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grocery store bundle.

flowers on the bureau

i go to the grocery store. every day, in some form or another.

there's the one i go to on 72nd with cheap cheeses and great guacamole. and the one on 74th where a gal can always count on a gaggle of firemen stocking-up for the week. there's the whole foods at columbus circle. and the one at union square. each with a fresh foods bar and stonyfield ice cream. and then of course my corner store on 181 that i head to daily for canada dry sparkling water. i go to frank's market on 187th when i need to pretend i live in a small town. and the ap across the street from that has those unforgivable fluorescent lights but, bless it, a decent selection.

and so i cycle through the stores. most often choosing the one that falls along my route for the day.

but yesterday morning i set my alarm early. got up, dressed, took the c train downtown, treated myself to an israeli latte and entered the grocery store of my choosing. i wanted the full experience. and i wanted it without too many others around. i wanted to revel in all that is a grocery store. i wanted to buy the mammoth box of clementines knowing i'd have to lug it nowhere but home. and so i perused the aisles, cruised the fresh produce, sipping my latte all the while.

and then i came across the flowers. oh the flowers. i picked some up,  began to walk away, then quickly returned and replaced them. flowers are an indulgence i cannot allow right now. not enough money.

and yet i couldn't seem to tear myself from the little corner of greenery. 4 dollars. that was it. that was all. the cost of the little bouquet. the cost of the coffee in my hand. why not splurge just this once? and as i stood there i was struck by a passage i had just re-read in liz gilbert's eat, pray, love. it's towards the beginning of the book when she's talking about moving into her first apartment--just after leaving her husband, breaking up with her boyfriend. and she talks about painting the walls warm colors and buying herself flowers every week--as though she was visiting herself in the hospital.

she creates a hospice of a home.

and so there i was. sunday morning. staring at the flowers. wondering why we only allow ourselves such indulgences when things get really rough.

and the thing is, what i'm learning is...if i wait now, if i put it off now, then probably i always will.

so i picked up the 6 dollar bundle, turned around, and walked away. this time, for good. and as i collected my fruits and vegetables and nuts--all with my flowers under my arm--i could feel my mind spinning and clicking, a veritable rolodex up there.

it's happened once or twice before, i hit a pocket of space and time and i can actually feel--actually hear my mind sorting thought after though at a speed so rapid i don't dare keep up. it is a restructuring of mind. a realignment of body. sudden realization after sudden realization--or at least the promise of realization. it is elucidation. the body alight with insight. it is a feeling unlike any other--a vitality unparalleled.

the flowers are on my dresser. in my sanctuary of a room. in my sun-lit apartment. in a little corner of washington heights. just along the river.

because the time for waiting has passed.


Emily said...

I finished this post breathless from all the beauty of your writing and thought! We shouldn't wait to treat ourselves well, and those flowers are a lovely tribute to your fine spirit, my dear!

chels.e. said...

reading this post was like starting a beautiful new novel i wouldn't want to put down.

i am glad you bought the flowers.

annie said...

I think I might go buy myself a little bouquet today.

Lovely post. Really. So beautiful.

courtney said...

you write so beautifully. i don't know what else to say.

ahlin said...

that is so cool. a few months ago i bought a couple bright pink fake gerber daisies that were glued in a little vase so it looks like they're in water. i put them in my cubicle. and i love them everyday, even though they arent real. and people who passed my little corner looked at me weird. ha.

kara lynn said...

meg, flowers are a smiling soul!


Laura Marie said...

"the body alight with insight" -- perfection.

Laura C said...

beautiful. I definitely believe in indulging yourself every once in a while. Or not just every once in a while.

becky said...

This is beautiful. I am glad you bought them!

Anonymous said...

I'm so incredibly jealous our ability to always find the perfect words. Such beautiful writing. I treat myself at least once every two months to fresh flowers in my room. I know it's an indulgence but it keeps me happy for the week they are smiling at me from my dresser! I'm glad you treated yourself to something that makes you happy!

Camilla Leila said...

i am a firm believer in having fresh flowers in one's home.

good for you, Meg Fee!
you deserve to treat yourself :)
lots of love,

Michelle said...

The flowers will be there all week to remind you of your little bit of indulgence, and they will make you smile. For that reason alone, worth the few dollars you spent.

I treat myself to a bouquet from Whole Foods whenever I need a bit of sunshine in the house.

the southern hostess said...

Beautiful, beautiful words. Nice flowers too.

christine said...

One day, someone said, "Oh, someone loves you" and pointed to the bouquet of flowers in my hand. To which I replied, "Yes, I do." And that's why you bought yourself flowers today too.


bubble and squeak said...

you're a poet

jackiek said...

you're an amazing writer. and your writing is so true. when i'm at the grocery store (which i am a lot because i love grocery stores), i always buy myself a little something. whether it be new soap, a new kind of fruit i wanted, flowers, or some gum, it's always something. and people always ask, "what's so special about soap and flowers?" but it's always the little things.

iheartkiwi said...

flowers are an investment in your personal happiness! a necessity, not a luxury :)

school has left me feeling pretty drained lately and i'm thinking a little bouquet of flowers on my desk might be just what i need.

happy monday my dear!

jkim said...

your writing style just left me speechless- it is so beautiful!
thank you for the inspiration :)

will pick up those beautiful dahlias I always see at farmers market this week!

communikate. said...

I adore fresh flowers, and find that I almost enjoy them more when I buy them myself vs my husband bringing them to me. Good for you for indulging yourself now and then.

Courtney said...

I did that same flower dance a few weeks ago with some lilac colored dahlias. And after walking back to them several times, they eventually found a home all over my apartment. There's something about walking home with a fresh bouquet under your arm. Like nothing can bring you down. Good for you for indulging yourself.

Kris said...

this was a really great story. You're writing is great.

I am curious of the quote in the background? What does it say? Who's it by?

Let me know!


amanda said...

I have wanted to write something like this for the past few months. This is it. This is it exactly.