One of the kids wrote “mayo” on the white board in the kitchen so I added it to the grocery list. But as I stood in the aisle of the store, facing a fifteen foot expanse of plastic jars with pasty white innards, I realized that my chance of bringing home the right thing was about 20 to 1.
Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip? Regular or low fat? Or no fat? (how do you make a creamy condiment with literally no fat?). Brand name or generic? (and apparently ‘generic’ is no longer generic because there are about four options for ‘no name’ versions). And there are terms that I don’t understand, like ‘traditional’ (as opposed to what? Modern? Abstract? Impressionist?), ‘home-style’ (Are there people who make their own mayonnaise?), and ‘whipped’ (Is frothy mayonnaise a good thing?).
The mayonnaise situation is increasingly common in my world. It seems that there are a multitude of options available for everything. Even my ‘basic’ checking account is no longer basic. It is one of seven checking account options, each with its own brochure and its own webpage.
It’s exhausting. I don’t want so many options. The other night I tried to order a martini in a restaurant and was actually handed a martini-menu! Yep… a single drink menu was no longer adequate to contain the volume of martini options. I tried to switch to beer, only to be handed another giant menu filled with on tap, bottled, domestic, imported, artisan and gluten-free (seriously?!?) choices.
Please just give me a martini. And a checking account. And a jar of regular old mayonnaise, if such a thing exists anymore.