Lately I have been ordering my groceries online from Amazon’s food delivery service, and it rules. It’s a good way for me to stop and think about what I’m going to cook for the week ahead, instead of rushing through the aisles all willy-nilly and throwing whatever catches my eye in the cart (and inevitably getting home, unloading $200 worth of bags, and finding myself immediately thinking goddammit there’s nothing to EAT). It’s also a fantastic way to buy groceries without the nerve-wracking presence of a child in the shopping cart, which is basically akin to pushing a ticking time bomb around the store that could blow at any moment, and here you are without any knowledge of whether it’s the red wire or blue one that will diffuse the situation (in other words, sometimes Sir Demando-Lot really does want that balloon, and sometimes he’s just FUCKING WITH YOU).

Amazon’s got some introductory period going on where they don’t charge sales tax, although I find that I’m shopping less frequently but buying more at one time so it’s hard to tell whether I’m saving money or not. At any rate, it sure is convenient, even though I still haven’t figured out some of the container sizes and occasionally end up mistakenly ordering a wee little one-serving cup of Fage yogurt when I wanted the Mega Fat-Ass Tub, etc.

It’s nice to offload tasks like walking around the grocery store, not so much because it’s tiring to do so but because I feel really self-conscious at the moment. Every single person I come in contact with asks when I’m due, because it’s so burstingly apparent that the answer is “ANY MINUTE NOW”, and while these are perfectly friendly queries that a normal person could probably respond to without getting all embarrassed and sweaty, I was born with a tragic medical condition known as Social Dorkitude and drawing this much attention just by waddling lumbering lurching, Quasimodo-style, while holding my back and trying not to pee my pants walking around in public is hard for me to deal with; also, I’m convinced whatever response I give to peoples’ kind overtures is phenomenally weird and stupid. As in,

“So, when’s the baby due?”

“Well, Monday. I mean, that’s not technically the actual due date but that’s when the C-section is scheduled for so I’m just saying Monday at this point because it’s easier than explaining the whole C-section thing except I guess I just did ha ha ha HAAA!”

“. . .”

Lots of people go on to ask if it’s a boy or a girl, and then if they’re particularly chatty, they ask if we have a name picked out yet. I’ll tell you, I have a hard time answering this one because yes, we DO have a name picked out, but no, I don’t want to say what it is yet, and how do you say that gracefully? I just end up fibbing, by saying that we’ve got it narrowed down but we’ll make the final decision at birth. Since that’s such an unsatisfying answer to hear, I’m thinking of embellishing it a little further: “We prefer nontraditional names, so it’s either going to be Xerxes or the pound sign; you know: #. What do you like better?”


86 Responses to “Groceries and Xerxes”

  1. Leslie on January 31st, 2008 3:44 pm

    It’s been awhile since we’ve had a video clip so maybe Riley could do a birth announcement with his pronunciation?

  2. Keeks on January 31st, 2008 3:51 pm

    I know a young lady named Gravity. She was born in 1977…

  3. Chloe on January 31st, 2008 4:03 pm

    OMG Buckminster Fuller! That is the best name ever, I’m not even kidding!

    God, I’m such a chemistry dork. Buckminsterfullerines– I can’t help it, I think that is such a neat, clever name. Your son is very cute, too!

  4. Blue on January 31st, 2008 4:04 pm

    I never ask when someone is due, I never ask the sex, I never ask the name. However, I just might have to start doing that just to hopefully get some of the responses that your commenters have said. Friggin’ hilarious comebacks!

  5. Marisa on January 31st, 2008 4:41 pm

    I’m almost 35 weeks, and I hate the staring. The only good thing I can say about being pregnant in sub-zero Minnesota is that I just keep my coat on while shopping and get mistaken for pudgy. No staring, and even better, no weird questions!

  6. Cassandra on January 31st, 2008 5:01 pm

    Pound sign, for sure.

    Next time people ask that, you could just pretend you’re not actually pregnant and watch how confused they get.

