This morning, I went into town to do some last grocery shopping before the shops close and since calling it “this morning” is a bit of a stretch (it was past noon), I was running late for some of the stores.
Where I used to live until a few months ago, no shop would close before 7 PM, so there was no rush on a Saturday, but things are different out in the countryside. First: you have to drive to the store because it’s three kilometers away. However, second: you get a parking spot right away. A nice one. With lots of space to get in and out of the car, even with a baby. Third: shops close, and if you’re not careful you may find yourself in front go the butcher’s at 1:06 PM, which is 6 minutes too late for fresh meat.
Or is it?
Because as I was looking through the windows into the sales room, the counter fridges were still packed with fresh, raw meat, and it made me wonder. Will all this meat stay in place until Monday and still be sold? I certainly hope so because that would mean a LOT of waste if it was all to be thrown out. But also: I remember times where you would walk into a bakery or a butcher shop and they would be out of a lot of things because it was already 5 PM on a weekday or noon on a Saturday. So you had to make an effort and actually get out of the house in the morning if you wanted something in particular that they might run out of.
There was no shortage of anything in that counter fridge, in fact it looked like the store was just about to open, not close, because there was such an abundance of, well, dead animal parts.
Recently, I have had that feeling that we have too much of everything. This is probably a funny thing to say, but I crave shortages. Your favorite cake sold out, the wine you wanted unavailable. But also with regards to being able to afford all these things. Do you remember those days as a child or teenager when you had set your mind on getting something and you had to save your weekly or monthly allowance and waited for Easter, Christmas and your birthday to get some extra cash?
Whenever you wanted to purchase something else, something small, you knew it set you back some bucks on achieving the sum you needed for your big purchase. And when you finally got to it, it really was something special. You were proud to finally own that CD-player or skateboard or afford the concert ticket. Because whatever it was you fancied, you actually had to suffer a bit to get it. It made it much more valuable, way past it’s ticketed price.
Nowadays, most people I know say: “I think my TV is a bit too small. I’m going to buy a new one next weekend.” or “It’s been ages since I went on vacation. I’m taking a few days off to head to the sea.” or “Man, I’ve been wearing this winter coat for three years. I’m getting a new one this season.” And off they go and purchase it.
I’m not saying I’m any different, and I’m pretty sure my perception is from pretty lofty heights. Maybe it’s even snobby of me to say this. A solution to my “problem” could be to donate to good causes and financially support the less fortunate to such an extent that there is not so much money left over for me to spend.
Now I think I’m really an ass because a voice in my head just said: “But that’s MY money, I earned it.” Well, that’s something I can mull over for the rest of the day while it’s pouring rain outside.
Shortages are not a bad thing per se. They make you more appreciative. I think, I can let this stand.
And on my butcher-problem: I went to the supermarket down the road. Of course they were still open and had an abundance of anything I could have wanted and got my meat there.