stockist

I used to get Campbell's Cream of Mushroom condensed soup almost every time I went to the store. I grew up on it; my mother prepared it with whole milk, and she often used it in casseroles with rice and chicken. It remained a favorite comfort food well into my adulthood, and I faithfully kept my cabinet stocked with a can or two for years...until I didn't anymore.

When I stopped buying it, I just stopped buying it. I didn't go to aisle 17, pick up a familiar red-and-white-labeled can, and explain all the reasons it wouldn't be coming home with me anymore. I didn't tell Campbell's Cream of Mushroom everything that was wrong with it, or why it no longer served me. We parted ways without ceremony. I'm sure the hole I left in the ranks of CCoM purchasers was immediately filled by someone else. The whims and dictates of my own demand have no effect on the world's supply of condensed soup - or its supply of anything else.

When something that's been a part of my life for a long time no longer fits into it, my inclination is to analyze why not. To dissect, explain, and justify. But one of the things I've learned the hard way is how fruitless all that effort is - not to mention exhausting. It would take an awful long time to get through grocery trips spent defending the hundreds of exceptions to my shopping list. I'd probably be so overwhelmed I'd lose track of what should stay on it.

But that doesn't change how Campbell's Cream of Mushroom tasted, sitting at the family dining room table, or standing in the kitchen of my first apartment. And it tasted really, really good.