  7. Emily on January 31st, 2008 5:06 pm

    Leslie’s idea of a Riley video clip announcing the baby is pure genius! I would LOVE to see and hear that.

    I have to vote for # because names with X’s scare me.

  8. Swistle on January 31st, 2008 5:08 pm

    I say, “Yes, but we’re keeping it a surprise!” I say it with a happy smile. It’s still really, really awkward, especially since this is a STRANGER in the STORE, it’s not like they’re going to tell my mom.

  9. Swistle on January 31st, 2008 5:10 pm

    Oh, and for the due date question, I say, “The c-section is scheduled for Monday morning!”

  10. Lesley on January 31st, 2008 6:43 pm

    Geez, people can be invasive can’t they. I think your answers are fine.

    Here’s a suggestion for when you get fed up with it.

    “When am I due? I’m sorry…I don’t know what you mean!

    That’d freak ’em out. :)

    Amazon is really diversifying. I wonder if they’ll do that in Canada (though we have some organic grower delivery services here already.)

  11. Lauren on January 31st, 2008 7:37 pm

    We told the curious the sex of our baby as soon as we knew, but kept the name a secret until my shower. Then we played our own version of Wheel of Fortune to reveal it to everyone at once.

    I second Peapod. I absolutely love it!

  12. Xerxes on January 31st, 2008 7:51 pm

    Oh, right, yeah. Take the easy way out and make fun of “Xerxes.” REAL original. God, I am so tired of this crap.

  13. # on January 31st, 2008 7:53 pm

    Xerxes, you think YOU have it bad? You have no idea how bad it can really get. Try being named after a POUND SIGN. “Line up in alphabetical order,” they say. “You can’t just put a symbol on your name tag,” they say. I’m considering legally changing my name to Xerxes just to make life easier, so try having a little perspective for once.

  14. kalisah on January 31st, 2008 8:44 pm

    JMC, I’m pretty sure that’s pronounced “Zip Bang.”

  15. Nancy on January 31st, 2008 8:56 pm

    definitely #

  16. Loralee on January 31st, 2008 10:17 pm

    If only I lived in Seattle instead of BFE, I too could get my groceries delivered.


  17. jac on February 1st, 2008 12:09 am

    Xerxes is a beautiful motherfucking name.

  18. AMJ on February 1st, 2008 2:37 am

    Yeah, in England: # = hash, pound sign = £
    That was bizarre.

  19. diane on February 1st, 2008 4:44 am

    Good luck on Monday….Can’t wait to hear the “real” name, and Riley’s rendition of same….Can you get JB to update while you are in the hospital?….I’d love to get his take on all the goings-on.

  20. ocdcontrolfreak on February 1st, 2008 4:49 am

    I know what you mean about due dates and I have the same problem with sort of muttering on inanely. I’m not scheduled for a c, but I’m expecting twins. My actual due date is April 23, but the doctors say they routinely take twins at 37 weeks. They told me April is still my due date though. So I’m continually saying, “Well, my actual due date…But… So They should be here the first week of April.” By then people’s eyes tend to glaze over.

  21. Shelly on February 1st, 2008 7:01 am

    I always hated the pregnant belly being thought of as public property—and people TOUCH IT. COME ON… wouldn’t touch my abdomen at any OTHER time in my life, so why is being pregnant any different?

    I blabbed everything to anyone that would listen (sorry to my co-workers especially that got stuck listening to me prattle….CONSTANTLY). Everyone knew names, sex, due dates, yada..yada…yada…..I was one of THOSE people…..yea, now that my own kids are teenagers, I HATE those people.

    Best of luck to you on Monday–we’ll anxiously await the details!

  22. Christine on February 1st, 2008 7:23 am

    UGH! I remember those days. Here’s one for ya: In the supermarket, 4 days away from my own scheduled C-Section, and with my almost-3-year-old-at-the-time daughter in the cart, a guy who works in the produce deparment actually came up behind me while I was picking out veggies with his hands CUPPED UNDER ME preteding to catch the baby (like Miles in that “Murphy Brown” episode where Murphy gives birth). I wanted to DIE of embarrassment. Tool. I had no spiffy response because I was shocked so I just turned red, like I normally do…He does not work there anymore though, thank GOD.

