Nothing really seems to change when the days go on, one by one. But those days turn to weeks, then months, then years. That’s when the change comes out and slaps you right in the face.
Convenience store addiction: Baby Bites.
The teeth were coming in. Mother’s milk was no longer the sole substance; a suckling mouth was craving. The first taste of apples, bananas, strawberries and squash were branded as healthy baby food, located in the expensive baby aisle at the superstore. But the healthy, expensive food was never good enough. Thrown on the floor of the apartment kitchen. Tantrum following. Mother’s nightmare.
Nothing could subside the tantrum except for the cheap, off-branded, so-called ‘baby bites’ from the convenience store. Mother never knew why they had become her baby’s favourite snack. Why couldn’t it be apple sauce? She wanted to give her child nothing but the best quality that she could afford, but desperate times called for desperate measures.
Tantrums would run as Mother, and the stroller walked from the apartment to the store. Three minutes and 1.23 dollars later, the baby was happy and slobbering over who knows how many chemicals. Mother hated those trips, but it still imprinted into her weekly schedule.
Going to the convenience store to get baby bites had become a common part of life.
Eleven years’ old
Convenience store addiction: slushies
Walking home from school on Fridays with friends and going to a convenience store was a beautiful experience. Begging Mother to give you leftover change before school. She would lose her coffee money every Friday, but the smile was worth it. A couple coins of change can’t buy much in most circumstances, but in the convenience store, it felt like a hundred dollars in the hands of an eleven-year-old.
No matter the weather, a group of friends would walk into the convenience store right around 3:17pm and they would head directly to the slushy machine. Thought had to go into choosing between the types of slushies. Some days it would be based on flavour. Other days it would be about making the prettiest cup. Some crazy days all the flavours would go in the cup, creating a sewer looking concoction with an indescribable taste.
Slushies were the perfect way to start the weekend. Taking turns hosting a slushy and video game party where the group would laugh and play until parents called them away for dinner. An eleven-year-olds dream.
Going to the convenience store to get slushies had become a common part of life.
Eighteen years’ old
Convenience store addiction: condoms
Some people start sexual relationships before they get married. Some wait until after. Some have no interest in them at all. Everything is an acceptable answer as long as three things are addressed. Age, Consent, and Protection. Mother, Health class and Media had ingrained it forever within the mind.
The school was crowded. Many people to see, but some people caught the eye easier than others. It always starts awaked glances their way, but then it evolves to brief conversations and asking to sit with them. Time goes on, and feelings grow. Study meet-ups turn to dates. Brief kisses turn to making out in bathroom stalls. Both want more, but the three things must be remembered.
Age? Both legal adults. Consent? They both said they wanted to go further. Protection? That’s missing, but an easy fix.
Buying condoms can feel uncomfortable. Grabbing the box and trying to hide it just enough that no one assumes it’s planned to steal. Only buying one thing makes it more noticeable; that’s the logic that comes to mind. How about some gum as well? Bottle of water, chapstick and some chocolate.
The first couple of times, the bill is always more than what the wallet wants. Confidence comes in, and soon five items turn to four, then three, then two, then finally just one. More dates resulted in more trips.
Going to the convenience store to get condoms had become a common part of life.
Twenty-three years’ old
Convenience store addiction: energy drinks.
High school was hard. College undergrad was difficult. Masters? That’s where things got ridiculous. Free time was a made-up fantasy. Assignments were never-ending. Eight hours of sleep was getting ever so hard to achieve.
Two tests, one report, and upcoming finals. A trip to the convenience store. Eyes are half-open, skimming over the flavour of the drinks. Raspberry, watermelon, blueberry. Why choose? Just get all three, it’s not liked they aren’t going to get drunk. Hands are full of cans when approaching the counter. While the cashier scans the cans, hot pockets and pizza pops are thrown along in the mix. When stress is this high, calories don’t matter anymore.
Two and a half years were left until graduation. 60-page thesis before completing it. Many future energy drink runs were planned for the future.
Going to the convenience store to get energy drinks had become a common part of life.
Thirty-two years’ old
Convenience store addiction: premade meals.
Children are beautiful things for those who look forward to parenting. With school, career, house, and loan debt dealt with, the window for a family was wide open. It was a fantastic decision. Everything was beautiful. Beautiful and horrendous at the same time.
Diapers were always low, no matter how many were stockpiled. The laundry pile was still getting bigger, no matter how many loads were done. Babies were always crying, and not every assumption on their needs was correct.
Now was the time to feel grateful to Mother for putting up with all of it with never-ending love.
Baby stress resulted in many things. Forgetful grocery shopping was one of them. The baby was put to bed at night, and that was when it was discovered there was no dinner available. The spouse would stay with the baby while a convenience store run was made. Options were slim. There were microwave meals or wrapped sandwiches. No five-star prospects, but a growling stomach didn’t care. With a couple of options grabbed and paid for, stressed parents finally got a meal.
After one baby, came another, then another. Many years of baby stress. Many forgotten groceries. Many convenience store runs.
Going to the convenience store to get premade meals had become a common part of life.
Sixty-eight years’ old
Convenience store addiction: water bottles.
Getting old had its perks. Restaurants and coffee shops had senior’s discounts, which made eating out more exciting. White hair had a beautiful shine and luckily hadn’t started thinning yet. Anti-perks were the medication. High blood pressure was not fun. It meant doctors’ appointments, prescription refill trips, and constant phone reminders.
The bottle of pills was always on hand wherever the day leads. Thrift store sales, lunch meet-ups with old friends, going to the park with grandkids. The days were full of fun, but when the phone would buzz for medication time, there would be no water to take it with.
A map search was used, and the closest convenience store was found. Grandkids would come along with the promise of a treat for them. Water was the saving grace. Dry swallowing the pills was extremely dreadful. Even though it was an event that happened three times a day, the water bottle was always forgotten.
Going to the convenience store to get water bottles had become a common part of life.
Ninety-four years’ old
Convenience store addiction: Slushies.
The doctor would always go on and on whenever slushies were mentioned. They were terrible, but they were also good in their own way. When touring around for the right retirement home, a trip was always made to the closet convenience store. Slush variety was significant.
It was getting harder to walk. Meds were more abundant. Energy was lacking. The diet needed to be monitored. Despite all that, there was still something so enjoyable about going to the convenience store and getting a slushy. Though the cup had to be incredibly small, some things didn’t need to change. Some days it would be based on flavour. Other days it would be about making the prettiest cup. Some crazy days all the flavours would go in the cup, creating a sewer looking concoction with an indescribable taste.
With a cane in one hand and spare change in the other, the convenience store doors would open, and slow steps went towards the back. A masterpiece was made and paid for before sitting outside and relaxing.
Time was running out, but that shush in hand brought the mind to a state of Zen. Everything wasn’t perfect, but it didn’t need to be. It was perfect at that moment.
Going to the convenience store to get slushies had become a common part of life.
Going to the convenience store was a common part of life. It was a good life.