So, there you stand, caught in a decision that many overstressed, overworked, and underpaid have faced before. It's been one of those days where you were ready to commit murder with the business end of a water bottle just so you could go to prison and get some rest. That's right. You're actually viewing the big house as a place of solace. After all, you quietly surmise to yourself, there aren't any children demanding that their tiny needs are met there. Bill collectors, ever so persistent in their attempts to squeeze blood from your precious turnip, wouldn't dare call you why you're inhabiting a 10x10 cell.
Yes, prison, even with the ugly orange jumpsuits and the rank smells of some unknown odor, is starting to look more appealing than the day-to-day struggle of the life you're living now.
And it's ok that you briefly wanted to trade it all in for a cot and three squares a day. Don't judge yourself too harshly. We've all been there.
So, just stand there for a little bit. Bask in the cool air and inhale the different smells of the grocery store you're standing in. It's ok, really. Take your time Sweetheart. Pay no-nevermind to the little old lady as she pushes her buggy past you for the third time. Don't worry about the stock boy who keeps reaching around you to restock the shelves. There's no rush. Take all the time you need. And while you're busy taking what you need, feel free to take advantage of the precious moments you're getting to spend away from the kiddos.
Shhhh. It's ok. Don't feel guilty that a trip to the grocery store is like your own personal vacation. No one needs to know that you take a few extra minutes picking out the right kind of cereal for your precious cherubs. We all know, that by now, you've memorized their favorite foods. You could go shopping for them with your eyes closed. I know that extra time you spend debating between Captain Crunch and whatever other cardboard tasting sugary concoction someone has created is really extra time you relish in not hearing your name being called.
Really. I get it.
But, now here you stand making the biggest decision of your week. This could determine whether you have that nervous breakdown and start screaming at the ankle biters because you stepped on a lego, or if you simply melt into the sofa and let them destroy the rest of the house. I know you feel guilty. I can tell as you finger the last remaining ten dollars you have in your pocket. The rest of the items, the crap the kids wanted and you wouldn't touch if you were starving, can be bought with your foodstamp card. But, you still feel guilty.
Ahh, yes. Good o'le Uncle Sam and his judgemental cohorts at the Department of Social Services. If it weren't for these proud folks, you and your demon spawn would be living the high life eating ramen noodles and drinking kool aide. Generic kool aide for that matter. But, since you are considered to be the 'working poor', the government has thrown you a bone.
God bless America.
So, swallow back that guilt forming in your throat. Don't worry about the looks you're gonna get from the other shoppers or the cashiers. They don't understand your life and how stressful it is. You need this. You really don't want to lose it over a misplaced lego.
So, go ahead. Be that person. That foodstamp person that uses her foodstamps for food and her last remaining ten dollars on that delicious bottle of red wine you're reaching for now. Don't worry about judgement.
However, wait until the kids go to bed before you open it. And, for godsakes, use a glass.