My grandmother went through the Great Depression and it left her with a waste-not-want-not mentality. In addition, her father had died when she was eight and there were six siblings, so I’m pretty sure there were nights she went to bed hungry.
Even in her eighties, she wouldn’t throw anything away. I loved that woman, but eating at her house was more dangerous than eating sushi on a clearance rack at a convenience store. You never knew how old something was. God forbid she cleaned out her fridge the day you came over. We were taught to never eat her soup. The family even named it, fridge-clean soup. And it wasn’t just food she fretted over. She reused aluminum foil, and if someone didn’t dirty up their paper napkin too much, she’d use it again.
When at restaurants, she’d guiltily slip a few packets of sugar in her purse. And if she had more than a bite of a sandwich left, she’d put that in her purse too.
I still remember when hubby and I flew to Florida for him to meet her. Before arriving, we picked up a few groceries and he bought cranberry juice. When he went to get some later, she’d poured half of it into another bottle and added water so the juice would last twice as long. I told him like I was told growing up, “It’s not really her fault, she went through the Great Depression.”
Now, while I haven’t ever gone to bed hungry—except for nights when I stayed over at Grandma’s house—I’m wondering how the corona virus is going to change me? Already I buy extra when ordering my groceries. I mean, why not have some extra can tuna or chicken in the pantry? And when I get an option to buy a larger portion of anything, I go with the large one without even thinking. My friends are telling me that they too are fighting the compulsion to stock up on things.
It’s not just the food issues either. Texas is slowly opening up, but with hubby on immune suppressant drugs, we are still sheltering in place. And I wonder how long it will be before I’ll really feel safe standing in a crowd. Others tell me they will forever be aware of handwashing.
I can’t help but wonder if when I’m in my eighties someone will say, “It’s not really her fault, she went through the corona virus.”
Do you think this time is going to tweak your behavior? What will you do, or view differently when this has passed? What item will you stock up on after this is over?