a peek inside the fishbowl

25 Jun, 2023

What is the point of complaining?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I don’t know why I’m so riled up about this. Yesterday was the final day of the garden centre at the Carlingwood Loblaws. Not that I knew that… I had just pulled up and was reviewing my grocery list when I noticed a dearth of plants and green stuff in their usual caged-off spot in the store’s awkward parking lot. Naturally, my thoughts immediately turned to potential deals, even though our own garden is in complete disarray.

Honestly Andrea, making any new purchases would be considered foolish at best.

And that is when I spotted a table full of Birds of Paradise. And THAT is when I spotted the price.

Birds of Paradise


I bought four, despite not knowing where I was going to put them. And I paid with the coins scavenged at the bottom of my bag. When’s the last time THAT has happened?? (Hint: never. It has never happened.)

Later on I planted one in a pretty pot and stuck it next to the front door. I put two in a larger pot and put them next to the side door. The last one is unaccounted for so I think I might swap it with someone at work.

But after this initial excitement the remainder of my grocery shop was rather dull. When I got to the checkout I offhandedly mentioned to the cashier the great dealio I nabbed on these plants.

“It is a great price,” she said. “And you won’t believe what I’m going to tell you.”
“What’s that?” I said, not quite sure where she was going with this.

She proceeded to tell me about a woman who had bought some of these same plants, at the same price, and complained… about the price. (!) What could one possibly have to complain about? These were healthy houseplants that could be purchased with pocket change. In a time of rampant inflation and skyrocketing prices at the grocery store (HELLO EIGHT DOLLAR CAULIFLOWER) there isn’t a THING IN OUR WORLD that you can buy for so little right now.

Who is this person, I wondered, who can complain about such a thing?

p.s. I really should be writing about the recent university graduation (!) of our youngest child (!) but I am still collecting my thoughts. I just had to get this off my chest first. ;)

1 Response to "What is the point of complaining?"

1 | bill.dare@gmail.com

June 25th, 2023 at 9:53 am


Hi Andrea,Yes excitement and shock of the garden hit me as well on the way to the grocery store at Carlingwood. It was all wrapped up and fenced off by the time I got there. I took it as what seemed like an wake up call, that summer is moving faster than I had thought. Thank you for reminding us of the rhythms of our community.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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