Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Shopping and gathering and hunting, oh my!

Once there lived a beautiful moderately attractive cute princess who married a handsome, charming, talented man who loved to cook and shop. She counted herself lucky on those last two things because she really only cooked to keep people alive and thought the only reason shopping was not suitable punishment for especially heinous crimes was because it was cruel and unusual. OK, so in case you hadn't guessed, I'm talking about Mr. Logo and I.
For much of our married life Mr. Logo has looked up new and interesting recipes, made a menu for two weeks at a time, done the shopping, and then prepared nutritious meals that are both interesting and delicious. He is an artiste. He loves to figure out which dishes and what dessert will compliment each other to perfection. At this point in time, due to his work hours and commute, it is not practical for him to do the cooking. He often doesn't get home till 6:30 and while 7:00PM is considered a reasonable hour for eating around our house its not the best time to start preparing dinner. In practical terms this means that we are eating a lot more take out, frozen dinners, and cancer cuisine (convenience foods), ie. I am feeding the family.
After calling me in the afternoon to ask what we were going to be eating for dinner and getting, "Uuuuh, I think, um, well, can you stop and pick something up?" repeatedly he decided perhaps he should continue to help a bit with planning the menu and do the shopping from time to time, especially if he wanted to stay within budget. The cooking, especially during the week, unfortunately, was still not something he could really do. There are two parts of cooking I personally don't really care for, the thinking about it (planning) and the doing it. I am getting better about remembering to start dinner at some point prior to when we would like to actually eat and occasionally I remember to defrost things we need for dinner even without it being written down for me.
Today we were just about out of food so I grabbed my MP3 player and headed out to do the shopping for the next two weeks.
(Just as a completely unnecessary aside, I have to tell you that I was TRYING to accommodate Mr. Logo's OCD. I printed out a calendar and wrote down meals for two weeks, then I printed out his master shopping list and went through the whole thing making check marks to the right of what we needed. Last time I did the shopping list I made Xs in the box which are printed on the left which caused him some trouble as that is not to be used until the item has been obtained and placed in the cart at the grocery store. I had not realized that grocery list making required such precision but rather than confusing his Xing I used check marks to indicate what we needed. That was not the correct method either, as it turns out. He printed out a whole new list so he could properly indicate, with numerals beside the boxes, what was required on the list. I then took the appropriately marked list to the store where I completely failed to properly use the list because I did NOT mark Xs in the boxes by the numbers after acquiring the items. Somehow I managed to get the shopping done anyway, although I was over budget...again. Poor man, I'm probably very bad for his blood pressure.)
I don't know why the store was so crowded but I'm telling you some people should be required to play Rushhour, or Frogger, before being set loose with a shopping cart in a store. After an hour at the store I was finally done. On the way home I had a sudden realization that somewhat weakened my will to live. I'm 36 years old. Every two weeks (with small trips in between as well) for the rest of my life there will be an hour spent at the grocery store.
I could feel despair overtaking me and then I thought, hang on a second...
For the majority of humans who've ever lived, and for many who are living today, including some in my own zip code, if the biggest challenges to procuring food for their families was to decide whether to go with the national brand or a generic product, checking the salt content, and whether partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is a major ingredient they would consider themselves quite fortunate. It's a good thing my hunting/gathering is done in a supermarket. Spending hours on a daily basis attending to theses matters would have completely eroded my will to survive and the question of my fitness would have been answered definitively.
Thus internally chastened I found something else to be piqued about, like how slow my DSL downloads some pages and how my cell phone gets spotty reception sometimes.
Man, I lead a hard life.
I think I'm going to go for a motorcycle ride to get my mind off of it.


cathy said...

Oh my god! This made me dizzy. I shop by throwing whatever takes my fancy into a basket and plan meals by opening the fridge door when we get hungry and cooking whatever comes to hand. If the fridge is empty we get a take out.
I'm a total food planning failure. SOB!

Mr. Fabulous said...

Overall, your husband sounds like a much better person than you.

lime said...

i thought my mother was insane because she had a master list that required checking off to indicate need of an item and drawing a line though the item once it was in the basket. she never chastised me for the manner in which i used her list when i was a teenager sent out to procure the food items. if mr logo continues with his severe OCD ways he may burst that vein in his forehead by age 40.

i make out a menu for 2 weeks at a time and a shopping list from that. i find the process odious. i think i need a motorcycle ride too, may i come along?

S said...

I just buy what I want as well when I get there....Rusty would hate living at my house. No check marks allowed!

Pauline said...

I can't plan food, I never want what I planned to have!

neva said...

a list you say? imagine that.

i tend to shop by the "what looks tasty rightthisminute?" method. terrible on the budget, but gee, lots 'n lots of room for error... i've also been known to spend hundreds (HUNDREDS) of dollars on groceries one minute, and still have nothing to cook for dinner, the next. oy.

this was a fantastic post, Logo! i read every single word, and loveloveloved 'em all! ; )

Logophile said...

Cathy~ Now see, that would totally work for me.

Mr. Fab~ Thanks, I feel much better now.

Lime~ You know, get your ass out here, we will go!

Susie~ Oh, Ive heard about what happens when Ratburn buys the wrong stuff :p

Pauline~ See, that is a problem for me too, oh well.

Neva~ I know! A LIST, can you imagine? The what looks tasty method works for me.

tsduff said...

We shop when we discover we have no food in the house, and then its too late because we are starving. In fact... what's for dinner? Umm... okay, but we are only going for a few items. Ooops - wow, how did our cart get that full?? Neva and I have the same shopping problem... tons of $$ spent, and nothing to show for it!

goldennib said...

You are a woman after my own heart. I hate shopping (my mother says I am not a real woman.) And I hate planning dinner and cooking on a regular basis (it is a form of torture, I don't care what anyone says.) Luckily, I too have a husband who cooks. I'd be good with a bowl of cereal.