There Are Only So Many Ways to Order a Meatball Sandwich

No one understands me anymore, literally.

Adeline Dimond
8 min readNov 17, 2022
Photo by Gianluca Gerardi on Unsplash

Last week I spent five hours dealing with AT&T and then I went to the grocery store. I tried to figure out what to make for dinner, but was exhausted and felt oppressed by too many choices. Then I remembered the deli counter and its array of prepared foods, and felt something close to elation. Mad respect for the person who invented the place in the grocery store where all the work has been done for you. ‘Merica, I love you.

I staggered over. I looked at all the prepared salads in the case, all the boxes of prepared dinners below. I gazed up at the sandwich board. It was new. Weeks before it was an unremarkable sandwich board. But now it was like one of those screens at the airport that flashes new information about flights every few minutes. First it flashed the cold sandwich menu. Then it flashed the hot sandwich menu.

I didn’t even know they had hot sandwiches. I’ve shopped at this market over seventeen years and I never knew this, which sort of gave me the empty feeling because there were a limited number of ways this could have happened, none of them great. I could have misread the old, analog sandwich board for the last seventeen years, (which made me feel dumb) or there was some secret hot sandwich menu that wasn’t…