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I’m Not Staring At You

I’m not staring at you.

Really I’m not.

I know it seems like I am.  From across the grocery aisle.  With my 2 kids yelling like banshees in the cart.  In a baseball hat and yesterdays make up.  Standing with a dead stare pointedly in your direction.   But I promise, I’m not staring at you.

I’m staring at me.

I too, used to wear high heels to the grocery store.  Calmly walk the aisles, carefully selecting items to place in my cart.   I watch as you choose a specialty salad dressing.  Read the ingredients on a bottle of pesto.  Your hair and make up are done so perfectly like you had all the time in the world this morning to get ready.

I was once you.

Aisle after aisle we follow each other.  You glance as my daughter bops the baby on the head with my loaf of bread.  You look over and see me trying to choose which juice boxes have less sugar.  You see my yoga pants and sneakers and you might even assume I had time to actually exercise today.  And you see me staring at you.

When really I’m staring at me.

I’m staring at the me who used to go to the grocery store to grab the ingredients for a single meal.  When my cart had a just a few items and the most important thing sitting in it was my purse.  You see me now with my cart overflowing with bogo’s, school snacks and double bottles of wine.  Now the most important thing in my cart is screaming in your direction.

I was once you.

Grabbing a case of beer to go home and watch the game.   I bet you even stay up until midnight.  I used to.  I’m still you, you know.  Just a changed, grown up, maybe not actually more mature but definitely having more responsibilities version of you.  I too, can take my time and get ready every morning.  But for now I choose to sleep an extra 30 minutes.  I guess I could still stay up until midnight but I prefer to be in bed at 10 because most nights I’m awakened by the pitter patter of little feet coming to find me in bed.

So I’m not staring at you.

I’m reminiscing of a younger version of me.  The version that didn’t have to time trips to the grocery store around naps and dinner.  A younger me who pulled out of the parking lot in a little red convertible that would never fit two car seats and all my groceries.  A younger me who selected a $15 bottle of wine and didn’t contemplate buying the boxed stuff because it’s just a better deal.  I’m remembering a time when I didn’t worry about the total at the end of the checkout.  When I didn’t bring my little stack of coupons and watch in excitement as the numbers on the screen dropped.

I’m remembering me.  A me that I often forget I used to be.  Until I see you.  And it’s nice to remember and be able to escape back in time, even if it’s for just one shopping trip.  So enjoy your night.  And your yummy wine.  Maybe you’re making dinner for your boyfriend.  I hope it comes out excellent.  The salad dressing you chose is delish, I’ve had it before.  And I’m sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable.  I promise.  I really wasn’t staring at you.

I was just looking at me.

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