The sky is often blurple when I peel out of my driveway en route to Wal-Mart or Kroger. It’s like getting inside of the grocery store before daybreak changes the experience– making it a meditative, peaceful kind of undertaking.
You walk into the place– your sanctuary for the next couple of hours. There aren’t many people there at 5am. There’s you, the stockers/ workers, the satellite radio playing all the right bops, and a few other women who had the same idea as you…
One particular morning, I couldn’t help but notice that every woman I passed was pushing a maxed-out cart.
Good morning. 😊
These are clearly moms on a mission. Most of us have lists, a couple may have coupons, and there’s at least one on her phone calculator– hell bent on staying within budget.
Our carts are full! Ain’t no more room! Nevertheless, we stuff items in every nook of the buggy trying to avoid having to come back for a while. We are getting absolutely everything we need and more.
Backs bent, leg muscles tightened, we turn corners relentlessly. The phone rings and it’s husband and children wondering when you ever left.
By 7am, every woman’s cart is overloaded. The coffee that revved us up has been gone, and we’re racing to the registers to make single-itemed-customers resent us before moving on to a self-check out lane.
We see one another. We think about the items in her cart and consider our selections that don’t mention organic or gluten-free at all. We feel guilty and then we get over it. ‘Cause this grocery store run is about survival, not comparison.
A woman’s cart is not just full of eggs, bread, pampers, paper towels, marked-down meats, apples and antihistamines.
It contains her determination.
Her attention to detail.
Her eye for injustice.
Keep pushin, sis…
Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.