Swindled by Christina Aguilera at the Stop & Shop
I can’t help it. All it takes is one cheesy Christina Aguilera song at the Stop & Shop and I’m done for. Convinced. I AM beautiful no matter what they say.
No matter if I arrived there in a mini van with my daughter’s 5 year-old Sponge Bob sticker lodged onto the back door. No matter if I haven’t dragged a brush through my hair since the day before.
I am ready to remedy my life with a discount taco kit, a dab of lip gloss and the hope that somewhere near the ice cream aisle I will come to some type of an agreement with myself that life is about more than a top 40 song, but for now it is everything.
Don’t judge me. You know you feel it too. I bet you’ve been inspired more than once by song, holding a number at the deli, eyeballing that local maverick all the local ladies joke heavy with and hold in high regard. Your one moment with him now bound by Macy, Adele or Mariah, the surge of the chorus, the marriage of the bridge, your time is now, order the full pound of Genoa Salami, push that cart and walk tall sister.
Leave deli dude behind with a toss of your hair and scratch off the items on your list: the canola oil, the French Roast and the GMO free chicken that wasn’t even on goddamn sale.
You. Don’t. Care.
Walk to the beat, pound those heels, or sneakers or oxford shoes to the pulse of everything heartbreaking and soul-crushing that is Adele and her sappy-sick, “I-got-screwed-again-by-life” melancholy empowerment. Grab your tampons and liners, proud of the fact your lining still sheds and you bleed, as you should, like Christina says you have to so that you might live another day to be seduced by the supermarket music especially picked for you and you only from a Pandora station probably under a secret genre called Double Coupon Day or Lonely Housewife.
Can’t you see? This is all about YOU! Have your epiphany, text your lover “I want you now,” push the cart faster, past the neon frosted birthday cakes, past the Swiffers and the CFL’s, weaving your way through elderly men yelling at their wives about incontinence and upset stomachs, past the couple with the baby that reeks of cigarette, you only have so much time.
The song will end.
You will have to pay and stand there with a slovenly teenager pissed at you for those cute reusable bags you just got, eyeing you for whatever it is, they can’t put their finger on it but it’s stronger than they are. It’s supermarkety yet supernatural. You have the confidence of a thousand teenagers thanks to Christina and you smirk at the 16 year-old now delicately placing your avocados and apples in the same bag, JUST LIKE YOU WANT THEM TO BE.
In a perfect world, everyday would be like this. Which is why you always return. Why you will have sex with that lover tonight after braised chicken and a kale compote. Which is precisely what the store manager wants every time he hits play.
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