A Tempest of Tofu and Toilet Paper

tofu on white bowl
Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com

So we prepare in case we have to duck and cover and quarantine as COVID-19 follows its story arc. We already had enough nonperishables for at least a week on hand. This past Monday I made a post-yoga run to the market where I prefer to buy fresh items like bread, chicken, and fruits and veggies.  People were buying a little more than usual, but nothing panicked or rushed.

Next stop was Whole Foods. Again, busier  than usual, carts a little fuller than usual,  but nothing indicating that the world was at risk for turning on its ear. Not unlike getting ready to hunker down for a storm.

And then Costco for fish, cheese, pasta, and a few other items that make life pleasant. If you can think what would happen if an imminent blizzard and the zombie apocalypse happened the day after Thanksgiving, you get the idea.

I nearly kissed the driveway when I came home.

You know those shoppers who discretely peek into others’ carts and quietly pass judgement on the contents? You caught me. I’m one of them.  I try not to. I understand that not everyone has the blessings of socioeconomic circumstances that I have and may not have the same taste that I do, but there are times.

Such as the Costco shopper who navigated a flat cart–one of the ones that’s used to haul plywood or other items that don’t fit into regular carts–full of mostly junk foods.

Such as this past Thursday. After a self care appointment, I made a shopping trip to stock up on nonperishables at Trader Joe’s: chocolate, tomato soup, pizzas, and a few extra cans of beans and tomatoes. Oh, and olive oil and tahini. And try to score that most precious commodity, toilet paper. They were out, but no big deal. I took my place in line, then reflexively glanced at the cart in front of mine.

The guy in front of me had twenty four  (24) tubs of tofu, a dozen bags of frozen hash browns, and five bags of rice.

And this is after I had chosen to get the no-sodium tomato soup because there were only two cartons left of the regular. I can add my own salt, and someone might have a picky eater who wouldn’t deal well with the no-sodium soup.  Not a big deal.

But what in the name of all that is sacred does one do with that much tofu? Make a vegan brunch for the neighborhood? Make breakfast burritos for the disadvantaged? It stays good for two or three months in the fridge and up to four in the freezer, granted. Paraphrasing Chris Rock, “Good Lord, that’s a lot of tofu!”

I shook my head all the way home.

Time like this are good ones to have a dog. It’s good to come home, have an affectionate greeting, and then sit down for a conversation that makes sense.

Late Friday came the announcement from Governor Pritzker: starting Tuesday, all K-12 schools are closing down for the rest of the month. I ran out before Oakley’s pickup time to see if I could grab a small pack of TP, but no luck. I did get spray cheese (for his pills) and some other items that make life a little nicer so we wouldn’t have to deal with any more trips, hopefully.

Hubby, up in Michigan, made a run to a nearby ethnic market where he found some huge jars of tahini and a bail of TP. He escaped with his life. He’ll be home tomorrow.

So we are ready. We are ready to quarantine if need be, but mostly it’s a relief to be safe and sheltered from the crazies.