I was in Smiths (grocery store) the other day and had an interesting experience. I was in the "breakfast foods" isle deciding whether to go with Cherrios, Chex, or Crispix this week. As I was nearing a decision, two different pairs of couples came from opposite ends of the isle and I was privy to a brief session of eavesdropping. Couple 1 approached from my right, your left, and were also contemplating their cereal choices this week. Their conversation went somewhat as follows:
Husband: "uh, dear, what do you think about Cap'n Crunch this week?"
Wife: "We've had this conversation before, we can't afford it."
Husband: "Well... honey, it really isn't too much more expensive."
Wife: "Here, we'll get corn flakes. You like corn flakes, don't you?"
Husband: "I really think we should get Cap'n Crunch this week."
Wife: "We're not getting it, we can't afford it."
Husband: "I'm getting it, I can afford it."
My normally uplifting shopping-mood was brought even lower after Couple 2 made their entrance:
Wife: "... and then me and Karen started walking to my Biology class, but you know what, I realized my class had been CANCELLED that day, and well anyway..."
Husband: "Oh really... great... yeah, that's weird..."
Wife: "... but then we sat down and just talked about everything, I mean EVERYTHING. It was so great. Have you ever noticed how shy Karen is? Anyway, I told her all about the time..."
Husband: "Wow, that's... yeah. Great. Wonderful. Oh yeah, perfect..."
Wife: "... I just love coming shopping and getting to pick out all the different things we eat every week. It's really the highlight of my week, I mean, isn't it great to just have so much to choose from. They really do a great job of stocking this place..."
Husband: "Oh... yeah, uh huh. You know it..."
As both couples finished up their business in the breakfast foods isle, I couldn't help but pause amongst the pop-tarts and granola and think a little bit about relationships. What constitutes a good relationship? Why are two people attracted to one another? What does it mean when two people click? When you "click" with someone... what's the guarantee that it will stay that way forever? I'm not saying this is an "either/or" argument here. There are plenty of couples 3, 4, 5 etc. on to infinity. But what's the guarantee that I won't end up, to some degree, like people who don't get along with their spouses?
Perhaps the grocery store is the place of broken marriages and "nothing fights" over jelly. Maybe the grocery store is the wrong place to learn about relationships, but I think the breakfast isle is OK for a moment to step back and think about what one wants from life. I am pretty OK with where I'm at right now. I am a lone man, choosing his path, and eating cereal. I chose all three kinds, by the way. The crispix were finished off yesterday.