The Price of Chicken

I have a weird grocery shopping confession to make: I paid $8 for a pound of cooked, shredded chicken. Actually, more than that.

It cost exactly $8.70.

I could have paid less and bought a rotisserie chicken. I could have paid waaaaay less by buying raw chicken. But, I didn’t want to do either of those things.

I was willing to pay that much because I could and because I’m tired of grocery shopping and sick of making dinner and so I decided that something that made my chores easier was not a frivolous expense. It was worth every penny.

This is Kristen OS 2021. 

There was a time I never would have even considered pricey poultry. I would have looked at that package of chicken and thought, “What the hell?!” I also would have been all judge-y about the lazy people with too much disposable income who would buy such a product. I would have thought it dumb and wasteful and felt all Joan of Arck Foods* about it and instead I would have martyred up and bought that nasty, raw chicken that makes me gag and wear latex gloves to handle because it is gross.

That was the Before Me. The one who existed before 2020 happened. 

I mean, let’s be honest. These are tough times and a lot of people are suffering in so many ways and even if you’re lucky enough to have kept your job and have a place to live, and you’ve managed to stay healthy (and sane), you’ve still got it rough mentally and emotionally. We all do. 

We have been living through quite the shit show for an incredibly long year. The fact that we can still keep on keeping on with some sort of normalcy amid the isolation and fear and demanding daily dinner requirements is no small thing. 

These are freaky times that no one knows how to navigate, and so we should all cut ourselves a break and allow some grace.

Which is why I bought that chicken.

The world would be a better place with more caring and compassion and less judgment — and especially when it comes to ourselves. 

A year ago I would have been embarrassed to see that $8.70 package of chicken on my receipt because I am practical and mostly frugal.** Also, I’d feel guilt about having the ability to freely spend that much when other families are scraping by on Cup o’ Noodles.

Instead, I chose to feel grateful that I could do it, and I made a mental reminder to make a donation to the community foodbank. 

These are weird days. To me, it feels like we’re all wrongly convicted prisoners. We did nothing out of line — except for living in the world at the exact wrong time. Circumstances beyond our control. And now we’re stuck, walking the yard, kicking at stones and praying not to get shanked. We know if we do our time and keep our heads down, we’ll make it out. Eventually. It’s coming. It’s close. And yet …

So, hang in there. (That’s as much for me as it is for you.)

*Seriously, there is an Arck Foods. It’s based in Nebraska and apparently makes a quality ham. 

** Except when it comes to shoes. Oh, and dessert. And really good moisturizing lip balm.

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