I Didn’t See That Coming

Yesterday I borrowed my mom’s car (yay! no van!) and ran a few errands. Exciting, no? I picked up Lisa McMann’s FADE, a new journal, a couple things for the dog, but before that I plunged into the grocery store. I’d forgotten what an ordeal that is in the US.

The grocery store in Zihuatanejo is no slouch — it has housewares & clothes just like here — but everything in the US is so much BIGGER. I was in there for twenty minutes before I even got to the food. Since I don’t know where anything is I had to go up and down every aisle, then backtrack when I realized I’d forgotten something.

After another twenty minutes I was operating on autopilot so it was more than a little surprising when my cart came to a screeching stop in the International aisle. More specifically, the Mexican section. (okay, I may have had a little something to do with it.)

A cranky-looking store employee pricing hard taco shells (SO not Mexican…) gave me a strange look as I caressed the refried beans and crouched low to see the green salsas on the bottom shelf. I shuffled around him to explore the hot sauces and chiles, then got a little misty-eyed at the jars of mole and Mexican rice.


I couldn’t drag myself away! I stood there long after the stock boy moved on to the Southwestern section and puzzled over why I’d had that reaction. Could I actually be homesick?

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. Penguin

    Wow, I would think that passing by anything Mexican would bring a longing response. If it didn’t I would suspect you not human.
    So what store did you go to?

  2. Awwww! *hugs* Oddly, I think of you every time I pass the mole in the grocery store. I keep meaning to ask you for Ibis’s recipe you always talk about. (Am I remembering right? That he makes some chicken mole thing you love?)

  3. ab

    awww….it was a big chunk of your life & I suspect always will be. Don’t know why this made me cry. Curse you Hooey!!!

  4. Aww. It’s only natural to be a little homesick. Seriously, it’s a HUGE adjustment for you! Glad to hear your getting back into the swing of things ;o)

  5. robinaltman

    Awww… I can totally see you being waylaid by the ethnic foods aisle. Being homesick seems so normal to me. I’m so sorry, Melanie!

    Don’t American food stores suck? I hate grocery shopping!!!!

  6. Jenifer

    I can totally understand being ambushed like that. Homesickness seems to jump out at you when you least expect it. *hugs*

  7. Gary Hooyenga

    What my van isn’t up to your standards. It will almost hold your whole world, well maybe not the mattress and sofa.

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