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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Scoring A High Demand Item: I Got A Freezer

There used to be a time in the not-so-distant past when the type of purchases that made me over-the-moon happy were things like shoes (oh so many shoes)...silver jewelry...some great funky find like the vintage designer real velvet red coat I scored in a New Hope, PA thrift shop for next to nothing.

I am here now to tell you - the times, they are a changin'.

As I write this, I am basking in the sheer unadulterated joy of...my new freezer.

Upright, nonetheless.  Glass shelves.  The whole freezer-y nine yards.

The apartment we live in for now while we're between houses has a brand new stainless steel fridge in the shiny redesigned kitchen.
Like the kitchen itself, it suffices but it's small which means more trips to the grocery store.  I hate going to the grocery store now which is weird because I have never hated going to the grocery store before this stupid pandemic.  I went yesterday. It's a nightmare. You park in a spot and then you have to put on your Grocery Shopping Gear before exiting your vehicle:



gloves  ✔
mask ✔
hand sanitizer ✔

Once geared up and before exiting your vehicle, you take a few deep breaths and say out loud to yourself "you can do this" and then you walk to the entrance and get a cart and now there's a line that you have to wait in to be let into the store and there is a security guard on duty who points out that there are X boxes taped to the ground that you have to stand in while you wait.

But I already know why there are X boxes taped to the ground.

I know.  I KNOW.    I KNOWWWwwwwwwww....


There's no way to not know this.  The message is drilled into us everywhere we turn. Just today on Instagram I saw that someone actually cross stitched "six feet apart" and "don't forget to practice social distancing".  Cross stitched!

Anyway, after donning my gear, I get into the store and... it's completely crowded.
And no one is doing the six foot thing.  For real.
Except me.  I'm standing there letting people pass me by, giving them lots of space.
Meanwhile someone comes right up on me and starts selecting cucumbers while I'm selecting cucumbers, invading my personal six foot produce space and whatnot.



And then there was the poor employee guy who was trying to stick bright orange directional arrows onto the floor while too many shoppers were nearly running him over with their carts.
That's the newest thing during this madness that nobody's adhering to anyway: one way aisles.  You're supposed to go up one aisle, down another, etc.  Soon store security will be handing out citations for going the wrong way in a one way aisle.

I really should have taken pictures of all of this.  The new surrealism.  I'll probably never have grandkids but if I did I could show them the pictures and say, "and these pictures are from when the world went nuts, sweetheart".  That is not to say that I don't think that taking precautions are necessary because I totally do and I can prove it by how often I am washing my hands and wiping down every surface of our apartment and spraying everything with Lysol and Microban, but...never mind, I don't even want to get into it.

Anyway...the freezer.
You'll understand that I wanted to purchase a freezer which would allow me to buy more things during one shopping trip and not have to go deal with the grocery store as often.

Except - here's more surrealism - there were/are no freezers to be had.

I'm not kidding. There is a freezer shortage.  Freezers are now High Demand Items.  I hope you don't want one because there are none. You can't even find any good used ones on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Freezers of all kinds are on backorder until July or August because, evidently, everyone also doesn't want to go to the grocery store too often.

But I persevered.

I checked Home Depot, I checked Lowe's, I checked Walmart. And then I checked them all again. Nothing.
Then I checked Best Buy and they, too, had nothing anywhere near the Easton, PA area where our interim apartment is. On a lark and feeling desperate, I then checked to see if they had anything near our Delaware house.  We're still going there to clean out and pack before we close in June so it wouldn't be too much of an inconvenience to buy it near there and schlep it up here.
Lo and behold, there it was - the exact freezer I wanted - available in Bel Air, MD, less than an hour from the Delaware house.
This was Tuesday and we wouldn't be able to pick it up until Sunday so I asked the Chat Guy on Best Buy if they'd hold it that long and he typed: there are no freezers available nationwide.
I typed: it seems there is.
He typed: No.
I typed: Yes.  At your Bel Air store.  I'm about to order it if it can be held.
He typed: Hmmmm.  (He really did type "hmmmm")

I pressed Buy Now, held my breath to see if the order would actually go through...and somehow by the grace of God, it did.
Somehow I managed to get what was probably the very last available freezer in the United States.
Ha ha on you, Best Buy chat guy.

And right now it's in our interim apartment, humming along nicely, with three bags of broccoli and a package of Uncrustables in its 7 cubic feet of icy wonderfulness.

That's all I wound up buying in the freezer section of the grocery store yesterday because there were too many people and my anxiety got activated plus the mask activates my claustrophobia if I wear it too long so I had to leave.

I'll have to make another trip in a day or two to buy more stuff to put in it.


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