Saturday, April 17, 2010

Butter revisited

So a while back, well, two years I guess, I had a butter situation that spun my world around and has left a tiny part of what I consider a normal existence incomplete (Feel free to read the link before you continue. I'm actually sort of impressed with the post. I think I'm losing my ability to write a captivating paragraph). To be truthful, it really wasn't THAT much of an impact, but never the less, butter buying hasn't really been the same since. Canola Harvest has been un-findable in my world ever since that fateful day in March 2008. I guess I've adapted since then, I mean, we all adapt to change ultimately, in our own way, at our own pace, but I'm not going to lie to you. Since then it just hasn't been the same in the dairy case at my local supermarkets.

I'm kind of shocked, too, that I actually did "big shopping" (as opposed to "pick up a few things" shopping) at the Fred Meyer back then. I must have thought I was some kind of a Rockefeller. I might have to go back and read the entire 7900 posts since then (of useless drivel, I might add) to see at what point my tightwad self began to emerge. But that's just a sidebar, and by now you should be used to those.

So last night, after OH MY HELL THE WORST TWO WEEKS OF MY WORKING CAREER (in escrow, anyway. While you're browsing the archives you might consider looking at how the months of March 2007 through June 2007 progressed. It's actually pretty funny. Now.), I decided to throw even more caution to the wind and do my grocery (big) shopping. I had like half a box of noodles in my cupboard and a bag of frozen peas and carrots in the freezer and not much else, so I figured why not get it out of the way? I hadn't eaten in 28 hours, most of my hair had fallen out already and my feet felt like someone was driving concrete nails into them, so why not fling my battered psyche into the bedlam that is the Winco at any given hour of any given day? How much worse could it get? (and no, that isn't foreshadowing.)

So I went. And was making pretty good time weaving my way through the parade of white trash (I wonder how many we'll lose when the new Walmarts opens in Cornelius? Hm, just thought about that) and non-English-speakers, trying to remember what I DIDN'T have in terms of staples. Milk? Eggs? Creamer? Don't need 'em. Butter? Oh I should get some. Feeling an all-too-familiar-but-barely-discernible-anymore pang of sadness, I stood in front of the case, comparing the cost of my two (now) go-to brands - I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light and Country Crock Light (it's ridiculous - a $2 price difference for the same size tub, and that's even at the Winco), when out of the corner of my eye I see a price tag of $1.78. Hoping it's not a Winco brand (good God) or something like Promise that is supposed to be spreadable margarine but is, in fact, a big yellow brick whose only real promise is to tear the shit out of your toast, I peer closely at the unfamiliar label. Canola Harvest? Really? THE Canola Harvest? It doesn't LOOK like the label of my past. But sure enough.. I mean, they can't just recycle the names of butter, can they? I took a tub from the shelf and examined it. The script was the same as I remember, and ... I'm not really sure what I was looking for since it's not like I remember the butter THAT well. I did notice a little Canadian flag on the back (? it's a tub. Everywhere is the back. Everywhere is the front) and the tiny words "Product of Canada" below it. Hm. I bet this is my butter. Old faithful. Canola Harvest. Who knew all this time it was Canadian?

I threw it in the cart. And proceeded to have the following thoughts filter through my head while I completed the rest of my shopping: Did we just lift some sort of embargo on Canadian dairy products that I never knew existed because I don't pay attention to current events? Did I hear somewhere that Canada had a rash of mad-cow-disease-milk-producing cows? Is THAT why they stopped selling it here? Is it gone now? Was I eating tainted butter before? I mean, I could explain a lot if I could blame it on mad cow disease.. Is margarine even MADE of milk? Should I be concerned about an import that costs less than the domestic products? Am I somehow a little bit better than other people because my butter is imported?

So yeah. The mystery isn't exactly solved, and maybe I'm not completely satisfied that I have Canola Harvest in my fridge right now on account of all these questions on the table, but perhaps it's a sign that the world is getting back to normal again. My world. Which brings on a whole slew of other questions. I just know I don't have to go back to this desk on Monday, so maybe it was a sign that all things are settling back in to normal for ME, and for WORK, and that's it.

Or maybe this butter has been sitting in the back of the warehouse at the Winco for the last few years and somebody finally stumbled upon it. I guess it doesn't matter. I'm feeling much calmer now.


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