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Online grocery shopping in the pandemic

     For the first time ever, I go to Ralphs, on my Android, that is—to do some online grocery shopping. Getting started is kind'a complicated—not like Amazon by a long shot—but I make it through the signing in. I sign up as a member, download the Ralphs app, type in my Google password and my e-mail address and my Ralphs card number and my name and birthplace and how I like my steak. Just kidding about those last two.

     Now that I'm signed in, look! how nice! Ralphs remembers what I usually buy when I shop in person, so I won't have to go through thousands of products to get to the ones I want. First off, I order six bananas. So there! I'll show you! On her first online grocery experience my daughter ordered bananas, one bunch. So she thought. Bananas come in bunches, right? Ask any monkey, they'll tell you. But no, Ralphs delivered her one banana. What?! One? One banana does not a bunch make. Okay. Lesson learned. Next time she ordered bananas, she ordered six. And she got six.

     So, feeling a bit superior—actually a lot superior—I arrow up to "6" for the quantity of bananas. After that, I click for Keurig coffee and click on my cart to see if it has the bananas and coffee. Oops! There's only one box of coffee pods. I need two. I change the quantity to two. There. That wasn't so hard.

     But, um. . .how do I get back to ordering? I click the back arrow and it graciously takes me to the sign-on screen. What? I'm signed in already! Or am I? With a sigh, I sign in again and go back to the bananas and coffee to make sure they're still there, in my cart. I have to say, I'm kind of afraid to click on my cart, because I still don't know how to get from "view your cart" to ordering—at least without meandering off into sign-on screens.

     Well, what else can I do? I click. The coffee's there but I don't see the bananas. How'd that happen? I order them again. Six of them.

     I continue to wander down the aisles, choosing my groceries here and there, left and right, just like when I'm in the store. Except, well, sometimes I'm in the wrong aisle and don't know how to get back to the right one so I fiddle around until I get somewhere near there and begin again, adding to my order.

     Suddenly I'm at the checkout counter. I'm not ready!!! How do I get out of here? You probably breezed through your online grocery shopping. Not me. A real hassle, but finally I'm back with my grocery list and headed to the aisle for granola bars. Wait? I didn't see bananas in my cart. Darn! But I know how to get to them. . . Success! Now for the granola bars. They don't come in bunches. They come in packs of six. I want two packs. Do I have to order twelve of them—or do I order two packs? I order two packs. We'll see what I get. . . 

     After substitutions of green grapes for black and a couple of chicken Lean Cuisines for um, I don't recall. . . Anyway, I'm home now and expecting my order to arrive soon.

     Couple of hours later. . . my order has arrived. I bring it inside and start emptying bags, putting away all my perfectly ordered—online!—groceries. Remember that—"perfectly ordered." The granola bars are here, as ordered, two packs—twelve granola bars. The grapes are green, as substituted. Here are the two packs of Keurig coffee pods I ordered. Everything's good. I'm down to the last bag. I reach inside and pull out. . .

Eighteen bananas!

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