Back in the Before Times, I considered myself to be strong enough to handle my daily tasks. I would wake up, commute to work, and pick up a few day’s worth of groceries on the way home as-needed. But as the pandemic has forced many of us to take fewer grocery trips and buy certain items in bulk, I am struggling – having frail arms was always my “thing,” but my tiny arms are too weak to carry these large items.
Sometimes it feels like my neighborhood Target is taunting me. While it’s only five-block walk, my thin, underweight arms prohibit me from reaping the benefits of buying 24-packs of toilet paper, a case of soda, or the big olive oil.
The first time I had to buy a half-gallon of milk, I had to stop every block to take a break. The bag would just…slip out of my hands like an unwieldy bar of soap (I find soap to be heavy). Now I buy tiny cartons of Half and Half and add water when I get home.
After all this time, I just never knew how much my specifically frail arms would hinder my ability to enjoy bulk savings.
Sure, in the past 50 days, I’ve had to become stronger out of necessity. For example, I can now carry two four-packs of my tiny cups of yogurt instead of one. I can carry an entire six-pack of beer with one hand (!). But the thought of carrying a week’s worth of groceries still makes my biceps tremble. My body was not made for this kind of work. Why didn’t they teach this in gym class growing up?
As someone with canonically frail arms, I hope other people like me can feel less badly about buying small amounts of groceries several times a week, or getting shaky after carrying a big bundle of kale. You’re not alone, and you can get delivery if you need it.