October 25, 2009

I'm Not Complaining. I'm Just Saying.

On the grocery list:


Before he left (on the chore which, I will point out, he chooses to do because he prefers it to the alternative of staying home with the children): "Paul, I put something unusual on the list this week: it's Lysol wipes, and they're on a good sale so I put down two. But they're not for us, they're for the kids' classrooms, so if they come in different varieties or whatever, it doesn't matter which kind you get. And if they only have one left, still get it, and I'll just give it to the teacher of our more difficult child."

He came home with:


Me:
"They only had one left?"

Him:
"What?"

Me:
"You only got one. So they only had one left?"

Him:
"It didn't say two on the list."

Me:
"It does. And? I also told you about it beforehand. Remember? For the classrooms? Two schoolchildren? Two classrooms? The joke about the more difficult child? Remember?"

Him:
*digging in trash for list to prove me wrong*

Him:
*finding list*

Him:
*looking at it for a minute to think of a way it is my fault*

Him:
(triumphantly, as if winning) "Oh, see, it's because you put the 2 BEFORE on this one but AFTER on this one!"


An expanded view of that part of the list, so you can see what he means:


But notice, he DID manage to see the "2" before the jelly doughnuts, AND he got the glazed ones.

Well, I guess you cannot notice that, because I had already eaten one of the doughnuts by the time I took the picture.

And to think this is with only 14 years of training! Who KNOWS what peaks of competency we will eventually reach!

43 comments:

Cherish said...

Every time I've sent a man to the grocery store, he has made some sort of mistake, no matter how clear I am in writing the list/telling him. I think that maybe we should all just draw some pictures caveman style of what we need and hope for the best.

Sam and Harper said...

You must be living in my house. The man digging the list out of the trash to prove me wrong which I NEVER was. Ha! They will never learn...

Erin said...

That digging in the trash thing and looking for any excuse to make ME the wrong one? Totally happens in my house too.

monandb said...

Seriously. What is the deal? He asks if I need anything from the store. I tell him CELERY. He brings home GREEN ONIONS. They were under the celery sign at the store, he said. Thought maybe it was a different variety or something, he said.

Although, this is my favorite -- I went to the store and come home with a load of groceries. He brings them all in for me and helps unpack some. Very nice. When I am almost finished putting everything away, I remember that I haven't seen the light bulbs that I bought, and which I must have to keep the laundry room from being in total darkness. I tear through everything, looking for lightbulbs. None. I check the receipt to see if maybe I am insane -- nope. Light bulbs are on there. Ask if everything is out of the car? He says yes. Ask if he noticed any light bulbs? He says no.

I snatch up my purse to huff back over to the checkout counter and make a big scene with my waving light bulb receipt. On my way to the car, I shove aside a bag on the floor of the garage. It makes a broken glass sound. Not a breaking glass sound, but the tinkle of shifting, broken glass. I look inside, and you know, right? It's the light bulbs I bought, or what's left of them, inside the now-flat cardboard sleeves. He dropped the bag and then STEPPED ON IT and BROKE THE BULBS but DID NOT NOTICE.

When I encouraged him out to the garage with my shrieks of laughter, he was puzzled to see the bulbs on the floor, and broken. All he could offer is that he is tall, and his head is a long way from his feet.

It still makes my laugh until I cry.

distracted by genius said...

One of my dad's most famous faux pas was the time he did the Thanksgiving grocery shopping when my mom stayed home with my brother who had a fever and she wrote on the list: potatoes, sweets. He bought candy and cookies like crazy, but not a single sweet potato! I loved it, my mom wasn't so impressed.

Melio (MelissaInk) said...

So, ya'll are telling me they NEVER GET BETTER at this listening gig, huh?

Oh, brother ...

Chrissy said...

Oh, I have SO many of these stories. Too many. Like the time he told me he didn't read all the way to the bottom of my note (for vital information he needed) because it was just 'too much writing'. Baffling. Just baffling.

Marie Green said...

I love seeing the "evidence" right there in print- it makes your post, and your point, so much more delightful!

(This is the sort of thing where I sometimes hope/wish he- my hubs- gets it wrong so that I can be all SEE WHAT I HAVE TO LIVE WITH????? I mean, when he gets it right I'm happy, but when he gets it wrong, I'm sort of.... satisfied (?) because he messed it up EXACTLY as I predicted. SIGH. No one can be as perfect as me...)

Kelly said...

buffalo...buffalo...

susical said...

