The Pumpkin Pie Walk of Shame

This pandemic has altered people. I, for one, have done something I vowed I would never do. I’m now a hoarder.

During the early months of the pandemic I cast aspersions at people who bought up all the toilet paper and flour. I smugly took solace in the fact that I was better than that while rationing squares of Charmin.

Then when rules were set in place with signage at grocery stores limiting purchases I made sure that I graciously stayed under the set limit. If you could only buy two cans of Lysol I made sure I only got one. Greed was not going to be part of my pandemic survival plan.

Well, well, well, how things have changed. I’m now the person I never wanted to be. I’m one of those people – an inconsiderate hoarder. In a surprise move it was canned pumpkin that brought me to this low point.

Apparently, we’re experiencing a wee bit of a pumpkin slow down. Not a shortage mind you but according to Libby’s Pumpkin the harvest was a “little delayed” this year due to wet weather so the canned pumpkin is arriving to store shelves later than usual.

This has meant that canned pumpkin is hard to find and when you do find it there’s a limit on how many cans you buy.

I discovered all this last week when the cold weather hit and I was jettisoned into a pumpkin baking spree. Except there was one large problem I couldn’t find any canned pumpkin.

I had to go to three grocery stores before I located a stash of 15-ounce cans of pumpkin. The only caveat was that there was a buying limit of two cans. Now, normally I would have  acknowledged the buying limit and also used my manners and purchased only one can.

But in that grocery store aisle it was like Satan was on my shoulder in the form of a pumpkin pie. I knew that this was not going to end well because pumpkin pie is my kryptonite.

I passionately love it. Classic pumpkin pie, cheesecake pumpkin pie, and most especially Martha Stewart’s Triple Layer Chocolate pumpkin pie are all so good, so irresistible, that I know I would sacrifice or do a lot to have a moment alone with each pie.

The moment alone is key. Because when eating a delicious pumpkin pie, you need your space so you can stay in the zone with zero distractions as you truly savor the splendor.

As I stood in the baking aisle of the grocery store I did my pumpkin pie math – two cans weren’t going to get the job done – not by a long shot. This is when I made the decision to go rogue. I was going to get four cans, double the limit, and then do the self-checkout so no one would be the wiser.

When I, oh so casually, sashayed up to the self-checkout I glanced around to make sure no one was watching me and got to work scanning those barcodes.

It was all going so well. I had those cans of pumpkin ensconced in a plastic bag and all I had to do was pay. Then it happened. I was busted by the “cashier supervisor” for “exceeding the pumpkin limit.”


I pleaded total ignorance and then joked that counting wasn’t my strong suit. I could tell she didn’t believe me because I felt her immense and piercing scorn.

I left the store steeped in shame. A shame so monumental that I had to use the healing properties of pumpkin pie to ease my sorrow. Fortunately, three generous slices later I felt a lot better.