Grocery Wars

I hate grocery shopping.  No preamble.  No gentle introduction.  I hate my weekly trip to the grocery store.  And who am I even kidding about weekly trip.  I feel like Target, Kroger, Wal-Mart and Market Street are my home away from home.  They have daily visitation rights over me, and they take all my money!  There are a few things that make these trips to the store even worse, if that is even possible:

  1. If man-child goes with me.
  2. If my husband goes with me.
  3. If my husband and man-child go with me.

And the most horrendous scenario of them all…

If my husband and/or man-child go WITHOUT me.

I’m lucky that I have older children, so even if my husband isn’t home, there is someone to watch over man-child, so I rarely have to take him with me.  I’m pretty sure “Target” was his first word.  And somewhere along the way, he learned that grocery shopping was synonymous with toy purchasing.  Yeah, I’m not above bribes to keep the kiddies quiet.  I’ve blocked out the grocery trips I had to take when I was a SAHM with the girls, but I’ve been known to leave a grocery cart full of groceries while I drag kids out of the store, or lean down with my scary smile (you know the one you get just in case people are watching, it’s more feral than friendly but you paste it on your face anyway because someone somewhere is probably videotaping your humiliation and embarrassment to post on YouTube later) and whisper sweet threats in their little ears that no one else can hear.  Completely useless and groundless threats, but they didn’t learn that little secret till later.  At one time, I did command a little healthy fear and respect, now I’m pretty sure I just command laughter.  I don’t know where I went awry.  But I digress…as usual.

Shopping with my husband is infuriating.  The grocery list is kept on the counter by the fridge all week-long.  My rule has always been, if it’s not on the list, it’s not getting bought.  I have a budget to maintain.  Inevitably the girls all run out of shampoo, makeup, body wash, razors and tampons all at the same time which means we live on ramen noodles and hotdogs for the week.  The list is crucial!  Don’t complain there is NOTHING in the house to eat if you failed to put items on the list.  I don’t want to hear it, and you’ll regret complaining because the Wrath of Mom will unleash unbridled fury at your head and it will last for days!  Then, the item you were looking for will be purchased ad nauseam until it is literally coming out your ears and you hate the very sight of it.  Save yourself.  PUT. THE. ITEM. ON. THE. LIST.

Husband never puts anything on the list.  NEVER.  He is always the first to complain.  Because I am awesome, I usually remember to stock his favorite things, but sometimes I forget (accidentally on purpose) and use that as an opportunity to discuss the importance of THE LIST.

My favorite is when he disappears down an aisle and then magically reappears hovering at my periphery trying to wait until he thinks I am otherwise occupied before he slips his little contraband in the cart.  Dude.  How many freaking kids do we have?  I mean really?

I HAVE EYES IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD!   You know this.  Why do you anger the beast?  Why?

My husband requires more toiletries and “beautifying” items than our girls.  Well…almost.  He doesn’t wear makeup…yet.

“Can I buy that exfoliating stuff for my face?  It makes it so soft?”

“I’m out of body lotion.  What?  I’m ashy.”

“Do you think this Axe Body Spray works like the commercials?”

“I’m going old school with some Old Spice. Eh eh eh ” 

“I need some more baby powder too…ya know for the undercarriage (this is usually accompanied with some hip gyrating)”

“I’m out of vitamins.  No those are my post workout vitamins, I also need a multi-vitamin and those fish oil ones.”

I roll my eyes so many times, I’m surprised they are still in my head.  If I had a dollar for every sigh, foot stomp, and exasperated expletive, I could hire someone to grocery shop for me.  I haven’t even touched on the amount of razor heads and shaving cream this man consumes in a month.  I’m all about trimming the hedges to make the tree look bigger, and grooming is important, but where do we draw the line?!?!  He’s not a professional body builder or Olympic swimmer, so can we just leave the leg hair at least!  Please!

I’m sure he’s looking at my 70’s pornstache thinking maybe he’ll get me laser treatments for Christmas or wondering if I’m singlehandedly trying to bring sexy back with the unibrow.  Yes, we’ve had like 2 days below 40, but I might be taking the whole “it’s winter, I don’t need to shave my legs as often” too far, because quite frankly when he reached over to pat my leg in bed the other night, he almost died of heart failure thinking a man was lying next to him.  Although, given his stance on shaving his legs, I’m not sure he can make that assumption anymore.