Oh dear... at least there is something gratifying about having proof. That is an enviably specific item listing to have messed up.

I... sort of want your grocery list template. You might be a genius.

Babies on the brain. said...

My favorite is one day I sent mine to the store with a list of about TEN things while I had some training to go to. I get home that afternoon, and ask him what he did all day. He replied went to the grocery store. I was gone for about 4 hours, and I asked what else he did. And he said nothing because it took him three hours to find everything at the store.

Christy said...

Here's the thing. I suspect my husband doesn't ever read my notes/emails in full. He often misses the end. I've started writing the most important stuff in the actual subject area of my email.

d e v a n said...

hehe

I went to the trouble of making 2 separate lists this morning, one for him and one for me, so we could split the shopping (and kids) and it would take less time. I also spoke with him about it for at least a full minute. He was standing no more than 2 feet from me.
On the way to the car I asked if he had his list.

What list?

ugh.

Erica said...

Wow. And Paul's like some kind of genius, right? In my experience with my own super-smart husband, I find that the smarter they are the dumber they can be.

Also, look at your super efficient list! Mine is scrawled on whatever note paper I can find.

Swistle said...

Erica- YES. He's like one of those guys on that show you guys recommended to me the last time I talked to him. Big Bang Theory? With the geeks. He is VERY SMART and VERY STUPID.

Susical (and also Erica)- Paul made the list! Each thing is spelled out "store-brand this" and "Dominos brand that" so he's less likely to SCREW IT UP.

Heather R said...

I have been lurking for a few weeks now...I am a friend of Maureen. I just want to say that I LOVE that idea for a grocery list! I must show my husband!

Elizabeth said...

I also am very drawn towards the printed grocery list with the check boxes. And gratified to see that you also always need bananas.

aibee said...

I think I'd get rid of him, and then use the (one) tub of Lysol wipes to get rid of the evidence.

Ahem.

Shelly Overlook said...

My husband would totally covet Paul's list. When he did the shopping for me after I gave birth, he called me every 3 minutes to ask for the minute details of every.single.thing I put on the list. "What kind of paper towel?" "What color?" "How many?" On one hand, I appreciate he was trying to get the "right" stuff, on the other hand, it's a freaking paper towel, get whatever you like!! To which I can hear him say "I don't know what I like. I like whatever youuuuu get." all whiny and annoying.

Firegirl said...

You have a better husband than I do. I don't think I could trust sending Kev to the store. He would come back with Capt Crunch, motor oil and socks and nothing else on the list.

Dr. Maureen said...

Oh, Paul. Paul Paul Paul. Sigh.

I don't like to send Andrew to the grocery store because then I never know what we have in the house, even if I helped put it away. Partly this is because my food organizational system is not so much of a "system" as it is a "I remember where I put it."

And hi, Heather R! I'm glad you're reading Swistle! She's awesome!

Stacia said...

I am laughing so hard at this post and the comments, laughing in a "oh I know exactly what that's like" kind of way! The other day, though, I left the cart to use the facilities while my husband continued shopping, and in the 10 minutes I was gone, he managed to get 3 items on the list before getting stuck and just standing there waiting for me to return and rescue him. I was impressed. Like you, I wonder what a few more years of training could accomplish!

Anonymous said...

"get 2" -- you gave the man a VERB and he still blew it. The mind reels, or at least it would if I weren't married to an oblivious genius myself.
"get 2," Paul. Procure 2. Place two in number of this item in the cart, pay for them, and bring them home.

The Gori Wife said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's interesting in knowing the backstory behind the rest of the list. With pictures? You mean you always - always - buy green peppers, bananas and avocados? The only time in my life I bought an avocado was when I had a just-starting solids baby and Dr. Google said that was a perfect first food.

Donna said...

I am delurking to ask about the significance of the 'x' vs. the check mark in the box. It's making me crazy. Does the x mean 'we don't need it'? But then a blank means the same thing, right? Then I thought the x was when you built the list on the computer and the check mark when you thought of an additional item after the list was printed. But then, why a check? Why not just make a handwritten x?

And does anyone else experience the strange additions to the list? Things that appear during unpacking like sardines in mustard or the institutional size cottage cheese or the ginormous wheel of brie?

Swistle said...

The Gori Wife- SOME of our permanent checkmarks are leftover from a time when we USED to buy something every week---the trouble with a compu-list is that it's inconvenient to change it on the computer. But we do use avocados and green peppers every week, because Paul eats salsa and guacamole with basically EVERYTHING. And bananas we always need.

