Out of this world, even.
What could I have possibly done, you ask? Well, let me tell you. But you had better brace yourselves, because it's pretty earth-shattering. And as a single parent, it was something that I just don't get the chance to experience very often. I was able to do it a few times when I was married, but just not often enough for my liking.
What, you've never heard of a storgasm before?
Let me explain - a storgasm is the incredibly free feeling that a parent - especially a single parent - gets when he/she is able to go to the grocery store, ALONE. The parent is completely and totally free to wander up and down the aisles as long as desired. The shopping cart does not look like a racecar (or steer like a tank) and is not full of screaming children and noisy toys, leaving no room for groceries. There are no whining children complaining about the parental choice of cereals purchased. Store employees do not give the parent the evil eye as children come dangerously close to toppling a pyramid-shaped display of pickles. Other customers do not glare at the parent with that Why Don't You Control Your Children Better Than That look. The parent is free to read labels, check purchased items off of the list (because with no children present, the parent was able to remember to bring the list to the store), use coupons, and even use a calculator to compare the relative price-per-ounce of every brand of spaghetti sauce. The parent is able to use the self-checkout and bag the groceries properly, without having to pause to catch children as they jump head-first out of the cart and hurtle toward the concrete floor. Impulse purchases are minimized, as there is only one person to be responsible for at that moment.
It should be noted that an added bonus of this experience is the ability to walk past a non-storgasmic parent and smile knowingly - however, it is advised that laughing at the other parent be avoided at all costs as part of Storgasm Etiquette.
The storgasm continues when the groceries are brought home. They can be unloaded, sorted, and put away promptly. The refrigerator can be organized, along with the cupboards. Old, spoiled food can be thrown away as it is discovered. The reusable grocery bags can be put back where they belong.
The storgasm ends with the parent sitting down in a chair, balancing the checkbook after the day's purchases, and having a cold drink to relax after the experience (cigarette is optional and based on personal preference).
I have looked forward to this day for months - ever since the moment that I realized that all 5 kids would be in school at the same time and that I would truly have kid-free time for the first time in YEARS. I just had no idea how incredible it would be.
And now that I've done it once, I can't wait to do it again.