I asked my husband the other night, "Honey, can you run to the grocery store for me?" He stopped what he was doing and gave me a "deer in the headlights" look.
"What do you need?" he asked suspiciously.
"Don’t worry," I answered. "No feminine products."
Obviously relieved, he blew out all the air he’d been holding in his lungs for the last 15 seconds. "What do I need to get?"
"Just three things," I answered. "Cream cheese, green onions, and salsa." I needed the ingredients for a special appetizer I was taking to a potluck at work the next morning.
"That doesn’t sound too hard," he said.
"Do you want me to write it down?" I asked.
He glanced over at me and raised his eyebrows. "Honey, it’s only three things."
"Okay," I said reluctantly. His spotty past history with trips to the grocery store on my behalf worried me, but I decided to let it go.
He left a few minutes later and as he walked out the door, I yelled, "REPEAT MY LIST!"
He shouted back, "AMERICAN CHEESE, YELLOW SQUASH, AND TOMATOES!"
"Oh God," I muttered to myself. "I don’t know what I’ll make with those ingredients if that’s what he comes home with."
I yelled, "NO, NO, GET CREAM CHEESE, GREEN ONIONS, AND SALSA!"
"Got it!" he bellowed from the car.
One hour passed and I began to nervously drum my fingers on the kitchen countertop. I heard the car pull into the garage. I dashed outside as he pulled sack after sack out of the trunk.
"Good grief!" I said. "What do you have there?"
He smiled excitedly. "Fresh asparagus was on sale, and then I was in the produce aisle which happens to be right by the meat aisle and I couldn’t help but strike up a conversation with the guy behind the counter and he told me he had these two great steaks in the back that I could buy for only $14.00 each!"
I gasped as I began looking through all five sacks. I frantically searched for my cream cheese, green onions, and salsa.
"Where’s the cream cheese, green onions, and salsa?" I asked my husband.
Again, he sported the "deer in the headlights" look which, quite frankly, lately was becoming a more of a regular facial expression for him than a normal look.
"Oh God," he said. "I think I forgot your stuff. But did you notice I got a potato peeler on sale?"
I put my face in my hands and sighed as I wondered how I would whip up a dish for tomorrow’s potluck with asparagus, dry wall nails, two steaks, a potato peeler, five bottles of olive oil, and a carton of chocolate milk.
As I began to thumb through my cookbooks to find a new recipe that utilized the only other two ingredients I had in my refrigerator, I realized I’ve learned one thing in 15 years of marriage.
Men and grocery stores are like bleach and household cleaners. Don’t mix them together. It can be a lethal combination.