If you check out our pantry, you may notice we have no shortage of condiments. At last count, we had enough mustard to top 3 million hotdogs – the long ones.
Quick question: Do you need any mustard? We’ve got tons to spare. That’s because while I do the grocery shopping, it’s my wife who makes up the grocery list. And there the problem starts. You’d think in making a shopping list one would check current inventory. Not my wife. Perhaps it’s a Canadian thing (she is from Toronto).
Hence, we currently have seven jars of mustard. In full disclosure, that’s just a guesstimate. There could be more hidden in the medicine cabinet or in my wife’s art supply closet. You see, my wife also takes charge of putting away the groceries, and she has a peculiar storage system.
Don’t get me wrong. My wife is wonderful, but she does fall short in a few areas – starting with her height of 5’0”. Not sure what my point was. Oh, now I remember. My wife’s organizational skills are roughly on par with those of a schnauzer.
Think of that cute dog with 10 bones. What’s he going to do with them all? Bury them around the yard, of course, never to be used because he forgot where he put them all. That’s my wife with a jar of capers. No, she doesn’t normally dig in the dirt, but I swear we have jars of capers buried in every closet. Far be it for me to suggest she place it neatly on the lower shelf of the pantry, next to the other five jars she forgot we had.
My spouse is equally gifted at not putting away her clothes and not loading the dishwasher, not to mention not emptying said dishwasher. But I digress. Back to mustard. We could fill a small swimming pool with all the Grey Poupon we have – if we had a swimming pool.
So, if you happen to need any Dijon, just text me. Happy to pass it along. I’ll even throw in some cinnamon, balsamic vinegar, and baked beans from our hefty cache. But order fast! We only have enough to get through the pandemic – if it continues until 2029. And if you want to serve soup to an intimate gathering of 130 guests, come peruse our stash of Campbell’s Chicken Vegetable. I’m pretty sure I got you covered.
I’m not sure when my wife began hoarding and hiding, but I found a clue on a mayonnaise jar that was stuffed behind 9 boxes of kitty litter. It read, “Use by June 1989.” Interesting. It turns out her affliction extends beyond food stuffs. I was housecleaning earlier today and discovered that we also have plenty of Windex, bath & tile cleaner, and cold medicine, enough to last well past my own expiration date (2050).
I’m half-tempted to deliberately catch a cold just to clear out some inventory. We also have a small mountain of post-it notes. I’m confident I could cover all four walls of our bedroom with them, floor to ceiling, and still have some left over. I think I’ll use a post-it note to tell her to stop buying so many post-it notes.
We could throw pillows out the window all day long and still have enough to supply our entire community. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. A few couples may need to share.
Thanks to my life partner of 33 years, we are the proud owners of enough Ziploc bags to pack lunches for the entire school district – K through 12. If I display the temerity to point out that perhaps we don’t actually need a seventh roll of aluminum foil, my wife will quickly change the subject, saying something random like, “Well, then. Care to explain why you feel we need five bags of grass seed and four bags of weed killer, which I found yesterday in the outdoor storage bin?”
I have no clue what her point is. Besides, I think we’re drifting from the premise of this commentary, which is that my wife never checks how much stuff we have before adding it to the shopping list. Let’s stay focused here, okay?
My darling wife has also stockpiled an impressive supply of hair scissors, band aids, gauze, and stain remover – all in the laundry cupboard. I have no idea why she needs all this. My current theory is she’s planning on cutting me to ribbons in my sleep (scissors) for constantly nagging her about her excessive acquisitions; then, in a moment of regret, she will attempt to save me (gauze and bandages). After which, she will insist I clean up the blood (stain remover). It’s just a theory. There may be a different, more nefarious explanation.
Perhaps I should take over writing the shopping list and let my wife do the shopping instead. Fortunately, there’s an ACE Hardware next to the IGA grocery, so on her next trip she can swing by there and pick up a bag of grass seed and weed killer. Make that two bags. I think we may be running low.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021. Edited by Betsy Jones.