So yeah, we both have our issues, but still he needs to RESPECT THE LIST.

Occasionally, I allow him to go to the store on my behalf.  I have to be feeling pretty bad or extremely tired for this to occur because it almost always leads to a fight.  He never sticks to the list, despite repeated warnings and threats.

My dad taught my husband this phrase early on in our marriage:

Better to ask for forgiveness than permission. 

Yeah, it’s pretty much his mantra, and he abuses it greatly.  My dad should have taught him how to wield a weapon of this magnitude because one day it’s gonna bite him in the ass.  And that day may come sooner than he realizes.  Thanks Dad.

The most horrible combination of all is when husband takes man-child to the store.  My fists are clenching and my teeth gritting even as I write this.  A week or so ago, such an event occurred and the most foul and disgusting thing made it home in our grocery bags.

Chocolate covered chocolate Halloween poptarts.

Man-child was grinning ear to ear and couldn’t wait to show me what daddy bought him at the store.  Wonder Daddy was avoiding all eye-contact.  What this tells me is that they discussed how mad mommy would be, and still bought the crap anyway, which is nothing more than a giant F-YOU in the face complete with middle finger waggling about.  Am I right?

Our reality show would be called “Grocery Wars.”  True story.

After consuming this breakfast of champions, man-child went to the park with our youngest daughter.  About an hour later, I hear them approaching from down the block.  There was much crying and gnashing of teeth.  Oh boy.  My daughter comes stomping in all red-faced and yelling…something about having to carry him almost all the way home, and vowing never to take him again.  Ever.  Man-child is sobbing and looking pitiful.  I’m irritated with both of them for ruining my quiet afternoon and interrupting the really juicy part of the book I was reading, so I snap at him and send him to his room until he can act appropriately.

A few minutes transpire and then he comes walking down the stairs with something hanging off his chin?  I’m scrutinizing him trying to figure out what it is when all of a sudden he starts wailing.  This wailing was different from the earlier crying and carrying on, so husband asks man-child what is wrong?

Man-child:  “I threw up!”

Which is accompanied by yet louder crying and now gagging.

If I sit very still, will everyone forget I’m even here?  If you don’t move, not even blink, are you invisible?

Here’s the thing…

If I hear someone vomit…I’ll vomit.

If I see someone vomit…I’ll vomit.

If I smell vomit…I’ll vomit.

Even my own children.

Husband takes care of the vomit.  It’s not fair.  It’s not right.  Nonetheless, it is THE LAW.  Unlike THE LIST, THE LAW is never broken.

I sit until I hear my son get in the shower.  I make sure that the offending bodily fluids are properly covered or sealed off before I venture in to check on him.  I am racked with guilt, and I know I should be comforting him, but I have one foot out the door because if he starts gagging…  I will handle all other illnesses and sicknesses, but not stomach ailments.  Never ever ever.

On the bright side, my husband spent a good deal of time cleaning up the regurgitated chocolate covered chocolate Halloween poptart.

Karma was my bitch this day.

6 thoughts on “Grocery Wars

  1. My husband never ever follows the list either. If he goes with me to the store a lot of extra things wind up in the cart. Don’t get me started on when I send him out on his own… I wonder how he has managed to stay alive on the junk he likes to eat!

    I’m pretty sure my kids’ first word was Target too, now that I think about it.

    And somehow he manages to run out of something while I’m at the store, something really important, like deodorant. I don’t know how that happens. Somehow I am the one who ends up making an extra trip for it. Probably because I can’t stand the smell?

  2. I am right there with you on the vomit … it makes me sick. BUT … my Hubs is gone 5 days a week, soooo … I gotta do it anyway. Dirty diapers get me too … it is to the point where my five year old knows to tell me what has to be cleaned up, and then she runs to get a grocery bag for me to throw up into while I try to clean it. Sometimes I give up and call my mom.

  3. Hey, if your husband bought the disgusting chocolate pop tarts, it’s only fair he cleans up the vomit! As far as grocery shopping goes, I’m banned from that activity because I spend too much time and money at the bakery section. I give him the weekly list an the sticks to it except for one thing…he always has to have that ONE thing–and if I frown about it, he is quick to say, “but it was on SALE!!!” No thanks, I do not need a fog machine or a bundle of fireworks!!!!

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