Shopping With The Husband

Never take your husband shopping at the grocery store. Especially if he is hungry. One never knows what they will find when they get to the check out counter. It is even worse if we go to get groceries at Wal-Mart. Not only will odd types of food find their way into the trolley, but other things like tools, duct tape, smelly candles (that I can’t stand, but he likes), and the occasional packet of underpants will end up in the trolley too.

However, when we are in the grocery store together, I have a list, and send him off on explorations to find certain items. “OK,” he says, practically dancing, “what do I need to go find?” If he were a hunting dog, he would be salivating with excitement. “We need a loaf of French Bread. Not the kind in the regular bread aisle, but the Rustic French Bread from the bakery. Oh, and while there, check and see if they have any fresh hummus – the garlic kind – at the deli.”

“Rustic French Bread, bakery and hummus – garlic – deli next to bakery,” he repeats. Then heads off in the correct direction. I know that he will be gone a while, because he will get distracted before he ever gets to the bakery area, and once there, he will have forgotten what I sent him for in the first place. He will remember, bread, hummus – “Oh Look, CHEESE! Butterkasse, yummm.”  And when he gets back he will have the wrong bread, the wrong hummus, but he will have his favorite cheese.

Meanwhile, I will have finished with at least half my list, working methodically from one side of the store to the other. I take what he brought and send him off again. “Dish soap for the DISHWASHER, fabric softener, and I need some of those small paper plates.” “Dishwasher soap, Fabric softener, paper plates – small.” Off he goes.

I know, you see, that he will have to go past the automobile aisle, the office and craft aisle, and the miscellaneous household doodads aisle. He will get totally distracted the second he finds the light bulbs and he will spend ten minutes looking at stuff before he gets to the aisle that has all the cleaning products. Meanwhile, I keep on moving and filling my trolley. Eventually, he turns up, with Dawn soap, dryer sheets, and a huge container of paper plates, regular size – because they were cheaper that way. Along with light bulbs for our collection of about 50 packets already, super glue, some crayons for the grandkids, and a stapler – because it looks so cool!

The next things on the list will stump him for even longer. I am sending him after cookies, hot dogs, and a whole chicken for baking. Diabolical. Before he even gets out of sight, he is distracted by the magazine rack. He slows down and lets his body keep walking forward while his head turns as far as it can while he checks out the new computer mags. I know, of course, that it will take him forever to decide on hot dogs. He will end up with Hebrew National, but he won’t be able to stop himself from doing all sorts of computations to justify buying the most expensive hot dogs in the store. And he will end up with a few Lunchables for the grandkids. The cookie aisle will slow him down even more, because I know he likes Oreos more than any other store bought cookie, but there are so many more less expensive, and he will do the hem haw dance trying to talk himself into getting the Oreos. Then comes the chicken. A whole chicken. That means he has to decided how big, how much to spend, which brand, and by the time I am nearly through the store, he will come back with what I wanted. Sort of, anyway.

Then I send him off again for Ice Cream, get some for himself, and then find some difficult to find flavor for me. He will get Blue Bell chocolate chip for himself if they have it, and then end up with strawberry sundae for me from some off brand. (I actually feed this to the grandkids. Ice cream is ice cream to them.) While he is off doing that little chore, I put back the Dawn soap and get the right stuff for the dishwasher, I put back the dryer sheets and get the right fabric softener, and replace the paper plates with what I want. I keep his light bulbs, super glue, crayons, and stapler. I figure we can always us them some day. I end up getting the right French Bread, hummus, and replace on of his favorite cheese packets with one of my favorites. He never notices the different products when we check out, he is too distracted by the magazine rack.

Am I a horrid wife? Nah, just one who knows I have to keep him busy to keep him from putting odd things in my trolley when I am not looking. He is helping by staying out of my hair. It works. Really. Try it next time you have to take the husband with you. Just don’t forget about him and leave him in the magazine aisle, the store management really doesn’t like that at all!

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