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Forgotten at the Grocery
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This time it was the three bean salad.

It's always something.

The awful realization hits me when I'm halfway home, or hauling the bags out of the car, or in the evening, hours after the groceries have been put away.

"Oh hell!" I forgot to pick something up.

"Forgetting three bean salad isn't a crime," Mary said.

"Or a snack. Because I didn't bring any home. I could really do with a three bean salad right now."

"Do you think you should be eating three bean salad at ten o'clock at night? You never have it except with meals. Since when do you have three bean salad for a snack?"

"Last winter," I told her. "Or the winter before. I forget. Those were good times. Whenever they were."

"I remember. That was at the end of February. We'd been snowed in for five weeks. The shelves were bare. It was either the three bean salad or the tinned okra."

"And it was delicious too. Tangy. What else do we have for a snack that's tangy?"

"What about that tin of okra?"

I scowled hungrily.

"Never mind," she said. "You can buy two tins of three bean salad next week. Or three tins. It's Liberty Hall."

"There's no point trying to be a Pollyanna about it," I said. "The plain sad fact of the matter is...I forgot."

I might amost have said I was vexed, but I'm not sure if anyone has been truly vexed since the nineteenth century.

"It's easy enough to forget," Mary offered sympathetically.

"Well, yes, there's only one way to remember but endless ways to forget. I mean, I can forget to take the grocery list, or forget to write it in the first place. I might forget to take the list out of my pocket at the store. Or else I put it back in my pocket in order to hold the freezer door open in order to get at the vegetarian bacon, and then forget to take it out again before I get to the tinned vegetable aisle. Oh, I'm a wonder at forgetting!"

"You did remember the bacon."

"But I don't want vegetarian bacon for a snack. It isn't tangy. I guess I will just have to suffer for my own mistake," I concluded.

"Look on the bright side," Mary told me. "What if you'd forgotten the loo rolls?"

"Oh hell", I said.

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