Single Mom Sundays

My cargo bike for groceries and other essentials.

I’m not pretty, and I was way more handsome twenty years ago. Every Sunday, it seems I “bump” into a single Mom. I’m in the aisles with my lists. I am trying to find the healthiest, cheapest things to eat. Because of child support in Arizona. Haha. Also. Medical bills. Medication prescriptions. Life. I’m not looking and have been off the market for a long, long time. One less worry of having a needy partner has been pleasant. Love. Ha! Not in my Phoenix neighborhood.

My grocery list and looking for another set of bowls.

So. I’m in the aisles. I’m doing my thing listening to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” A lady in another cart inches closer. I’m not looking, and she’s a few feet from me. Then I grab something from the top shelf, and her cart is blocking me in.

Why do women do this?

I make no claims to understand the subtle and almost insignificant differences between men and women. If I thought long about someone in front of me, I might notice how attractive they might be. I might fall in love in an instant. I might chase them through the aisles like some lunatic. I might ram my grocery cart into theirs to get their attention. I might smother them with all these compliments and attention.

Love now seems a bit like social media in general. It’s all adoration and no substance. No wonder, when this life thing gets complicated, all these regular people with a million followers still divorce or cheat or separate. Its life itself that’s the problem life is not friendly or choreographed. It’s not staged and managed like love might be. I never saw homeless couples in Phoenix take selfies.

I politely stand there next to her as she yells out every question imaginable. Like, in elementary at the playground, when you’re making a best friend of the day. I nod, some. Then, wonder why canned beans are half the price of dry beans and how unfair that is. I would love not to cook my beans. Just open a can if only the extra weight of all these cans of beans would not make it home by bicycle.

Life. She smiles hugely at me like I’m gold. Like, she just won something on those daytime shows. She ran down the aisles and hugged one of those daytime hosts with all the Mom sponsors. The better paper towels and bleach that don’t smell like death, only flowers. I give her a quarter smile and start pushing my cart away in her mid-sentence. It would have never worked. I get groceries all the time, and there are these incidents. I laugh. Oh. Have you been single since the pandemic? Haha. I’m going on almost two decades.

Amateur.