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Sunday Afternoons

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The process usually starts Saturday afternoon or evening. The skeleton list is jotted into underlined categories, charted across the page: produce, bakery, meat, frozen, aisle, dairy, household, misc. Peanut butter x 2 will be immediately added under aisle, and milk under dairy. David will scrawl “Pringles” under aisle and Kevin’s will write “ICE CREAM” in the wrong spot, usually under meat section.

Then, the rest of the puzzle begins. What will we have for dinner the next week?  Pizza on Fridays. Always. David cooks on Tuesdays, and he is currently perfecting tacos, rice, and beans. He probably needs 2-3 more weeks of tweaking before adding another meal to his resume. Pizza. Tacos. Check and check.

What do you want to eat this week? “Macaroni and sweet potatoes and ravioli. And pancakes,” says Kevin. I scrounge through my “What’s for Dinner” Pinterest board for a new recipe, and find a delicious, easy looking one: Mozzarella Lime Chicken. That will be Monday. I add an old favorite, spinach and sausage tortellini for Thursday. I jot the ingredients under the categories on the list, and my two contributions are complete; Raymond can finish it from here. Three more days.

"Spaghetti?" He asks.
"Sure."
"Quiche?"
"No, I hate quiche, in quiche you didn’t know."
He frowns, not amused at my hilarious pun.
I suggest a meatless night, but he reminds me of the times I have made a meatless dinner and the boys, him included, were starving in an hour.
"How about breakfast for dinner?"
"Sure, as long as you make the pancakes, and I make the eggs." 

We drive separately to church and just like every Sunday, he will go to the store afterwards. I will go home with one or both boys, make a quick lunch, take a nap maybe. He will call or text at least twice.

"Do you want the Italian diced tomatoes or regular?"
"How much ground beef did you say?"

An hour or so later I will hear his truck pull into our gravel driveway, and see him emerge, arms full of plastic Wal-mart or Food Lion bags. He will plop them on the kitchen floor and I will unpack and organize. I will glance at the receipt, at the bottom of the bag with eggs, and usually cringe, convinced I can spend less. Then I remember that when I go, which is hardly ever, I forget most of what we need because I want to GET OUT OF THERE ASAP, which means several more trips are needed, which means it all evens out in the end.

So, here I am, a typical Sunday afternoon in March, in my kitchen, surrounded by plastic bags; is paper even an option anymore? I stick the two jars of peanut butter in the cupboard and the cookies and cream ice cream in the freezer, and breathe a sweet sigh of relief. Another week will go by until the process begins again.
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