shopping for me

The other day Sharaun texted me at work to ask if I would stop by the grocery store on the way home and pick up a fresh loaf of bread for dinner.

I used to hate these sort of requests, and it was rather unfair of me (I never voiced my dislike, but instead just went about the task in a huff… I’m sure it was totally discrete).  It’s just that I’m very much a creature of expectations, and by that I mean that once I’ve set my mind on a series of events playing out in a certain way it frustrates me when something causes those plans to change.

There is no logic to this, for the things I have mapped-out in my brain are almost always of no importance at all, and executing them out of order or not according to some arbitrary plan almost always brings with it zero consequences.  Still, when I have to go get gas and stop at Home Depot before work, my OCD brain creates an instant order-of-operations “plan” to achieve these things.  No sooner than this plan is formed does my brain christen it gospel and accept it almost as fact; I now have an expected sequence of happenings and I react negatively to any deviation.

I’ve found this trait to be the genesis of much of my impatience, random frustration, and, oddly enough, the reason I so value spontaneity.  I’m always perceiving the little non-occurrences of life as somehow “getting in the way” of my “plan.”    So you can see then, that when I’ve been sitting at my desk at work all day thinking about how I’m going to leave and go directly home after 5pm, that I’ve built up about eight hours of ludicrous expectation things will actually happen in the way I’ve been planning they will.  The out-of-plan bread interrupt, then, throws a seemingly frustrating wrench in the works.  Silly, right?

Yeah, silly.  And some years ago when I realized I have this brain-curse I strove to overcome it.  I am constantly internally asking myself, “Does this matter?  How does this change anything?” and then reminding myself, “Why worry or bother over it then; just let it happen.”  I want my plans to be ultimately malleable, changeable, adaptable – I feel like if they aren’t I might miss out on something truly random and unintentional.  When we go on vacations, when we travel, when we’re at Disneyland… in all these places I have to take a breath before I let my brain react with, “No!  This isn’t how I envisioned this!”  People call it “going with the flow,” for me I just have to surrender to the flow.  I think I’m better at it for acknowledging it.

But this isn’t what I came here to write about.

The other day Sharaun texted me at work to ask if I would stop by the grocery store on the way home and pick up a fresh loaf of bread for dinner.

Since I’m a better man and this kind of tasking no longer irks me, I replied with a simple, “Sure.”  As luck would have it I was able to leave work about fifteen minutes early that day, and thus found myself alone at the grocery store with some perceived time to kill (a notion which also owes its existence to my forever mental scheduling).  In no particular hurry, I found myself ambling about the aisles a bit.  Suddenly, a thought came to me: “I’m here, alone.  In the grocery store alone.  With all the buying power my Capital One Venture card endows me.  I am the decision-maker!  I can buy anything I desire!”  For the non-husbands in my audience, this translates roughly into something like, “Sharaun cannot tell me that this is too expensive, or too bad for me, or that I’m the only one who likes it so why buy it?”  In other words, I was free to do my own shopping.

I relished the moment.  I strode the aisles with a sense of power and domination, evaluating everything I saw by my standards alone.  Some $9 Hoisin sauce?, might be interesting.  A jackfruit?, sure, why not?  Bread made from potatoes?, dear God yes someone finally invented it!!  Now where’s the pasta made from the potato bread?  It would be like the Godhead of a foodstuff!  In the end, I didn’t go quite as crazy as I thought I might have, but I did manage to score some very “me” purchases.  Here’s what I came home with:

  • A hunk of exotic veined cheese & “water crackers” to eat it on (probably the most luxurious purchase, in terms of dollars)
  • 90 pack of “combination” flavor Pizza Rolls
  • One of each flavor Ramen, and three each of the super-spicy seafood ones that are all in Korean
  • Grape Nuts (Sharaun refuses to get them for me)
  • A bag of barbecue kettle chips, the ones that looked the hardest and crunchiest
  • Butter & vegetable oil (what?, we needed them)

And yes when I got home Sharaun looked on my spoils with skepticism, tsking the chips and cheese.  Perhaps it was my subconscious playing passive-aggressive; we’ll see if I get asked to pick up bread again anytime soon.

Gotta run, the Pizza Rolls are ready.  Goodnight.


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14 Replies to “shopping for me”

  1. When Jess does that, he comes home with: powdered donuts, fruit loops, Captain Crunch, Juice of some sort, some kind of cookies and white bread. All of those things are on the “we don’t buy that junk” list. But alas, when a man is in the store with free reign, who’s to stop him?! I mean, he does come home with the requested purchase, too. Usually.

    1. Powdered donuts! How could I have been so blind. Thank your man for reminding me.

      And what is it that the women of the world have against delicious white bread?! Don’t give me that “whole grain” song and dance, either. By that logic I don’t know why we’re just not eating whole heads of wheat… or the stalk and roots too…

      I should go shopping more often 🙂

  2. We think SO much alike it’s scary. I do the same lists mentally, feel the same way about “interruptions”, etc. Funny.
    I skip the powdered donuts though and go straight for the maple and chocolate bars. They usually don’t make it to the car before disappearing.

  3. Ha! I called Erik at work yesterday and asked him to stop by Safeway to get cheese for quesadillas. As I hung up the phone, I knew 1. he wouldn’t just buy cheese and 2. his store roaming would make dinner late. He came home with a six pack of beer and two of those little frozen pizzas that taste like cardboard… and the cheese. I was surprised potato bread was not in the bag….

  4. I used to rationalize getting upset at these request from my wife in the same way, but then my wife gave me a different perspective when I shared my feelings with her. She noted that I may simply be just lazy.

  5. Well…. as a mother, wife and “Ami”, my only question is,”Did you make it home with
    the bread?? Or did you forget why you you going to the store? I didn’t see it on your list of things.

    1. I am going to pretend that I don’t know that my mother-in-law reads this page. Never happened and, as far as I know, this comment doesn’t exist.

      That said, I totally made it home with the bread.

      And wow… why is it always the back-of-napkin stuff that garners the most comments?

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