Tuesday, January 10, 2023

The grocery deli section funhouse

Magic in an unexpected place
London, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram

My wife and I are on a date in the grocery store* when I see something out of the corner of my eye.

The deli display has glass on its sides (most of them don’t, which to my jaded eye makes them boring), and all it takes is a blink-of-an-eye side-on view to convince me that my next bizarro public photo shoot is about to happen.

I detour over and crouch down as I pull my phone out. It looks like a circus funhouse, with the edge-on curved glass and shelving turning what would normally be a plain display of foods I’ll never eat into a photographic toy store for idiots like me.

I shoot quickly before I rejoin my wife at the other end, where she’s already kindly telling the friendly employee, Trudy, that I’m odd but unthreatening. But Trudy is a special one: she isn’t annoyed at all. In fact, she tells us all about this group of guys who came by and shot weird videos of hummus. She’s happy to chat, so we’re happy to chat right back. Her eyes smile behind her mask, as do ours.

In the end, I get the shot, we make a new friend, and we cross off everything on our shared To Do list before we head over to the Tim Hortons drive-thru to continue our oh-so-fine date night.

Just don’t tell anyone it’s still the afternoon. Dates happen anytime. So does magic. If you let it.

* Life gets busy, so we take our moments wherever and whenever we can find them, often in the middle of the ordinary things that fill up a typical family’s calendar. Everyday errands become dates, even if the fine dining ends up being a snack from the Tim Hortons drive-thru.

Remember those two words: ordinary and typical. In reality, nothing is either with her.

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