    Anyway, # rulz as a name. You could also say you planned on naming him “McLovin” because “Superbad” changed your life. I bet that will shut em up.

    Good luck with everything on Monday. I wish you a quick, painless, worry-free, healthy C-Section and a healthy, happy, strong little guy.

  23. imstell on February 1st, 2008 8:44 am

    My friend used to be a maternity nurse years ago in a naval hospital. A very young African-American woman had just had her first baby, a girl. When my gf brought the baby to her the next morning the young mom was fingering the baby’s ankle bracelet and commented, “Hey look! They even name the babies for you in this hospital!” And sure enough, she filled out the birth certificate “Female” – pronounced like “tamale”. Can you imagine?

  24. Christina on February 1st, 2008 9:12 am

    LMFAO about the ticking time bomb. I could not think of a BETTER way to describe it. My 14 month old is no better. I absolutely DESPISE having to take him to the grocery store, but I have no choice as hubby works afternoons. There is nothing better than being about 3/4 of the way done and having him go from perfectly happy playing with a can of soup to beet-red, screaming and trying to stand up in the seat of the cart. Then I forget the rest of the stuff I needed as I try to rush through and finish all the while trying to keep the wild animal in the cart – because where the hell else am I going to put him?? Good times, indeed.

  25. Leslie on February 1st, 2008 9:54 am

    Off topic, but I’m happy the amethyst bracelet doesn’t need to be exchanged for garnet.

  26. Tara on February 1st, 2008 10:16 am

    Another vote for #, here. LOVE that one!

    Wishing you the BEST of luck on Monday–can’t wait to hear all about D’s arrival, and to see pictures. I’m so giddy, you’d think I was having the baby. (you’re thinking “IF ONLY,” right?)

  27. Ann on February 1st, 2008 10:21 am

    I’ve been reading since right before you got pregnant this time, and dumb as it is, I just about feel like I know you. I bet there are lots of strangers out there sending warm wishes to you and your family. So: All the best with everything next week. I’ll be looking forward to your first post-delivery update.

  28. Janet on February 1st, 2008 11:51 am

    I have a good one for ya. When I was born my father told the nurse that was doing the birth certificate paperwork that he didn’t want me to have a middle name. So instead of just leaving that space blank she spelled out the word zero. Yeah, so my legal middle name is Zero. Nice huh?

    I’m so damn excited for you guys and I can’t wait for Monday. I’ll be sending good vibes your way Linda. Lots of love from one of your (many) internet family members.

  29. Leslie on February 1st, 2008 2:51 pm

    imstell, my sister student-taught Female when she was getting her teacher’s certification. Same story, same pronunciation. So were they the same girl, or is there more than one pre-named baby out there?

  30. #6 on February 1st, 2008 5:42 pm

    Ok as long as you tell them I’m not the father

  31. Imstell on February 1st, 2008 7:49 pm

    Leslie – No shit?! Small, small world. Or is it a family name??? Ba-ha!

  32. Amy on February 2nd, 2008 2:53 pm

    Well today I rearranged our bedroom and doing that just tipped off my Spring cleaning instinct and now I am just bugging about the amount of crap we have sitting around. Gah!

    I also tried to put the new license plates on my car but I couldn’t get the front plate off. So now I have the new/updated plate in back and the old/likely to get me pulled over plate in the front.

    Tonight we are going to a fundraiser wine tasting party in Stillwater. We love this event and the only reason I am happy I am not pregnant right now is so I can enjoy some yummy wine with my heavy appetizers.

  33. Voron Xarya on September 10th, 2008 2:41 pm

    My son (born 7/7/2008) IS named Xerxes! So there! Xerxes Xarya!

    I figure Darius and Cyrus have gotten enough press when it comes to Persian-Emperor-names…

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