Do you send your man to the grocery store with a list, only to have him return either missing some items or with the completely wrong thing? What’s that all about? Perfectly intelligent men seem to be lobotomized the moment they walk through the automatic sliding doors. Think I’m wrong? Ask a man to go to the store and you most likely will get whining, a look of fear and anxiety, or worse, downright refusal.
Sure, men go to the grocery store. I have seen them and they seem to survive despite the aimless wandering, scratching heads and fish-out-of-water appearance. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a modern woman and I think men should go to the grocery store. Just as they should help with all of the housework and chores. My husband folds laundry better than I do. You should see him work an unruly fitted sheet into a flat, neat square. It’s like watching an origami master. But it is a fact that most men, like childbirth, are just not suited for the task of grocery shopping. What the hell?
DISCLAIMER: There exist those men who are better at grocery shopping than women. Most chefs are men. And to them, I bow. But here, I am talking about the majority of males who just don’t have a clue.
Right before Thanksgiving, my husband showed his immense lack of talent when I sent him to go pick up the turkey. My husband is a smart guy. He can master a statistics chart, spew vast amounts of historical knowledge and play a mean game of Scrabble. But the grocery store? He turns into Moron Maximus.
I planned the whole Thanksgiving meal and had already been to two stores the day before and I was at my wit’s end. So, I asked the hubby to go get the turkey. “It’s at Mothers,” I explained as simply as possible. “But what kind of turkey should I get?!” he panicked. “I pre-ordered it. It’s under our name,” I said. Sighing and whimpering, he agreed to do it.
Sounds like a simple task, yes? Well, it is – to a woman. Perhaps it is my fault for complicating the matter, because I called him to see if he could ask the store if they had premade gravy. You see, since we were frying the turkey, pan drippings would be nonexistent, so I needed some help with the gravy. “What do you mean, premade gravy?!” the husband shouted into the phone. I explained how some stores make soup and other items, perhaps they have gravy. He asked the sales clerk while I waited on the phone. “She doesn’t know what you mean,” my husband grumbled. I explained again. So, the woman sent my husband down an aisle. Breathless, my husband said “I don’t know honey….I’m walking down aisles….I’m carrying around a 16-pound turkey!” My mind stopped for a moment, baffled. “GET A CART,” I shouted. My husband, a grown man, sounded as if he might have a nervous breakdown right there in the Aisle 12.
To make matters worse, I then asked him to also pick up some chicken thighs for dinner, to which he mumbled and grumbled. I got off the phone, and the ladies around me were laughing. I happened to be at the hair salon while this all went down. “I can’t believe you trusted your husband to pick up the turkey,” the lady next to me said, “Well, I pre-ordered it and it has our name on it so how hard could it be?” I said. “Still,” she said. “He could come home with something totally different…like a ham.” All of us ladies burst into laughter. Anyone who has a husband or been with a man for a while knows this is true. “I would never let my husband do the shopping,” one woman said. “It would take way too long to explain to him what I needed.”
Later, while I was telling my neighbor this story, she added, “I don’t let my husband shop. When he does, he calls and asks me 20 questions about what kind of bread to get. And when I tell him “Get any kind” he tells me he’s scared that he will get the wrong kind.” I laughed so hard. I guess we women can be scary. We get annoyed when men can’t seem to do something as simple as picking up a few things at the supermarket.
On Thanksgiving Day, I had my sister run to the store for me. She came back with exactly what I needed and told me about a guy who she had to help at the store. “He was frantic,” my sister said. “He came to me with one of those foil baking dishes and a scared look on his face saying, “Do you think this is okay for vegetables?”
I don’t know what it is about men and grocery stores, but it is fascinating. And sad. And irritating. And FUNNY.
P.S. My husband did arrive back with the turkey and some gross canned gravy. And the chicken thighs? Well, he got chicken BREASTS, so I made do.