Monday, December 07, 2020

Indoor Shopping


Remember indoor shopping? Remember browsing in shops selling various and sundry, old and new, looking for cool stuff for yourself or friends? 

Before today I hadn't been inside a shop since March. And, of course, I won't be prowling the narrow aisles of a shop like the one where this window display appeared years ago. (The shop is only recently gone after having umpteen moving sales.)

But today. I went to Costco. In the Before Times, I'd go a few times a year. I'd pick up small electronics, batteries, wonderful cheap cheese, snacks, toilet paper, paper towels, antiseptic wipes, garbage bags, toothpaste, non-perishable food items, etc. Since I rarely went I'd peruse most of the aisles looking for bargains, gifts, things I didn't know I needed. We are still using the paper towels and toilet paper I had on hand from the Before Times. (Some things I never buy at Costco because they come in too large a quantity. But paper goods can go in my storage.)

Today's trip started before 10. I think they only let old people in before 10. They didn't challenge me. Ha. Go figure.

I had $220 worth of chits that could only be redeemed at the register. I had been buying shredded cheese in eight-ounce and sixteen-ounce packages from grocery pickup over and over. Their Mexican blend shredded cheese is something we call 'magic cheese' in this house. I figured I'd get a few things to see us through the next few months because things are surging even here in Austin (we've done better than some areas) and a vaccine looks far off.

I armed myself with an N95 mask and set out. Most of the aisles were sparsely-populated. I rarely had to get anywhere near others and then only briefly. Masks all around. I bought toilet paper (no wipes or paper towels seemed to be available), toothpaste, dental floss, fish oil, canned tuna, coffee beans, the 13-gallon garbage bags that go in our trash chute, canned pitted black olives, two two-packs of the magic cheese, two blocks of good basic aged cheddar, some vegetable chips, some Boursin cheese spread, some sliced turkey, a package of 20 gel pens (I have been writing in a paper diary at least a little every day and, with the puzzles I work, have run a lot of pens dry during the pandemic), AAA and AA batteries (always good to have in bad times and on sale), and...a WEB cam. (Latter is a whim purchase. Figure I might replace my husband's laptop with a desktop that doesn't have a camera. Plus on sale.) 

Came home and unloaded and felt like I'd done a day's work. Now, in fairness, it was really easy, but I don't like essential shopping in the best of times. In any case, no wait at the register, and really seemed safe and quick. They had rearranged some things for COVID, but I still found most things. I have made myself a little calculator for the chances of getting the virus in various situations and I think this adventure clocked in at less than 2%. Probably less. I hope.

I don't think we will do any inside shopping for a while. And for sure no antique browsing.

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