Is this you? I’ll have the salad

We go to a city about 120 miles away to go grocery shopping and do other errands. We do this because we like to get a good deal and we shop for three or four weeks of groceries at a time. I know we’re not the only ones doing this because we run into our friends and neighbors doing the same thing. It’s not where we live that makes this unusual. I find that no matter where you live there’s always a reason to go to another village, town, city or metropolis that has bigger, better stocked and a wider variety of stores. It’s human nature to look for a better deal. I do it. You probably do it. Your neighbor is certainly doing it. I know my neighbors are — and they live two miles away!

But a deal is not the only reason we travel. It’s like a mini-vacation this going shopping every so often. And that’s where I’m heading this week. On that mini-vacation and what bumps in the parking lots we encounter and should be wary of.

Ah, the parking lots. Where the lines that mark out the parking spots were designed for those Mini Cooper type and sized cars that could be full of clowns. Not for the rough and tumble pick-ups that measure 7 feet from the ground to the bottom of the doors and are 38 feet long. With tires big enough to hold six people if they were used to go tubing down a snow packed mountain in the winter!

Men get all bolstered at the car dealership when the new trucks come out and they are bigger and badder than the year before. However, they don’t take into account their cute little wife or girlfriend who has to navigate his monster into one of those Mini Cooper slots at the local grocery store.

We’ve all seen this. It takes three tries just to get the truck pointed down the row, let alone the 10 or more stabs it requires to get it stuffed into the three slots it takes to house the beast. We call this the, “Next time let’s get the big truck!” show. I always feel sorry for the gal, usually about 110 pounds soaking wet that lowers the landing bars to get out of the truck she’s saddled with for the day. I’ve never been around to see the ending of the shopping experience she has. I wonder? How are the groceries loaded into the back of the truck when the sides are 10 feet high? A life question ...

But again I’ve parked my comments in the wrong lot. Let’s talk about lunch on these day trips.

Yes, a nice relaxing lunch in a quiet, aromatic, nicely appointed restaurant would be a plus. But with groceries aging in the car and miles to go before we sleep I suspect a drive thru is more in line with the day. This is where I find I lose all my eating sensibility.

I know there are several places to choose from to buy a meal in a bag. I am a Coke-a-Cola gal so that eliminates some places. I have had some bad meals at a few places hence they are off my list. So when I finally decide I try like the dickens to tell myself just because I’m eating a meal that comes at me thru a little window, it doesn’t mean I can’t eat healthy. I’m glad there are salads available now. I like there are a variety of healthy choices and lighter fare to order. They are good meals, too. I mean, it doesn’t have to be a double bacon cheeseburger and fries with sauce that will stick to your hips like a small child does when they want the 99-cent toy off of the twirl town rack conveniently placed at the checkout counter so you cannot get away or say no least you create a scene making incident ... moving back to the burger ...

FYI — I have no idea how that gal in the monster truck orders from the box, then gets her food from the guy at the window up two stories to her truck window ... moving along.

I read the menu, I see the apple pecan salad with the yogurt dressing only about 300 calories and a diet Coke, too. In line, I keep repeating to myself, “I’ll have the salad, I’ll have the salad, I’ll have the ...” I even say it out loud to entrench the thought even deeper into my thought pattern. I drive forward and speaking into the box, out comes, “I’ll have the double bacon cheeseburger and fries ...” Don’t judge; it’s my mini-vacation.

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and comments with her at


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