Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pass (on) the Bread

Some people dream of exotic vacations or winning the lottery. I dream of reaching into the cabinet at our house and pulling out two fresh pieces of bread. No dents, no dings, no mold. Just two similar sized pieces of the same brand that don’t need scraping, pulling or stretching in order to accommodate a piece of bologna and a squirt of mustard. Wonder Bread at our house means the loaf made it from the Piggly Wiggly to our driveway without getting squashed or abandoned along the way. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes a police escort to get bread to our house intact. I’m not kidding. Despite our best intentions, we always end up with a sorry excuse for the makings of a sandwich.

Our grocery journey starts off safely enough. With the skill of a surgeon, I slide the loaf off the shelf and into our cart. It goes in the child seat, next to my purse. For the next thirty minutes, I wail, “Don’t hit the bread!” every time Hubby or Teen Angel tosses something into the cart. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve had to put it back and exchange it for a new loaf because we’ve mashed it with a stray can of tuna or package of frozen peas. Is it wrong to put it back? It is isn’t it? The bread is the last item to leave the cart and roll down the checkout counter. The clerk gingerly places it in a sack all by itself and hands it to us like it’s a gallon of nitro glycerin. She’s in on our game. (Remember, it takes a village.) Months ago we divulged our problem to her because we need all the help we can get. She even asks us how we did the previous week, shaking her head at our incompetence. This is a critical stage in our journey because we have been known to get sidetracked with conversation or Woman’s World magazine cartoons and actually leave the bread on the checkout carousel. Milk, too, but that’s another column. I cradle the loaf like a newborn baby and walk it to the van, placing it away from all of the other groceries for fear of something rolling over it on our way to the house. We all bow our heads and say a prayer that a dog doesn’t run in front of us, requiring us to slam on the brakes. (And forgive us Lord for putting the squashed loaf back on the shelf. Amen.) Arriving at home is another critical juncture. Sometimes we forget and leave the bread in its special place in the van where it withers into a dried up mass that usually turns up on Sunday morning on the way to church.

Even if the bread actually makes it into the house, there is no guarantee you’ll get two decent slices out of it. The first six pieces will dry out because Teen Angel loses the twist tie every week. The middle gets mashed by the phone book which sits nearby. That leaves the heels and a few suspect slices that slid out onto the floor the day before when you picked the bag up without the twist tie. That means you have to dig around in the 35 calorie per slice loaf left over from Hubby’s diet or my whole wheat loaf from the week I needed more fiber in order to find the required two slices for a sandwich. It’s a lot of effort for a stinkin’ sandwich. That’s why we eat a lot of bologna and crackers.

No comments: