dumpster diving

You may have heard of Sandy, the “super storm” that hit the East Coast recently. In an action opposite evacuating, Matt came from NC to keep me company during the storm. It wasn’t bad at all in my area, only about as bad as an average thunderstorm in Texas—a few downed trees, a couple flooded bridges, 24 hours without power—NBD. (Do not mistake me; I am not trying to downplay the effects of the storm elsewhere. My dad spent two weeks in New York doing emergency medical work on Long Island.)

Anyways, school was shut down for two days due to the storm, so after taking a jog in the storm, Matt and I had some time to chill and watch lots of old TV episodes, as well as the Simpsons’ Movie (this being part of Matt’s plan to convert me to thinking the Simpsons is the greatest TV show ever). We even had some time to talk to each other!

The morning after the storm, everyone in the house was scared to go out, but as we were already developing splitting headaches when it was 8am and we had not yet had our morning coffee, we ventured out. What did we find? That it was really only our neighborhood that was out of electricity. That we could drive everywhere no problem because there was no traffic! So, after our truly terrible cups of coffee (still better than none!) we took a little tour of downtown DC because I wanted to look at the Potomac (it wasn’t nearly as interesting as I had expected).

Later that evening, when we were getting really bored, we went grocery shopping. Matt is always kind enough to take me grocery shopping via car when he is here so I can buy more than two bags of food at once and don’t have to carry them over the hill with my stick arms. (Speaking of my stick arms, though, I think the swimming might finally be paying off. How can I tell? My size-small arm warmers no longer slide hopelessly down my arms while I ride.)

So, we went everywhere—Trader Joe’s (our favorite), Whole Foods (highly disappointing in size and lack of ANY samples in comparison to the Austin, TX model), and finally, Safeway. The only reason for the final stop at Safeway was that I needed lunch meat. When I got to the lunch meat section, I found that all the lunch meat was missing. All of it. Just… gone. Turns out that, since the electricity in the store had gone out the night before, Safeway was forced to throw out tons and tons of food.

I was disappointed—the only reason I had come to this store was to buy some flingin’ flangin’ lunch meat! Matt, however, was elated. He drove me around to the back of the store and we embarked on our inaugural dumpster-diving experience.

What this actually looked/sounded like was me pacing around at the foot of the dumpster saying:

“Are you sure this isn’t illegal?!”

“Don’t slip!”

“Eww, it’s wet.”

“Don’t you think that’s enough? It isn’t all going to fit into my fridge!”

And again,

“Are you sure this isn’t illegal?!”

Meanwhile, Matt dug around exclaiming,

“Look at all this turkey!”

“Ice cream!”

“Can you get me a bag for all this?”


 “I’ll make it fit!”

 …and generally sounding like a little kid on Christmas morning.

Matt spent the rest of the evening texting his buddies about how amazing he was… while simultaneously crying about the large bag of donuts that some dingbat had left open to get rained on (seriously, it took him hours to get over that loss).

Well, I got my flingin’ flangin’ lunch meat. 15 packages of turkey and one of ham. Three weeks later, I officially never want to see turkey again. Perfect timing, as Thanksgiving is four days away. (Yes, I know that is it now actually five days after Thanksgiving. However, after Matt insisted that we write his/hers posts on this subject, he neglected to write his version for quite some time. Now that he has written his version, you can read it here.)

We laughed a little later, though, thinking about how, when we tell people we want to be pro triathletes, they seem to think we are superstars living the life. (This is, of course, the people who don’t think we are officially insane.) Really, a better perception of the life of an aspiring pro triathlete is in the story I just related—feeling like you’ve hit a gold mine when you find a month’s-worth of turkey in the dumpster.

And did I mention the Klondike bars?!!!

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