Read my cautionary tale about my visit to a particular retailer (whose name I won’t reveal) in an attempt to redeem a gift card. It was a snap, if by “a snap” you mean as simple as deciphering the Da Vinci Code.
[The following is a 100% 98.7% true story.]
Recently, I had a rather unpleasant shopping experience involving a well-known retail establishment. I’d rather not mention the store by name, as I would hate for others to TARGET this chain with well-deserved, snarky tweets.
It started with a gift card from a friend for Christmas. A delightful surprise. But the process I endured to redeem it was, well, let’s just say I’ve had root canal surgeries that were more pleasurable – and took a lot less time.
Here’s what happened. My friend – whom I’d like to assume had positive intentions – gave me an online gift card to use at the afore-not-mentioned giant red & white-colored discount retailer. I printed it out and proceeded to the nearest store. I wandered through the aisles, stocking my cart with exotic splurge items like paper towels, light bulbs, and a plastic waste basket. Okay, so I lead a dull life.
I reached the checkout counter and presented my printout, showing the amount, bar code, and a couple long numbers, identified as the “gift Identification number” and “PIN code.” The cashier greeted me cheerfully. I figured I’d be in and out of this store in under 30 minutes. But the universe had other plans for me that day. (more…)
Marriage is one of the most wonderful experiences in the world, second only, some would argue, to not being married. All marriages have their ups and downs. If you ask me, the key to a long, happy marriage is to be patient, keep the lines of communication open, and at all costs, not to get sucked into shopping with your wife.
Nowhere are the fundamental differences between men and women more pronounced than by how we shop. There are two ways of going about this: the way women do it and the correct way. When men enter a retail store, the purchasing experience usually goes something like this:
Man: Do you have these sneakers in size 10?
Store clerk: Yes, we do.
Man: Great. Here’s my credit card.
The entire transaction lasts roughly the length of an Old Spice commercial.
For women, on the other hand, shopping involves a complex journey through countless retail stores on a quest for the elusive Hope Diamond of outfits. If you’re obliging enough to tag along, buckle up, buddy. You’re in for a long, exhausting ride. And if your wife insists on bringing your seven-year-old twins along for some new outfits, well, not to sound overly dramatic, but there’s a 10% chance you may not make it out alive.
Let’s back up. If your wife asks if you’d like to accompany her to the mall “to check out some sales,” there is, of course, only one correct answer: Over my dead body. I’d rather have a root canal. Now, to be clear, I don’t actually suggest you utter the aforementioned phrase verbatim. You might want to say it in code, such as, Oh, I would hate to get in the way of your fun afternoon. How ‘bout you call your friend Charlotte and have a girls’ day out. If that fails, follow up with, Here’s my credit card. This day is on me. I love you, Sweetie.
It started out innocently enough. My wife asked me to go to Costco because we were low on shampoo. No biggie. Quick errand. I’ll be back in time for the start of the baseball game. My mistake was listening to my wife when she asked me to go to COSTCO.
The second I entered the behemoth warehouse, I was overcome by the allure of wall-to-wall gigantic flat screen Hi-Def TVs showing exotic tropical waterfalls. Some in 3-D. Ooh! I noticed a sign that said if you buy the home theatre sound system package, you can get a 65” flat screen HDTV for only $850 more. What a bargain. So I added an LG 65″ Class 3D 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV with 4 Pairs of 3D Glasses (for the kids) to my flatbed cart.
As I was lugging my cart towards the shampoo aisle, I couldn’t help but notice the festive Christmas tree display. An 8-ft Pre-Lit Clear Mixed Country Artificial Pine Christmas Tree complete with 800 Clear Dura-Lit Mini-lights for $20 off! Think how much I will save by buying it now before the holiday season. Plus, I’d be doing my part to save the world’s endangered commercial tree farms. So I wedged the tree in between the TV and the sound system and continued on my merry way.