I, on the other hand, prefer to wing it. Sure, I’ll take a list, but I’ll forget it in the car. I’ll commandeer a cart and start perusing the aisles aimlessly, grabbing whatever item inspires me. In typical I-am-the-best-grocery-shopper-ever fashion, I glance down proudly at my potential purchases while I am in the check-out line. I have
- one gallon of milk
- two apples
- a bunch of grapes
- one roasted chicken (already cooked!)
- French bread
- two bottles of Chardonnay,
- a bottle of Pinot Grigio
- a Reisling
- a Sauvignon Blanc
- a box of chocolate s’mores cookies
- a giant deluxe bag of peanut M&M’s
- lavender soap
- a few greeting cards
- a small notepad with a retro illustration of dancing hotdogs
- waffle cookies
- a quart of vanilla ice-cream
- six magazines (two on travel and four on home décor and design) and
- a giant bouquet of purple tulips.
When I get home, I casually put everything away (making room for various chocolate confections in the freezer by removing unnecessary objects like “ice”). The Husband walks in the kitchen, pleased that I have taken the initiative for once to go to the store and give him a break. He takes one look at my overflowing bags and gasps in horror. He starts pawing through them like a bear at an abandoned picnic.
“What did you buy?” he says, implying that something is gravely wrong. “You bought nothing!”
“Are you kidding?” I respond, motioning to the six bags on the kitchen floor. “I bought a lot,” I confirm, beaming.
“How much did you spend?” demands the cost analyst.
“Uh, I think it was around $128…” I say sheepishly.
“Magazines? Wine? Chocolate?” he says, lifting up the various culprits for closer inspection. “What are you, single?”
“Huh?” I say, momentarily distracted by the Frank Gehry creation on the cover of Architectural Digest.
“I said, you didn’t buy any actual food. This is supposed to be our food for the week, and you wasted it on this!” He pulls out the roasted chicken and holds it in the air, like a sacrifice.
“What could possibly be wrong with buying chicken?” I ask.
“For $17? I can cook my own chicken for about $4. That is a total waste of money. It’s easy to cook a chicken.”
“Fine.” I say, deflated. “I just bought what I, uh, I mean our family likes to eat.”
“Two apples?” he asks, exasperated. “I can eat two apples myself for breakfast. I normally buy about 15 apples.”
“You do?” I query, dumbfounded. “We eat that many apples?”
“Well, apparently not you. You eat 15 Oreos.”
I realize he’s right. I open my bottle of Chardonnay, pour myself a glass, and get a vase for my tulips. “Okay, my love,” I offer, “you’re right. Next time I’ll buy 15 apples.”
He shakes his head. “There won't be a next time. Face it, MOV: I’m better at grocery shopping. From now on, I will do ALL the grocery shopping. When two people in a family do the same task and one is infinitely better at it, it only makes sense that the person who excels at it should do the task. Really, it’s an efficiency thing.”
You know what else he’s good at? Laundry. I can’t wait to tell him.
(“M&Ms Or Vino”)