All that remained in the kids’ jack-o-lantern buckets were Tootsie Roll wrappers, a couple of Jolly Ranchers, a single Werther’s Original, a blueberry Dum Dum and a grape Tootsie Pop, which tasted distressingly like cough syrup.
The boy had one piece of chocolate left — a fun-sized Three Musketeers — but he would have noticed if it went missing.
“I’m going to have to go to the grocery store,” I sighed. It was cold. It was dark. I didn’t want to go to the grocery store.
“If you want, I can go to the store in a little while,” my husband offered.
Isn’t he the sweetest? But he’d had a busy week. I didn’t want to make him go to the grocery store in the cold and the dark.
“Why don’t we go together?” I suggested. “It could be a date night!”
The last time my husband and I went out together in the evening, it was to a work event. I dressed up, and my husband looked at me wonderingly, like I’d come from another planet.
Grocery-shopping together sounded kind of fun.
As my husband collected a grocery cart, he asked if we should split up, to get the shopping done more quickly.
No, I said, this is a date night. We should stay together. But he could go for the bananas while I went for the bell peppers, as long as both stayed in the produce department.
We stayed together until the frozen foods aisle, where I realized I had to go back for something I’d forgotten in the juice aisle.
I let my husband drive the cart.
He moves fast in the grocery store. No lingering in the Halloween candy clearance aisle for me.
When I couldn’t reach the Nutella on the top shelf, he was a gentleman and reached up and got it for me.
In the checkout lane, as we unloaded the cart together, our hands accidentally touched when we reached for a can of beans at the same time.
He picked up the tab.
We worked together to load the groceries into the car, and then my husband parked the cart.
On the drive home, I was determined not to talk about work. I was determined not to talk about the kids. I didn’t talk much.
We listened to the radio. Nobody talked over the music. Nobody interrupted. Nobody complained about the song selection.
“There’s nothing on the calendar for tomorrow,” I said. “Why don’t we go and see ‘Cloud Atlas’?”
We got home and gathered up the groceries together. My nose was getting stuffy, like I had a cold coming on, so I settled for giving my husband a quick kiss on the cheek.
As we unloaded the groceries in the kitchen, our daughter wandered downstairs. “You went to the store?” she asked. “What did you bring me?”