But I know how this plays out. Kim loves to make lists. She likes to modify lists. Sometimes she’ll start a list upstairs on a Post-It and another downstairs next to her computer. I wouldn’t be surprised to find a list in each room of our house.
I’ve learned a thing or two in our 11 years of marriage. When it comes to shopping I’ve been able to distill what I’ve learned into the following 4 scenarios:
- If the list contain items found at Target, Kim will do the shopping.
- If the list contains grocery items, I will do the shopping.
- If the list contains Costco items, my only involvement comes in the form of car to kitchen transportation.
- I don’t get to create lists. I can only add to existing ones.
So like clockwork, I found myself at Fred Meyer tonight looking for pizza sauce, sourdough bread and pineapple tidbits. Not crushed pineapple. Not pineapple chunks. But pineapple tidbits. The kind you toss on pizza. I had to call home to confirm.
I couldn’t do the shopping without a cell phone and I call Kim at least three times each trip. I get 3 life lines before I’m called home. I call to ask which type of cheese I should buy. I call to ask which yogurt flavors the kids like best (peach bad, vanilla good). Sometimes I just call to chat and to let her know I’m “testing” the grapes or bulk cashews.
Over time, I’ve refined my methods. I carry the consolidated list around with me and make a small tear next to those items I’ve put in the cart which I’ve tested to ensure it doesn’t sport the crazy wobbly wheel from hell that vibrates your entire body. I save the hard to find items for last. Like El Pato sauce. I can never find that stuff. Last week I spent 20 minutes looking for lemon juice too. I get through 98% of my list in 30 minutes and then spend the next half hour playing hide-and-go-seek with the last few hard to capture items. I’ve just plain given up looking for “Jet Puffed Marshmallow”. I don’t believe it exists and I’m convinced it’s Kim’s way of sending me on a snipe hunt.
But the real fun comes during check out. No matter how many items I have in my cart, I head for the 12 Items or Less line. Some trips I might have fewer than 12 items. Sometimes I have more. As long as the number of items is divisible by 12 I feel I’m keeping the spirit of the law.
If there are items already on the conveyor belt I never know how far I should let them travel before it’s safe to start mine on their journey. I’ve noticed that women are vigilant about putting down the little black divider even if they have only gum and a People Magazine to purchase. We wouldn’t want my Wheat Thins fraternizing with her Big Red. And when I’m done putting all my stuff on the belt am I supposed to put a black divider down behind the last item? I feel like I’m drawing a line in the sand if I do, but I don’t want to go home with a stranger’s set of size 13 Dr. Scholl’s insoles.
I enjoy shopping on my own. I find it relaxing. And I’m starting to feel like a regular because a few checkers call me by name now.
And I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact I can’t reliably count past 12.