Donna- The x-mark means the same as a check; Paul tends to x and I tend to check, because, like you, I think of an x as meaning "no." Blank means we don't need it; scribbling out the x also means we don't need it this time. We print out the blank list in stacks, with perma-x next to everything Paul wants to remember to get (or consider getting) every week whether it's on the list or not. We put that list on the fridge and add the regular items to it throughout the week, checking boxes or doing write-ins at the bottom. That particular section in the photo has a lot of perma-x in it; most sections have only one x (like bread in the "bread and crackers" section)

Rah said...

My solution is to write spoof items (goose juice) on the list, so he is eager to read the list in fine detail. The things that really capture his attention are the edgy (crotch soak) or "intimate items" I just make up, which I shall not illustrate here. :-) Not easy to do in households where the list is public and there are children in the house.

Anonymous said...

Swistle! I love you. But I do have any important request. Could you please scan the ENTIRE list for our viewing pleasure? Thank you in advance :) ~Jenny in MD

Cookie said...

My husband has trouble at the grocery store too. Like I'll very specifically write out the cereal I want (I eat the same kind all the time) and he'll still come home with a wrong kind. Or he won't check dates on milk and come home with milk that expires in like 2 days. Or he'll forget a bunch of things. And yet he insists on grocery shopping because he says I take too long.

Kim said...

I actually seethed a little while reading this one, the part about him digging it out of the garbage, because I've been through the exact same scene. As I stood by patiently, waiting for him to make a jackass of himself which of course he did.

Jenni said...

This is my whole effing LIFE.

3carnations said...

Obviously a problem with consistency. Either put the 2 before or after the item. Don't alternate. Too confusing. Ha!

bubbles said...

So you DID marry an idiot. Good work there.

Kathy said...

I love your grocery list too! Please scan!

saly said...

I love it! And would also love to see the list. Hub is pretty decent at shopping, although no matter how many times I tell him or write down "pampers baby dry, size 4--green box" he will always call me from the diaper aisle. It's a small price to pay for the right diapers I guess...

Also- we have had the triumphant pulling the crumpled list from the garbage can to prove who is right scenario many times. Sadly, it's usually me who has made the careless mistake. :)

Swistle said...

Bubbles- A BRILLIANT idiot, though, which is what makes it SO FRUSTRATING. Someone who can do ADVANCED PHYSICS should be able to READ A GROCERY LIST.

jen said...

I never send B to the store for more than a gallon of milk or a six-pack of beer. Ever. It's not that I don't trust him to get the right things necessarily, I don't trust him to not bring home an extra $50 worth of stuff we absolutely didn't need, like sugary cereal or gun magazines.

Courtney in Greece said...

Wait, Paul is a physicist? My husband is a physicist too! I feel sudden kinship with you, Swistle!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to comment you to death today, but I just wanted to add, does anyone else have a husband who will come home with 80,000 boxes of Pop Tarts "because the kids want them" (translated HE wants them), and then you are forced to deal with freakish kids all week who WANT. A. BLEEPING. POP. TART. EVERY. BLEEPING. SECOND. Might be just a personal problem, but I am throwing it out there. The Pop Tarts are the main culprit, but really it could be any sugary cr@p.

Swistle said...

Courtney in Greece- He's a software engineer; physics is his hobby. His HOBBY. I know.

Serial Mommy said...

it reminds me of that one speaker/comedienne, who is named jeanine something or the other, who talks about needing groceries for her 7 up cake and sending her husband with a list, where she numbered the items and he came back with 1 of this and 7 of that because it was 7th on the list...heheh...

Claire said...

Jenni- my whole effing life too! it's kinda like the nerdy IT guys are all cut from the same cloth!
Anonymous- it's not Pop tarts here- it's weird convenience-y foods like "Suddenly Salda" that we wind up with A MILLION of because they were on a "good sale".

Kim said...

Swistle,

Just catching up on your posts. LOVE this one! Like everyone else on here, this is SO typical for our household. I'm laughing at how you wrote it out very precisely on the list, and because it was an item "not usually on the list", you even gave the whole side story and explanation, and STILL not the right results. My lists are handwritten. Prior to reading your post, I would've sworn a typewritten list could only surely produce better results, but alas, I see there are snags in that method too. Also loved your posts on knitting and the most recent of your beliefs on individual vs. community matters. You are a brilliant inspiration.