The Army and Yogurt

While moving from sea to sea on the Army’s whim, being raised in one place seemed both desirable and foreign. I could never relate to people who grew up in the same town with the same friends since Pre-K. That type of commitment seems so binding and less flexible than the consistency of inconsistent PCS (permanent change of station) moves we made from Korea to New York to Korea to Georgia to Korea to Colorado.

As a child, I made proclamations to my parents that when I was older I’d live in the same place and never make my hypothetical children shuffle around. As a teenager, I used the experiences to my advantage and was a scribe of beautiful stories on college applications about how the moves made me versatile and resilient. However, as an adult, I’m still shuffling on the ever-swaying boat of inconsistency.

There is a fantasy I play over and over in my head that never quite makes it to fruition. Whether a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop or a hair dresser, I’ve imagined myself walking into the familiar place with the owner knowing my name. Childish, I know, but I have always imagined someplace I would frequent for many years. The staff would greet me with a knowing hello, and we could joke about years past and how my visits are like clockwork – steady. I would be known as a regular. I would continue to go there for years and so would my children.

I never quite make it to this point.

Somewhere along the line, I get tired of the same smells and faces or end up moving somewhere else to satisfy the embedded thirst of change sewn into the fabric of my person. The idea of buying a house with so much permanent space makes me cringe and a townhouse seems more manageable – safe.

My husband is quite the opposite. He lived in the same town most of his life with decades old stories of food establishments long gone and family friends only a short drive away. The memories of his youngest years are still etched in the walls of his elementary school which still steadily stands less than a mile away from where we sleep. On lazy days, we’ve driven past his childhood home down the road with the bricks still standing and a new family warming its rooms. His whole live has existed in a twenty mile radius, except vacations to the Philippines, while mine is sprinkled across oceans.

This is what we both bring to the table and in the best instances, they meld together to form a more well rounded couple. Oddly enough, his stationary life and my dynamic one give us both the opposite affect while grocery shopping.

With food choices, Kevin is far more adventurous while I like to play it safe. We’ve been on an Oikos yogurt kick for the second week in a row. On Sunday, our typical chores, errands, and grocery day, we went to Giant to get out weekly eats. I grabbed my five yogurt cups for the week – four Orange Cream and one Banana Cream. To me, the Banana Cream was out of the box, straightaway dangerous. Kevin, on the other hand, took much care of selecting the most exotic five flavors – and by exotic I mean Red Velvet Cake. He laughed when we rang up my selection of yogurt and commented that I had the exact same ones last week.

To this, I only have one confession: There is no guarantee I will stick to the consistency of my yogurt selections as it is more likely I will become bored with its mundane flavors and move on to something new or exciting.

There is no moral of this story – no quippy saying you can plaster on the back of your car – just an anecdote of how our upbringing locations affect yogurt purchases.

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