Monday Musings… When You’re the Thanksgiving Turkey

This year, no doubt, has been full of challenges and changes across the globe. So, it’s a good idea to stop and pause, on this Thanksgiving Monday, to think about what you are truly thankful for.

You may be thinking about the fact that you have a roof over your head, food in your belly, and someone that you care about who also cares about you. I hope you do have those fundamental needs met.

Well, certitude of that gratitude was made very clear to me this past week.

My husband and I had been out and about and, on our agenda, was to pick up some groceries for a Thanksgiving meal. Normally, my husband stays in the car, especially due to Covid, and I go in with ‘the list’. In and out, 20 minutes and we’re good to go. But there’s a second reason my husband doesn’t go into grocery stores: he’s a dangerous man, especially if he goes in with an empty stomach. I’m sure some of you can relate. So, it’s always a healthier and cheaper choice to have him remain in the car.

This particular outing, however, he decided to come into the store with me. I actually asked him if he was sure, because he hadn’t had supper yet. I even said the store looked really busy. I also informed him I only had 5 things on my list. But alas, with masks on and cart sanitized, we proceeded into the enormous Eden of eatables.

I don’t think we were in there 5 minutes before we had 15 items in our cart. You know how it goes: “Ooh, that’s a good price for peppers!” “Look, they’ve got a fresh shipment of mandarin oranges!” Even though we went rogue off ‘the list’, we were still in the healthy zone. I actually think grocery stores are strategic to put the produce aisle first when you walk in the building. They’re playing with your mind, convincing you that you’re a healthy person by filing your cart with fruits and vegetables. But have you ever noticed that right after the produce passageway is the sugar infused smorgasbord – brownies, Jos Louis snacks, baguettes right out the oven?

That’s where we, and our cart, got separated.

I meandered left to look at the mushrooms, he ventured right to the pastries. Because he was in charge of the cart, I free ranged it, looking for the items that were actually on ‘the list’, and eventually, we met up in the turkey aisle. Being forced to get a larger turkey than what we’d wanted, we left that aisle and continued our extended short shopping trip.

As the cart continued to fill, I said, maybe we should use PC points for this, a sort of justification for accumulating more than the 5 original items. “Great idea”, he replied, guilt removed.

After picking up a few other items, I took over the cart and made my way to the checkout and proceeded to put the items on the conveyor belt, totally not paying attention. The points would cover it, no problem. My husband continued to explore the Eden of eatables and joined me with one more item, as the cashier totaled the bill. We looked at the amount, and he proceeded to pay, but the system to redeem points was offline. “Can you wait a few moments? It should clear” instructed the pleasant cashier. Sure. Well, after three attempts, we decided to pay for it without points.

As we walked towards the car, we were actually proud of ourselves – the total was not what we thought it would be, even though we’d deviated from ‘the list’. We were loading the groceries into the trunk, and I just happened to say: “Good idea you bought some potatoes. I didn’t have them on the list.”

And he stopped and looked at me and said: “I never got potatoes?”

“What? Well, what about these croissants and hot dog buns?”


We rummaged through all the bags, and came to realize, we had paid for someone else’s groceries. We had stolen someone else’s cart and paid for the whole thing!

Now anyone who knows my husband, knows he is a very kind and generous man, and would actually pay for someone else’s groceries, if they were present. But this trip takes it to a whole other level! We could only imagine the victim whose vittles had vanished, searching up and down the aisles for their lost cart.

Well, it was the Mahon’s who’d lost the cart, and in fact, lost their minds. Neither of us had noticed a thing, and unless I’d mentioned the potatoes, we would’ve driven home with nothing from ‘the list’ except the oversized turkey.

I went back into the store, solo, as my husband called out: “Do you need the list? Here, take the cart.”

Without missing a beat I replied, “I don’t need the cart, I’ll find one!”

Our cart was still in the place where we'd left it. Just past the temptation tables of treats. I wheeled my way to the checkout and was able to pay with points this time.

I am thankful we've got a roof over our head (though it may be in a nursing home sooner than later); we've got plenty of food for our bellies now (thanks to a stranger), and it's a good thing we care about each other, taking equal responsibility for being free range turkeys.

My mind is still thinking about the poor person we’d pilfered from. Their whole Thanksgiving meal may be changed now, because of us. My only solace, is hoping that they'd gone shopping with a list!

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