Waylon Jennings sang “Looking for Love In All the Wrong Places”, but about twenty year ago, Eddie Murphy sang it as Buckwheat on Saturday Night Live and it was hysterical. I thought of this today as my husband of 40, soon to be 41 years next Monday, and I spent an hour looking for bird seed in our new town.
One of the things we love about it here is that there are no chain stores. Well, if you can call the local True Value Hardware a chain, then I guess there is one. But if you want Target or Walmarts or Tractor Supply or Lowes or Home Depot or any of those stores, you have to either drive about twenty miles north to Holland or twenty miles south to South Haven. We would rather not. We had thirty years of that in NJ. Besides, going into Walmart is no fun without my sister and TJ Maxx is boring without my daughter. And for a little privacy we also don’t like to go into the local hardware…..so an adventure was to be had.
Having the highlight of your day, planning your one outing together, and finding that it involves buying bird seed as the priority makes me think we have reached, or are getting close to being old. I never thought I would get so excited about some birds eating in my backyard! I take picture after picture of them. The cardinals are my favorite because my aunt in California, my dad’s sister, loves them. She loves my pictures.
We hit several stores without finding what we wanted. One store located with the GSP, our faithful companion now, was out of business. Finally, we went into the grocery store. This place still has bag boys who take your groceries out to your car for you, and if it is the owner helping you, he won’t take a tip. We were wandering around, trying to find what we wanted when we passed a display of bagged and sealed paper grocery bags filled with food for the local shelter. The customer buys the bag and it is delivered to the shelter. As we walked by the display, we paused and looked at the tags, each a list of what the contents of the bag was. I asked Jim if we should get one and he said ‘another time’.
A few isles down, we found the elusive bird seed. I was in heaven, loading twenty pound bags of seed, seed bells, and peanut butter suet bars into our cart. Jim was standing looking at me.
“How much do the bags cost? ‘, he asked. $13, I told him. He got a look on his face. I thought he was going to ask me to wait and he would take me to Walmart where it must be cheaper, since everything else there is. He said, “I guess if we can spend $13 a bag for bird seed we can get a bag of food for a hungry person.’ I had to agree. He spent several minutes finding a bag that didn’t have peanut butter and jelly in it. That just seems wrong to him.
While we driving together in the snow and ice, I came to the realization today that I am the luckiest woman I know. I looked at Jim and said. “I love you.’ He said it back to me. Then I said, “But I mean I really love you.’ He started laughing then and said, ‘And I really love you!’ Laughingly, I realize all couples have those fleeting moments of self actualization where you know that you know that you know that you better tell that person right that moment that you love them, that you are grateful for them, that you appreciate them. Because in a few minutes you will be bickering at each other about the price of bird seed.