Words of wisdom

My mother has always been quick to impart her wisdom, dropping little tidbits of advice suitable for all manner of occasions. As, letís face it, most mothers are wont to do. These gems of insight, drilled into our brains through repetition, continue to serve us well into our adulthood.

Thanks to years of my motherís sage advice, I know better than to contemplate a late-night snack before bed. (Nightmares, her voice whispers in my subconscious.)

Similarly, I abstain from taking a swim too soon after eating. How could I dare with her warnings about cramping ringing in my ear?

Beer then liquor? Oh wait, that one I learned the hard way all by myself in college.

You may have noticed that most of my momís reproves revolve around eating. Iím not sure why, exactly. But I can say that no truer food-related warning exists than what is perhaps her most oft-repeated admonishment: Never go shopping when youíre hungry.

I have seen plenty of evidence (i.e. wrappers in her purse and car) to know that Iím not the only one who struggles to follow this sagest of advice.

For some reason, despite the undeniable truth behind these words, it is the one which I have the hardest time abiding by. (Given the aforementioned wrappers, perhaps itís genetic.)

The problem is not that this little bit of wisdom doesnít echo in my mind like all the others, but rather that I have a tendency to overestimate my inner resolve. I can just run in and grab that one thing on my list, I think. Foolishly believing I wonít be distracted from my primary mission by the temptations of the snack aisle, the call of the baked goods or, gasp, the point of sale candy display.

This last, having obviously been created by evil marketing geniuses specifically for weak-willed chocoholics like myself.

But I digress. Back to the whole no-snack-food-can-tempt-me thing. For this was the mindset with which I entered one of our local grocery stores earlier this week. It was the tail-end of the lunch hour and before you ask, no, I hadnít eaten yet. It was on the agenda, I assure you. Iíd just been otherwise occupied with work-related activities until that point.

Despite the growing rumble in my belly, I was undeterred from the task at hand. No problem, I thought, I can dash in and grab the two or three items on my list (shampoo, conditioner and the like) and be back out the door with plenty of time to spare.

Oh, how wrong I was. A half an hour, several pounds of groceries and $40 later, I finally limped out the door knowing Iíd proved my mother right, yet again.

Not that I begrudge her for being right, mind you. I just hate it when Iím wrong.

I was disgusted with myself, really. Iíd barely made it in the door before items Ė which, incidentally, had not been on my list Ė started making their way into my cart with startling regularity.

It started out innocently enough ...

A couple of apples, I thought, would go well with the peanut butter I keep stashed at my desk.

Some half-n-half, since Iím just about out at the office.

Oooh, strawberry banana Chobani! My favorite! (Sound of containers hitting the bottom of the cart.)

Cinnamon doughnuts, where have you been all my life? Iíve been thinking of you all week. Better grab one.

Wow. Those sesame bagels look good. I wonder if theyíre fresh? (Cue crinkling bag.)

On my way back to the dairy case (had to grab butter for those bagels, after all) I ended up in the cereal aisle, which was when I remembered Iíd only that morning polished off my emergency store of instant oatmeal. (What, donít you keep emergency breakfast foods on hand at work?) Better replenish, I thought. Ooh, thereís that wild blueberry flavor I like so much ...

And just across the aisle, tucked away on a bottom shelf, was a bag of Dove Promises. The dark chocolate kind. Always like to keep some of those lying around my desk. You never know when a chocolate craving is going to hit, after all.

Still en route to the butter, I practically tripped over a display of Laughing Cow cheese. Love those little creamy wedges. And itís on sale! Perfect! I could spread it on one of those bagels, I thought. Or, the crackers, which were the next addition to the cart.

OK, at this point even I could recognize I was out of control. So I proceeded directly to the personal care section to grab the items which actually had been on my list, plus some pain reliever for the headache I could feel building. It probably had something to do with my motherís voice echoing in my skull: ďWhat? You went shopping when you were hungry? Didnít I always tell you ...Ē

The voice trailed off as, shoulders slumped with shame, I lugged my purchases to the car.

Luckily I had plenty of snacks to cheer me up when I got back to work.

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunmelissa.

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