Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake when you make it again.
My affection for grocery shopping yesterday afternoon was again trumped by my past anxieties.
Does the memory of past trauma ever end? No matter how successful I become my world will never be devoid of what came before. Despite a fistful of coupons and a debit card to burn, here I am at the grocery store still feeling like a victim.
Afrocity, you do not deserve those $3.49 Sea Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips in the organic aisle.
Afrocity, do you really need that pre-packaged salad? Are you too lazy to cut up a head of lettuce?
How dare you buy that 1/2 pound of imported genoa salami just because it tastes better when the domestic is on sale?
I was guilt-ridden and self loathing at the deli-counter. I asked for co-jack cheese, salami, Vienna corned beef, and old fashioned loaf.
Why so greedy? Just how many sandwiches can you make Afrocity?
What was I thinking? I went to the grocer’s market on an empty stomach and a head filled with bad memories of standing in aisles of food which I often could not afford without the government’s help.
Rarely did mom ever stand at a deli counter except to buy corned beef which is my favorite cold cut. $6.00 a pound it was during the 70’s, for food stamp heads like mom and I that was a luxury…but we bought it anyway.
“Just because we are on welfare does not mean we have to eat like it,” mother would often say when she would get a cold stare from the supermarket cashier. She was paranoid that because they were white, they felt that blacks should not eat as well. Especially when those blacks happened to be on food stamps.
“Because they are white and have to struggle to pay for groceries, they think we should too.”
“How can you tell they are struggling?” I asked.
“Look at them! Would you want to work all day bagging groceries?”
I shook my head. Bagging did look like a boring job.
“Well, neither do they… I would rather have NO JOB than to do that all day long.”
“We get corned beef and she gets bologna…and what did I tell you about bologna?” she asked, handing me the lightest bag of groceries.
Frowning at the mere mention of the word, I proved to mother that I knew my lessons well. “Bologna is bad for black people and made by whites to slowly poison us with poor nutrition. Just like Oscar Meyer corn dogs and possessed meat.”
“Processed meats,” she corrected. ” P R O C E S S ED.”
I nodded. “No fat, only lean cuts. It is a sin to eat fat the USDA is a liar and so is Nestle.”
Mother nodded, we were ready to retrace our steps back home, hands full of groceries.
Now she left me in 2009, starring off into space as the deli-counter lady was slicing my corned beef. I don’t need all of this meat but I was hungry and got greedy. I can’t ask her to stop now. There are moments when it seems to me that I will never deserve that pound of corned beef. It didn’t feel good then and it doesn’t feel much better now that I can afford it with my own money that I worked for.
As usual ZoNation sums up everything for me this week. My favorite African American conservative has created a hip hop music video which discusses Obama supporters and victimhood. They call them “victicrats”