rnch saidPerhaps 40 years ago I recall seeing this vacant, bemused, slightly troubled look on my Father's face, framed in the rear view mirror, as he slowly backed my Mother's "Pride of the Suburbs" Ford Country Sedan station wagon out of a parking slot at the local grocery.
I witnessed this look more than once.
I always wondered what he was thinking; what I had done wrong THIS time to displease/disappoint him.
This morning, I noticed the SAME look on my face as I left Wally Mart.
I know now what Dad was thinking: "HOW IN HALE did I spend SO FRIGGIN" MUCH MONEY on groceries?"
As for groceries, my Father's habit was to bring home the weekly groceries Friday night from one of his supermarkets, which were open to 9 PM only one day a week. My Mother never shopped in a supermarket, but she would visit the downtown deli or bakery as needed, where my treat was either a brown paper bag of pretzels or a huge chocolate chip cookie, respectively.
When our Father came home Friday at nearly 10 my sister & I would run to greet him like happy puppies, allowed to stay up late before a non-school weekend. My treats from him would include, believe it or not, a big shock of parsley I munched raw, a bunch of celery, maybe some fresh carrots, and a big can of V-8 juice you pierced with those pointy can openers. I never had sugar soft drinks, nor candies, cookies being my only sweet.
And my Father would carry in 5 or 6 brown paper bags of groceries, and sternly tell my sister & me that this had cost nearly $20, and we weren't to be wasteful with any of it. There was no milk, BTW. That was delivered each dawn in glass bottles to the back kitchen door. After we explored all the bag contents, and eaten a few snacks, bedtime followed.
I have such warm & happy memories of those times. Thanks for making me think of them. And reminding me that around 45 I came to the sudden and shocking realization that I had turned into my Father. Not a bad thing, I just had never expected it nor saw it coming.