cronechronicler

Exploring the poetry of everyday life

Meatloaf Mystery

I opened my refrigerator freezer and was startled to see a blue plastic Heinen’s shopping bag. True, I had just returned from the grocery store and had been in the process of putting things away. I had already arranged many Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine frozen dinners (there was a sale) in the freezer in my accustomed order. But what was a plastic bag doing in my freezer? And what was in it? I always take my groceries out of their plastic bags before putting them away. I looked inside the blue bag and found four frozen meatloaf dinners, that I did not buy and which were not on my receipt. Who put them in my freezer inside a blue plastic Heinen’s bag?

Each of my two sons has a key to my apartment. I thought I remembered that Bob’s wife is giving up eating red meat. Maybe she decided she did not want the meatloaf dinners and Bob brought them over as a surprise. I emailed him about my strange gift from either Santa or an elf. Or possibly him? He emailed back “Not me”. He suggested that the bag was included in my groceries by mistake when I checked out. This could be how it happened. But this did not explain how the meatloaf dinners still in the plastic bag got in my refrigerator freezer. I emailed my son Fred to see if he was my mysterious “Secret Santa”. “No ma’am” he replied. Well, it certainly wasn’t me. So I accepted that this was an
odd occurrence possibly related to aging.

Then I did the only sane thing I could think of and called the grocery store to report the frozen dinners that had accompanied me home. I hoped the customer service woman would tell me that the person who checked out just before me had contacted the store about the frozen meatloaf dinners she was missing. I envisioned a happy ending. But the customer service woman just told me to return the dinners next time I did my grocery shopping. I felt like I was acting as a model citizen. But still the person in me who put away groceries in a certain order, and had been doing so for sixty years, refused to believe I had put the blue-plastic-bag-enclosed boxes of meatloaf in my freezer.

First thing this morning I struck a match and lit my little red candle to burn cheerily while I drank my morning coffee – just as I have been doing for twenty-four years. Then I put on my warm sox and my bedroom slippers. Then I blew out the candle. Oh, dear. I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

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