Friday, November 20, 2009

Your List Is My Command

Growing up, my Mom was the one who would shop for groceries. It was a division of responsibilities thing, but it was also because my Dad could fail miserably at locating the simplest of foods. Send him out for chocolate sauce, he'd come back with hot fudge. In need of a pint of cottage cheese, he'd pick up a bag of mozzarella. Since my Dad is an intelligent guy, I always thought this was his way of getting out of a pretty annoying chore. I decided that this was a carefully developed ploy that I could copy to my advantage.

My marriage, however, has resulted in a different reality. Trips to the grocery store are a a team activity. A team activity in which I am by far the least valuable player. Typically, my wife devises a game plan (grocery list) and sends me out into the field to select the low-hanging fruit. Ok, I should not have used the term fruit because I never get asked to pick the fruit or any produce for that matter. I'm pretty sure this is because I have a history of picking bananas that turn brown within a day of bringing them home. Talk about a tricky fruit.

Really, the only thing I get tasked with these days are the basics. I guess this is better than nothing though. For a while, I used to follow my wife around the store like a kid on a leash, periodically getting something from the top shelf or helping her locate the cumin in an unorganized spice section. Now though, I am captain of the staple items. As soon as we enter the store, I’m sent out for the no-brainers like milk, bread and juice while my wife makes the hard calls.

Somehow, even these items rarely pass inpsection. My choice of cereal? Please put that back and choose another one, we had that flavor last month. Chedder flavored crackers? Nope, those taste terrible and are bad for you. This has made me start thinking that I should start messing up the simplest of tasks. As my utility dwindles, my participation may no longer be required. Maybe this is what happened to my Dad. I only saw his antics in action when I was old enough to comprehend what he was doing. It's likely that he started this routine many years earlier and time's a wastin' for me. Screw up in aisle nine is teed up and ready for deployment.

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