I went grocery shopping for her today--I do it about twice a month. It was so goddamn hot today--like 114 degrees in the grocery store parking lot, hot. But Gigi needed some things, the same things she always needs:
- sourdough bread
- a box of Premium crackers (she likes them better than Saltines)
- a gallon of buttermilk
- a gallon of 2% "sweet milk"
- laundry detergent
At least four of these five things are pretty much always on her list, and I just now realized they're all white. Weird.
When she called me this morning to give me her list, she said, "I might be calling you later with more, but that's all I can think of right this minute." I went ahead and added "cat food" to the bottom of the list, because she always needs cat food. For years I've suspected she survives on a stew she makes out of cat food and milk.
Anyway, we went to the movies today because what else are you going to do when it's hot like this? And apparently Gigi called about six times while my phone was silenced, as is her wont (if someone doesn't answer, call again! And again! And again!).
I called her back after the movie and she was all, "I left a few messages on your answering machine. I need you to pick up some critical items I forgot to tell you about this morning."
"What are they?" I asked.
"I can't remember," she said. "You're going to have to listen to the machine."
So I have this bad habit of never checking my voicemail, and the messages tend to pile up for weeks until it becomes necessary for me to sit down and listen to all 16 of them at once. Which is what I did today in the Bell's grocery store on Hawthorne, which is where Gigi likes me to go because they sell gallons of Mayfield buttermilk--not just half gallons like they have at Kroger.
Anyway, after about 10 minutes of listening to messages left on my phone by people trying to figure out where I was during the week of Paddle Georgia, I got to four voicemails from my grandmother, left today during a period of about nine minutes:
VOICEMAIL #1: Jessie..... Get me some cat food, will you? The raccoon got into it last night and ate the whole can. Thanks, honey. Bye. [Note: Virginia keeps her cat food indoors--in the laundry room, which she calls the "back room." She keeps it in a small metal trashcan. The "raccoon" routinely finds its way into the back room and eats many pounds of cat food at a time. It could also be a possum. Nobody's really sure.]
VOICEMAIL #2: Jessie. And get me some cookies. I've been out of sweets for a month.
VOICEMAIL #3: Jessie, hey. And if you're at Bell's, get me one of those lemon cakes from the deli. I'm just dying for somethin' sweet!
VOICEMAIL #4: Jessie? I can't imagine where you are. Get me a 6 pack of Hershey bars....With almonds. Call me back.
Critical items, indeed.