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In any case, that was the day I did what I presumed would be my last day of grocery shopping at Kroger's for a while, rounding out with a few final items what Tom referred to as our "war stock," those food and household supplies we figured we'd need to get us through the long period of staying at home that we'd already been warned was coming.
It was a funny feeling, making that last trip to Kroger's. I suppose that's because I felt that this was going to be the last time I'd be out in a public place for a long time. I'd been to my last movie theater, my last restaurant,
"You know, we could go back to Kroger's if we need something," Tom reminded me.
This was true.
But of course by the day before yesterday when I made my first trip back to Kroger's since my last trip two weeks earlier, it was an altogether different world.
Up until two weeks ago I used to zip into Kroger's almost every day. Sometimes twice a day. Seems I was always out of something that I'd forgotten to pick up when I was shopping the day before. Going to Kroger's was second nature for me.
However by this past Thursday the thought of going into Kroger's left me feeling uneasy, edgy, tense, even.
But then we needed - well, wanted - some fresh food and a few other items to supplement the war stock.
Tom and I decided we should go to Kroger's together. I don't know why. Somehow, inexplicably, it felt safer for us to go together even though, of course, two of us going to the store was actually half as safe as one of us going. And yet neither of us wanted to send the other out alone.
We planned for our shopping trip, double- and triple-checking our grocery list so as to be in and out of the store as quickly as possible. The night before we set the alarm for 6:15 am so as to be up in time to arrive at Kroger's by 7am, at which time the store was open for an hour just for senior citizens. (Turned out there were as many non-senior as senior citizens shopping at Kroger's during that hour).
For all the years I'd been coming to Kroger's, this day did feel different. I felt hyper-aware, hyper-vigilant. I expect everybody in the store did. We all kept our distance,
A store employee approached me and said in an apologetic tone that some of the customers were wondering why I was taking pictures. I explained to her that I was snapping shots for my blog.
Normally I would have offered the employee one of the "Ailantha" cards I carry in my purse.