The skyrocketing cost of groceries is unbelievable.
I asked the husband if he would stop by the store on his way home to pick up a bag of carrots.
He even texted to ask if I wanted the baby carrots or the big ones.
“The big ones with the shrubbery still attached,” I texted back. We were tracking now.
When he arrived home and walked in the kitchen, I calmly asked how much the carrots cost.
“Thirty-seven dollars,” he said with a straight face.
“That’s astounding,” I said.
“Don’t I know it,” he answered, shaking his head.
He proceeded to plop the “bag of carrots” on the kitchen counter and unpack them.
He pulled out two packs of high-salt, high-fat deli meat, a container of pasta salad floating in mayonnaise, potato chips, cheese crackers, gourmet cookies and a box of ice cream.
Oh, and carrots.
“Guess you picked up some extras, huh?”
“Yep,” he said, beaming, “I bought all the stuff you never buy.”
“The fact that I never buy that stuff is the reason you are alive today,” I say.
I used to protest his shopping style, but several years ago I decided, in the interest of marital harmony, to let it roll.
I have a choice. I can go to the store myself, pick up the one item I need and pay market price, or I can ask him to stop by the store, knowing that the one thing will mushroom into 15 and the cost will multiply exponentially, but figuring it is offset by saving myself half an hour.
He went to the store for milk one night last winter and came back with milk and a sled. Sleds aren’t in the dairy aisle. They’re not even in the grocery store. Sometimes it’s better not to ask.
Last week he stopped to pick up bread. He arrived home, opened the door and there was a tremendous clatter as 25 water blasters he scored on clearance dropped to the floor. Water blasters are long, brightly-colored plastic tubes that can shoot streams of water into the next time zone. There was one for every adult in the family and two for each of the grandkids.
He went for dish soap once and came back with soap and a little wooden soccer game with little wooden players you can move up and down a miniature field with tiny levers. I’ve been going to the same grocery for 20 years, and I’ve never seen a miniature soccer game.
The man has an eye for detail, while I tend to focus on the big picture.
Together, we have a full brain.
One of our daughters stopped by after the husband had bought carrots. She opened the pantry cupboard and said, “Looks like Dad’s been shopping again.”
“Why do you say that?” I asked.
“There’s a lot of good stuff to eat in here. You know, all the things you never buy.”
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.