bags and walk Mary three blocks, while she chats about cooking, soups and casseroles being her specialty. As a young ‘un, as she calls herself, growing up in the south, her mother who worked as a cook, taught her to be one too.
I have visions of Abileen in The Help, telling Mae Mobley…you is smart, you is kind, you is important.
As we get to the front of her building, I say only half kidding, “Mary, if I ever have the means, will you come cook for me?”
“Sure ah will,” she says, “and thanks for helpin’ an old woman like me.”
I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves.
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